In one way or another, most of us have experienced the feeling of selling our soul or sacrificing our principles for a paycheck. We expect so little of our workplaces while they demand so much of us, and very rarely does anyone have the luxury of questioning this dynamic. Many people are driven to alternative working practices because of how much disillusionment capitalism creates in the very workers whose labor upholds the system.
“For me it was over 20 years of disappointment that made me turn my back on ordinary working practices. I feel that most of my bosses have let me down for many different reasons, mostly related to fairness and care, and I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a blog titled ‘To all the bosses that have let me down’ come January 2021.” – I.L.
It’s very difficult to care about a job that cares so little about you. Sometimes the only way to get through it is to focus on small, personal victories that carry you through the day and remind you that other possibilities do exist. Some of us from Guerrilla Translation, the original DisCO LAB, first bonded over stories about moments of personal protest that sustained us in the capitalist world until we found each other.
“I worked in a call center for Apple’s customer service (ironically called AppleCare). I was fired after just 4 months, when they started eavesdropping on my calls and finding out I had been offering life advice and bonding with the customers over the phone: ‘The price of these Apple products is just obscene, and you can’t imagine how depressed everybody working here is. This is a soul-crushing machine.’ The supervisors were really really mad. The customers loved me though. Before returning my badge, I printed a copy of this book and left it at the BookCrossing section of my department.” – S.E.