Welcome to the Church of Cynicism. I am your ordained minister, the Rev. Bryan W. Alaspa. Please have a seat. I understand you are interested in pursuing the life of a cynic? Well, I certainly applaud your decision to do so. Having a good, healthy dose of cynicism in your life I think better prepares you for life in the 21st century. It’s a rough world out there. Thinking it will all be wine and roses just because you want it to be is a pretty crazy thought when religious nuts in caves or storage lockers in Miami are plotting to blow you and your family to pieces.
Work? Oh, yes, there is a lot of doctrine about work. Work is something you have to do all day, every day, for weeks and months on end. However, you can survive the day to day grind as long as you remember some very key things. These are key doctrines in the Church of Cynicism. You might want to get out a piece of paper and write all of this down.
1. Your job sucks. That’s right. It’s time to face it. Unless you are doing exactly what you have dreamed of doing since you were a child you are more than likely doing a job just to pay the bills. Therefore, instead of a career, what you have is a job. This is a key distinction. Regardless of what the job is you probably have to deal with other people, office politics and managers who seem to have been raised on that island where the put their heads up their asses that I have written about. Therefore, it is key to remember that your job sucks. No matter how nice the people are you work with or for, remember you are working for a money-making venture and probably a soulless company that cares about as much for you as you would an ant struggling with a crumb of bread. If push came to shove the company will shove you right out the door and not think twice. So, in the end, your job sucks. This is key.
2. You work for a soulless company. This is such an important thing to remember it gets its own separate entry. No matter how nice the company seems, the fact is that the company just wants to make money. If making money means they have to fire every single person then they will do that. Just because you have been there a long time does not make you safe because it probably means you get paid a lot more than the new guy down the hall or the middle-management guy with the windowless office just because you have been here a long time. Therefore, you are not safe.
3. You should not care more about your job than your family or friends. I don’t care what the company has given you. Gave you a laptop? Great. Gave you a car? Swell. None of that is more important than your newborn baby. If you are salaried and not paid hourly there is not a single solitary reason you should be sitting at work waiting for a file to run at two-thirty in the morning on a Sunday. You should be home with your wife, playing with your kids, sleeping or watching a baseball game. Your family is always with you and your friends, if they are really your friends, will always stick by you. The soulless company will kick you in the gonads at the drop of a hat and not think twice. Go home.
4. Your sanity is not worth anything the company gives you. See above. Take plenty of vacation. Bend the rules at all times and as often as you can. Hell, break the damn rules. Listen to your radio too loud. Surf the internet when you should be running reports. Make a personal phone call or two. Once again, time for yourself is worth much more than anything the company will give you. Steal the company blind and use your time as you see fit. The company is more than willing to suck your soul dry, so why not turn it around on them.
5. In the end it doesn’t mean a damn thing. You ask about retirement. You ask about putting in your time and getting rewarded with promotions for all of the extra hours. None of it means a damn thing. Is what you do really vital to the existence of the world? Unless you are saving lives or some kind of superhero saving the world then probably not. What you do makes people who are already rich just a little more richer. You may get a gold watch at the end of it, but then what? What will you have done? You’ll have kids that don’t know you because of all of the long nights and friends you have alienated for the same reason and lousy gold watch. What will you have done to make the world a better place? You know what happens if the company goes under? The good, hard-working people lose their jobs and end up in a financial crisis. The CEO probably has golden parachutes coming out of his ears and will feel nothing.
6. Give not a single moment more than you have to. When your shift ends you should be trampling old women and the infirm to get out of the building. Whatever the company is and whatever they are giving you is not worth a single solitary second more of your time than what you have been told you are supposed to give. If you work eight to five at five-oh-one you should be running out the door and headed for your car. Work left over? Too bad. That just means you have more to do the next day and that day will fly by. Work enough to get your work done in the hours you are assigned so you can make money to pay your bills. The company is not worth anymore than that.
7. Give not a single bit more of yourself than you have to. Why exhaust yourself for them? Again, they think nothing of you. You are just a name or a number. Everything in business comes down to numbers. If your number does not add up the right way then they just erase you from the record. Save your soul because it will suck it out of you and leave you a broken husk.
8. Break the rules. All of them. Whatever the company does not want you to do, you should do it as long as it’s legal. You shouldn’t end up in prison because that is just like work. No, I mean the silly rules. No pictures tacked to the cubicle wall? Put up wallpaper. No radios? Buy two and play them too loud. Business casual? Wear flip flops.
9. Realize the company is stupid. It is run by a bunch of people who have, more than likely, been working so hard and are so out of touch they have no clue what real life is like. They make decisions by talking amongst themselves and not by checking with the people charged with doing the things they decide. They think only in numbers. They don’t even speak the same language and give random, idiotic speeches filled with words and phrases that make sense only to them. If management seems to think it sounds like a great idea, then it is probably a bad one for you. This is how companies come up with asinine ideas like “Chasing the Buffalo” as a supposedly motivational idea. The company is stupid and it is run by idiots.
10. Rebel. Same as breaking the rules but a little different. Do you have to wear a uniform? Your should be the one with a ridiculous pin. Do they tell you to take it off? Stitch a phrase to your underwear or get a tattoo. Wear a baseball cap with a phrase in Russian on it that would be offensive if anyone in your office spoke Russian. I worked for the worst company to ever exist on this planet, Aon Consulting (really sell the stock if you own any, they truly suck), and had a piece of paper with a phrase calling the management sons of whores but written in Russian on my cubicle wall for a year and a half. Every time the idiots at the top handed down some half-assed, idiotic idea that only made my life more difficult I would look at that piece of paper and feel just a tiny bit better.
With these thoughts in your mind as you go through your work day you should be able to maintain some kind of sanity. It’s tough working out there. Always keep fighting. Never quit the band. Never stop writing. Never stop dreaming. Never let the corporation suck away you personality and your soul. Some day your may finally see your dream come true and then you won’t have to follow any rules anymore. You’ll be the one making them.