Just when I think things couldn’t possibly get more stupid, up comes the latest trend on “quiet quitting.”
Quiet quitting means you’re not outright quitting your job but quitting the idea and practice of going above and beyond for your boss and the company that employs you. Champions of quiet quitting feel that you should NOT buy into the “hustle culture” mentality and should do just enough not to get fired so you don’t have the “stress” of advancing your career or climbing the “corporate ladder.”
Look, this is nothing new. Since the day man walked the earth, there were ambitious, hyperproductive people and there were slackers – but at least the slackers knew they were bums and admitted it, and were perhaps even ashamed. Now we’re celebrating them as heroes? You gotta ask yourself, why would anyone want to promote this? Why would anyone want to have honest ambition stamped out, crushed, or made out to be a fool’s pursuit? How could anyone champion this as a good thing?
At a previous marketing agency I worked at, I had three co-workers come into my office all at once to gang up on me and tell me to stop working so hard.
They said I was an “idiot” for attempting to make things better…that it “isn’t your job to fix HIS mistakes”, (the owner), and that I wasn’t getting paid enough to work overtime or even try to turn around a few dysfunctional situations and problems that were hurting the organization.
Candidly, they were right. I wasn’t getting paid more to go the extra mile. There was no bonus offered to improve things. I wasn’t the owner, and therefore it wasn’t my responsibility to ensure the company succeeded or was profitable. There were problems happening that I didn’t create with late payments to vendors, customer service issues, and definitely employee morale and culture problems.
However, the difference between me and that lot of losers who marched in and suggested I “quietly quit” as they had is that I have integrity. I wasn’t going to work then (or now) just to get a paycheck. I go to work out of a need for pride, self-respect, and personal growth. I enjoy working and being useful. I take great pride in a job well done. It gives me purpose, and I NEVER want MY name on something half-baked, half-ass, sloppy, or less than excellent. I also appreciated the company I worked for and wanted it to succeed. I hadn’t quit.
If you have any honor at all, you should QUIT before starting (meaning turn down the job, the project or the opportunity), not accept that offer, and then do the bare minimum… if you feel you need to quit, then QUIT. Honestly, openly and without taking advantage of the people who hired you.
I wonder if the people who are in favor of “quiet quitting” would praise the doctor or dentist treating them to “quietly quit” before taking them as a patient. Would they praise the schoolteachers in charge of teaching their children to “quietly quit” and do the bare minimum to keep their job? Do they want the pilot of a flight they are on to “quietly quit” when they’re taking them 30,000 feet up in the air?
This week, we celebrate Labor Day, which is supposed to be an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of the American worker.
Back when it was first celebrated in 1812, people WORKED. If you “quietly quit” then, you didn’t have a job. That meant you didn’t eat, didn’t feed your family, didn’t have a place to sleep, and didn’t have adequate clothes on your back. You don’t contribute, you don’t get paid.
Of course, that’s no longer a thing with the handouts being given left and right with people feeling it’s their RIGHT to have free medical, free cell phones, free internet, and a free place to live, whether they work or not.
This entitlement attitude of “no work” is evil. It’s a cancer on the American spirit that is pervading society on every level. The recent student loan forgiveness is just another example of letting people off the hook for their RESPONSIBILITY to contribute and pay their way, earning an HONEST LIVING. Sadly, I see this in business owners as well. Many of them have “quietly quit,” no longer interested in growth or improvement.
There’s far too much whining about how hard it is, how they can’t get ahead, they can’t compete. They lust for unearned rewards with “easy” marketing and “simple” solutions to complicated problems – just outsource it. Abdicate it to someone else.
I have two cautions
First, you as an entrepreneur, leader, or manager need to be hyperaware of people sleeping at the wheel in your employment.
You get what you tolerate. If you have someone working for you who you feel has already “quietly quit,” help them ACTUALLY quit and show them the door. Do not let them into the fold, particularly if they are in charge of a critical function of your business. The instant you detect it, throw them overboard.
Second, be ever vigilant of any such ideas creeping into YOUR mind.
It’s the Devil’s work. Be brutally honest with yourself: have YOU quietly quit? If you have, I know, without a doubt, you’re miserable and your business is a failure. You and the people working for you are the walking dead. If you cannot find it within yourself to FIND your passion again and put 1,000% behind your company, serving your clients, and leading your team, then please ACTUALLY quit and stop sucking up space from those of us who are striving to succeed.
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