In case you missed it, everyone’s quitting their jobs! In what’s being dubbed “The Great Resignation,” a record-breaking number of US workers are peacing out of their shitty jobs, creating hiring headaches for companies that have been desperately trying to entice applicants with hefty hiring bonuses or by slashing mandatory drug testing. Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August.
Amid the mass exodus, workers have been posting screenshots of the purported “I quit” text messages they’ve sent their asshole-y bosses on r/antiwork, a subreddit with nearly 800,000 members. It’s a community for people who “want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want more information on anti-work ideas and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles,” as the description states. In practice, that translates to members sharing anti-work or anti-capitalist sentiments, along with experiences they’ve had at work, whether it’s showing videos or photos of unsafe working conditions or — like this new trend — confrontational conversations they’ve had with their bosses and/or managers.
The screenshots have been going viral on and off Reddit for reasons you’ll quickly understand after you read a few. One particular screenshot gained tons of traction on Reddit and Twitter after an employee told their boss they were unable to work one day because their dad had passed. After their boss told them to “stop being a victim,” the employee promptly quit, and then told their boss to go fuck themself.
Of course, there’s no way to know for certain if all — or any — of these screenshotted conversations are real. But if you’ve ever had to deal with a rude boss, being pushed to the point at which you might tell your boss to go fuck themself is pretty plausible.
While the subreddit largely caters to the idea of ending work altogether, as Business Insider notes, most workers quitting their jobs during this Great Resignation are simply leaving their jobs due to bad working situations or to seek higher-paying gigs.
Overall, though, anti-work and anti-capitalist sentiments have been rapidly growing across all social platforms, with many users questioning the traditional eight-hour, five-day workweek, fighting for a livable minimal wage and speaking out against labor exploitation. There’s an obvious common denominator factoring into all this: COVID.
As the pandemic winds down, many people are rethinking their relationship with work and how they want to spend the short time they get to spend on this earth. Workers want flexibility and more downtime, but even more importantly, they want respect. Minimum wage earners and “low”-skilled workers were on the front lines of the pandemic. It’s no surprise they want higher pay, better benefits, safer working conditions and the respect they’re warranted. Until those expectations are met, they’ll continue quitting in droves and telling their superiors to fuck off.
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