The Reddit

I’m being told from every quarter about the new Reddit forum dedicated to “Antiwork”. It has almost a million subscribers, most of whom joined in the last twelve months.

I’m not really a Reddit guy, but even a cursory wade through the swamp reveals many, many angry voices. Here’s one from today:

I’m just a lowly 19 yo getting a new job after quitting my old one. I applied for a hardware store cashier position who ADVERTISED 18 an hour STARTING.

I got offered the job on the spot. I noticed the manger clicking some buttons and said, “Alright, we can start you at 12.15 an hour according to the computer system. But I could try and get you 15.12.”

I walked out. You just wasted my time. An hour of my life, gone. You advertised 18 an hour, but can start me at 12? I’ve been working FULL TIME jobs since I was 15. That’s 4 years of customer service experience. But I’m only worth 12.15? FUCK YOU.

and, also from today:

I quit my $11 hr job today (walked out) because they were way overloading me. As I walked out my boss told me my last paycheck will be minimum wage. I know it wasnt just a threat because they have done it to other people and my friend currently. My friend did it the right way and put in her two weeks. They told her if shes even 5 minutes late to any of the days in her last two weeks her last paycheck will be reduced to minimum wage as well. How tf is this legal?

There are plenty of recycled memes and screenshots of other people’s tweets (which are ugly but useful and valid) but my favourite sort of content is first-person accounts like the ones above. And there’s tonnes of them, new ones every day, a constant stream. They provide a high-quality cross-section view of working life on Earth today. It’s good to get it all down on virtual paper. Reddit is serving as a wonderful ramscoop for antiwork vitriol and case studies of real-life bullshit.

It’s a treasure trove of people venting about oppressive or unfair jobs, raging against the work machine more broadly, or actually finding justice through what is essentially Escapology. The point is: work is worse (less dignified, more precarious, more unfair) than popular culture and received wisdom handed down from the Boomer generation would have us believe and we can take action.

The forum is getting a lot of press. Here’s Forbes, the literal voice of Capitalism:

A common, unifying theme is that workers feel that they are being taken advantage of, forced to work long hours for low wages and treated rudely by their unsympathetic managers.

and:

Many of their complaints, factoring in a healthy dose of hyperbole, are valid. The younger generation may be the first group in modern history that does not do better or as well as their parents. With tens or hundreds of thousands in student-loan debt, young adults find it almost impossible to purchase a home, get married and start a family. The debt burden, along with rising home prices and inflation, doesn’t leave them with sufficient funds to afford the lifestyle that older generations took for granted.

It’s lovely stuff and while I’ve said many times before that “the tide is turning” on work based on something positive in the media, a million self-described idlers really is a lot, isn’t it?

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If you’d prefer to have “read it” than to have “reddit,” try my books, I’m Out and The Good Life for Wage Slaves. Email me if you need a discount or would like a signed copy.

About

Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

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