You’re not a serf, don’t be owned.
If you haven’t already heard, the business world is all in a tizzy over a new workplace trend. Workers are no longer as willing to go ‘above and beyond.’ It’s a little harder post-pandemic to convince your workforce to be on call in their off hours, take on extra duties that they didn't originally contract for, or put in long hours of unpaid overtime. Instead, they are doing exactly what their job description says and then going home. Imagine that.
Corporations used to squeezing their employees for all their worth until they burn out refer to this as “Quiet Quitting.” That term is 100% economic gaslighting. That this new label is being applied to literally doing your job is infuriating. It says so much about how completely our discourse suffers from late stage capitalism Stockholm syndrome. It’s been completely normalized to demonstrate a kind of slavish devotion to your employer as if they own not only the time and duties they pay you for, but a big slice of the rest of your life on the side.
That’s not loyalty. It’s servitude.
Especially when none of the loyalty goes the other way. Wage theft alone is bigger than all other kinds of theft — muggings, B & Es, car thefts — all added together, but it isn’t even officially treated as a crime. With no help from the police, victims must independently navigate a complex Department of Labour bureaucracy in hopes of possibly some day seeing wages they were legally owed, while the perpetrators suffer not so much as a slap on the wrist. As a result, this sort of employer crime has become a workplace norm.
To avoid providing severance packages to departing employees, corporate culture has also developed a tool they call “Constructive Discharge” — essentially making your work experience so constantly miserable that you quit because you can’t stand it any more.
Hardly the sort of behaviour to inspire workers to go beyond the call of duty.
Public agencies that exist to protect workers are clearly indicating their intention to side with employers on this topic. When the Labour Relations Board of Alberta learned about some scaffolders who refused to work “voluntary overtime” at the end of their ten…