Thursday, May 19, 2011

Make Yourself Un-Fire-Able (a/k/a: The American Dream)

I just read one of those online “news” articles about how to make yourself “un-fire-able” at work.

The advice was all the same. Be the first to arrive and the last to leave. Do whatever is necessary. Blah Blah Blah.

They ought to just say “work harder than you ought to have to” and “don’t think for yourself”.

First things first, NO ONE is un-fire-able. Ever (especially in today’s business environment). But, let’s just assume for a minute that these steps will make you un-fire-able.

Know what else they’ll make you? UNHAPPY.

Be the first to arrive. Get up before the sun and get out the door to work before your kids are up for school. You don’t need to see them, do you?

Be the last to leave. Get home late in the evening. Maybe you’ll make it in time for dinner with your family. Maybe not. Of course, if you’re like everyone else, you probably eat drive-thru dinners in separate cars, anyway. No time for a legitimate sit-down-together family meal. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the kids a little before they go to bed. And before you stay up working some more.

There’s always the weekend anyway, right? Never mind the fact that you have to tend to your perfectly manicured yard and maintain all of your other toys (boat, car, etc.) on the weekend.

Never mind time with the wife. It’s this kind of lifestyle you’re working to give her that she desires…not actual quality time with you, at any rate.

One of the tips was “Make everyone love you”. Forget being yourself. Be whatever everyone wants you to be. That may, of course, require balancing several personas, based on the audience you’re with. But you can keep up and juggle all that, right? It will also probably require lying and keeping an awful lot to yourself. But, hey, you’ve got plenty of space to shove those feelings down deep inside you. What harm can come of it?

Cut the company’s costs.

Make the company money.

Show you’re a leader.

Show you’re a team player.

Blah – blah – blah.

Think the way they think. Act like you’re supposed to. Do everything you can for them.

Don’t be real. Don’t be interesting. Don’t be you.

Do what you have to do to make them successful.

I see people do that.

And they’re rewarded. With more work.

I also see an awful lot of people not doing those things. Or ANY thing. And they’re also rewarded.

More work isn’t so bad. Just means more expectations, right? Earlier mornings. Later evenings. More to do.

More toys, though.

More money.

More power.

More prestige.

More personas to juggle.

Less being you.

Less time at home.

Less time to examine your life.

Less time to cultivate the interests and talents God gave you.

Less time to make the world a better place.

But, hey…you’ll be un-fire-able.


  1. Good points here. There seems to be a tone of anger or frustration, though. Fair or not?

  2. Jessica (Reeves) Laurence posted this quote on her facebook today: "Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." -Goethe

    Sad that the working world has that totally backwards. Stay true to the kingdom of heaven and what matters there, friend, no matter how "fire-able" that makes you. His rewards are far greater than any 401K!

  3. Dewayne - There is anger/bitterness/frustration but I should point out it's nothing to do with my specific situation. It's just about the situation in general. I know plenty of people who do this, but I'm not one of them. Just frustrating that you seem to have to make a choice as to whether or not you're going to be one of these kinds of folks and then decide what/who you're willing to sacrifice for it.

    This is connected to lots of other thoughts I'm currently working on. Just kind of a "frustration at the general state of the world" thing. Nothing new I guess :)

  4. Man this hits home. And now, that I have children and much more important ideals about my life, I can't escape it. I see the future in some co-workers. It's not pretty. It's one of unformed or incomplete relationships, no true love other than work, no true friendship, no vacation time, etc, etc, etc.

    Well said, Ryan.