I want to ask you a question.

How would you like to be locked up in a closet all day, for the rest of your life? You probably wouldn’t do it unless someone put a gun against your head.

What if you got paid for it? Would you still do it? Yes? (Are you out of your mind?) No? But you are doing it, dear friend. You wake up early everyday, even when you don’t feel like it, and commute in the god awful traffic to sit in an ugly, gray cubicle all day. This is called voluntary imprisonment. Who in the world would go and sit in an ugly gray prison cell 8 hours a day, not seeing the light of the day most of the time, get ordered around, put up with retarded politics, procedures and restrictions? Prison cells have more space and the inmates get to see more daylight. There is much more freedom in a prison than the typical corporate office space dungeon. You could be doing something much more fun, yet you have to show up there everyday at 8 or 9 and serve your daily 8 hour sentence. It doesn’t make any bloody sense.

So why on earth do millions of people sign up for this voluntary imprisonment and even line up to get locked up in the office space prisons? Cause that’s what they taught us. Social conditioning, brainwashing, herd mentality. Hordes of mindless zombies filling the depressing gray cubicles. Brainwashed sheeple following the majority. You are one of them. I am one of them. Pathetic, really pathetic. Welcome to the Matrix, my friend!

Let me give you a red pill now. It’s about time to wake up and get the hell out of the Matrix.

Typical cubicle prison

Typical cubicle prison

Now, please take a good look at this picture. You are spending 8 hours a day, 50 weeks a year in an office prison not much different than this, more or less. In most of those, you are restricted to a 30 minute to 1 hour lunch break and couple of short 5-10  minute breaks. You have to sit there and kill your time to fill in the timesheets, even if it’s a slow day and there’s hardly any work to do. Can you see what’s wrong with this picture? Human beings are not meant to spend their life confined in these pathetic cages. Is that paycheck really worth sitting there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, a big huge chunk of your lifetime?  Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?

This is the 21st century. We have the Internet, VPN, videoconferencing, remote desktop protocols, productivity tracking software. You can do everything you do at the office from the comfort of your home. Think about it. Do you really believe you have no other choice than rotting away in an ugly, gray, badly lit prison cell packed with nasty chemicals and stale air? You can VPN in, do all that work from your home computer, attend the meetings via conference calls and videoconferencing. You can give presentations. You can share your desktop and do webcasts. You can use software to track your progress with projects. Why do they force you to sit in the cubicle, even when there’s no work to do? Why can’t you leave 3 hours earlier when you finish the day’s work? Are the executives that stupid? Apparently so. Allow me to quote my favorite paragraph from Benjamin Gran’s kickass article which won the $10.000 prize from Elance:

Questions for managers everywhere:

  • Why is it so important to you to have your people sitting in their cubicles for an arbitrary length of time each day? Why is 8 hours so important? Why not 7.569 hours? Why not 3 hours? Who cares, as long as the work gets done?
  • If the only way you have to measure your people’s productivity is the amount of hours they spend at work, shouldn’t you find some better metrics? (This is 2009 – we have the Internet – everything is measurable now. We are all effectively “on commission.”)
  • If the only way you can be sure that your people are working is to force them to sit 10 feet away from you in a cubicle all day, why did you hire them in the first place? (If you’re hiring real professionals, they shouldn’t require such close supervision – don’t you trust your people? And if not, fire them and hire someone better – there’s plenty of great talent in the labor market right now.)

(Read the whole article here)

Good news: You have other options. Contrary to the popular belief and social indoctrination, this is not the only way to support yourself and your family. You can do better than this.You still have choice.

I am going to recommend a great eye opener by Steve Pavlina: 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

I love this part:

It takes a lot of effort to tame a human being into an employee.  The first thing you have to do is break the human’s independent will.  A good way to do this is to give them a weighty policy manual filled with nonsensical rules and regulations.  This leads the new employee to become more obedient, fearing that s/he could be disciplined at any minute for something incomprehensible.

This is what they did to me at my last workplace. I was given a huge policies and procedures manual, jam packed with sheer stupidity. There were 10 pages listing acceptable dress code, with every possible tiny detail imaginable. (It felt like my IQ dropped by 20 points reading it.) Then there was another 5 pages about the rules regarding the breaks. You can’t combine your 2 short breaks. You can’t take your short breaks within an hour of arrival or going to lunch or coming back from lunch or the end of the work day. You can’t go to lunch between this hour and that hour. On and on and on. Endless list of stupid, retarded rules. And the sad thing is, people policed each other. If you took one extra short break they’d lecture you before the boss did. Then there were the memos from the bosses reminding people all those rules. Sheer insanity. Office Space from hell. No wonder everyone was on Prozac.

All employees read those rules and obeyed them. Few people complained about it. (Hey, you get a nice paycheck, so what’s your problem, dude?) Come 2 minutes late and they give you hell. Leave 2 minutes early and they give you hell plus threaten to fire you. This is no life, and I certainly don’t intend to spend the best years of my life sitting in a dull, depressing, ugly, claustrophobic cubicle prison and putting up with retarded office politics and bullshit from braindead zombies. I don’t see why you should, either.

If you want to learn how to free yourself from the office space nightmare module of the Matrix and make far better income doing less than half of the work you currently do, here are some great books to read for starters:

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content. By Tim Ferriss (@tferriss on twitter)

LEAP!: Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free by Ian Sanders (@iansanders on twitter)

Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim (@pamslim on twitter)

Free ebook: Recession Proof Graduate by Charlie Hoehn (@charliehoehn on twitter)

  • http://benjamin_gran.elance.com/ Ben Gran

    Thanks for the link, BadLizard. Please note – my last name is spelled “Gran” – not “Gray.” If you have a chance, I’d love it if you’d fix the spelling.

    Best wishes,
    Ben Gran

  • badlizard

    Ooops, that’s what happens when I say ‘gray’ word too many times. I guess my subconscious starts seeing everything gray when I talk about those gray cubicles! Thanks for the correction and the ping back. I will move this to my own domain soon, when the great wordpress guy I found from odesk finishes the design :)

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