r/antiwork 11d ago

r/antiwork Book Club Week 4: In Praise of Idleness!

241 Upvotes

Welcome to the very first r/antiwork book club! Our goal for these first few weeks is to catch up on some of the antiwork essays we might not have read, promote discussion, and to gauge interest for when we transition into reading full books after this cycle is over.

This week, we will be discussing the first chapter of In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell. All previous weekly discussions are available, so if you read ahead or have already read the material, check them out!

Note that this week we will only be reading the first chapter, as though it were an essay from previous weeks. We may finish the book later if it proves popular in the survey, or if there is a lot of positive feedback!

Table of Contents and Reading Schedule

If you are interested in the survey to help us figure out what books to read next, click here to take it!

Week 4: In Praise of Idleness

Like most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying : “Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” Being a highly virtuous child, I believed all that I was told, and acquired a con- science which has kept me working hard down to the present moment. But although my conscience has controlled my actions, my opinions have under- gone a revolution. I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. Everyone knows the story of the traveller in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth. This traveller was on the right lines. But in countries which do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine idleness is more difficult, and a great public propaganda will be required to inaugurate it. I hope that, after reading the following pages, the leaders of the Y.M.C.A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Summary:

Today’s chapter is brought to us by Bertrand Russell, a philosopher and founder of analytical philosophy. Russell believes that work, and the attitude of viewing work as virtuous, is one that does immense damage culturally and ethically. He states that while work may have been required to bring us to modernity, the imposition of work as a virtue onto the workforce exists today only as a means of political control. Today’s worker is relegated to passive leisure instead of active play or research due to being too tired from manual labor. Bertrand argues that if humanity worked to fulfill its basic needs and prioritize leisure time, enough people would pursue labor of some public importance, and would improve mood immeasurably.

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think of the chapter? Do you agree or disagree?
  • Do you think there were any standout sentences or paragraphs?
  • If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?
  • How did this chapter impact you?
  • What in your life did this chapter make you think about?

r/antiwork 6h ago Helpful Got the W

If you're at a restaurant and it's closed and you're not eating GET THE FUCK OUT

4.9k Upvotes

Fucking leave so I can clean your table, clean your silverware, then clock out. Don't stay in 20 minutes after closing chit-chatting with your dumbass friend. The fact that you're the only 2 people there should be an indication of whether or not you're overstaying your welcome. You've already been sitting there for like 2 hours, you can take your conversation outside. God motherfucking damn.


r/antiwork 7h ago

Just got an interview offer from the person firing my fiancée for her position

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4.6k Upvotes

r/antiwork 5h ago

More reasons why I'm antiwork.

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2.5k Upvotes

r/antiwork 10h ago

Working in Japan I got 20 days PTO a year, when we opened a US branch and i relocated I got 5 days a year.

2.4k Upvotes

Same company, same direct reports (they relocated with me). The only difference is in Japan their government is very pro-union and workers rights, but for some reason being close to an Applebees throws it all out the window.

When pay raises didn’t match inflation I proposed giving extra PTO, but that was deemed unreasonable.


r/antiwork 11h ago

Local business has the audacity to ask for free labour in a cost of living crisis

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2.8k Upvotes

r/antiwork 15h ago Silver

Did not receive my tips for last day of work are they allowed to do this??

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5.5k Upvotes

r/antiwork 6h ago All-Seeing Upvote

poor kids are the ones working it

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952 Upvotes

r/antiwork 19h ago Silver Helpful Wholesome

My boss tried to talk my 15 year old co-worker out of his break, I convinced him to take it

23.0k Upvotes

My young co-worker asked out supervisor today "should I take my break now or wait until later"

My boss responded saying "It's an optional 15 minute break, you're kind of a bitch for wanting it at all" and he walked away...

I told my co-worker to go take his break, because it's the only company benefit he gets. We don't have insurance, PTO, nothing..so I wasn't about to let my boss bully him out of his 15 minute break. He realized I was right and happily took his break.

A 35 year old bullying a 15 year old out of a 15 minute break is just so shitty


r/antiwork 9h ago Helpful

I just got fired for an “unsafe action”. Fuck Lowes for putting me in that situation and then firing me for it.

1.4k Upvotes

So I worked at a warehouse, kinda like Amazon. I was supposed to be watching and correcting boxes on their way to the docks on this stretch of conveyers. I’m supposed to be in the middle one, where there are no e-stops. I have continually brought this up on my safety walks for over a year now and nothing has been done about it. So last weekend our coach was gone and a really incompetent PI was managing the docs instead and they do everything wrong. This causes massive backups in my area. Constant jams, boxes occasionally falling off the line. Until a box volcano just starts exploding in several places and just won’t stop because of faulty conveyers. I’m panicking because boxes are flying at me and the only thing I can think to do it lean over the conveyer to hit the e-stop on the other side. During this frantic reaction, a box hit my shoulder. I have EDS, so I heard it pop and it kinda hurt afterwords. It could have been fine after a couple days or it could have completely fucked up the joint, so I reported the incident just in case. I was just hoping they would finally listen to me and add e-stops and more dock workers so we wouldn’t have such a massive failure of the system. I ended up only needing a day off for my shoulder. I went in to the on site nurse and she just recommended rest and ice and it could be fine by the time I had to work. even though I had the paperwork for workers comp I felt ok by the time I had to go back so I wasn’t going to pursue it. Today I was pulled in and told I was being let go because of unsafe actions after review of the case. I’m so fucking upset and angry. We were already only barely getting by. None of this would have happened if someone competent was in charge and they had actually e-stops in reach. Oh, and the faulty conveyer systems that were “especially bad” in the industry that they refused to let maintenance fix because of part cost. Any advice of where to go next would be helpful. today I’m gonna cry about it. Tomorrow I’m going to do something about it.

Edit: anyone know of a good Reddit that can help me find better career paths based off of my education and experience. I have a B.A. in theatre and 15 years of sewing experience. I’d like to be paid at minimum $20 for Christ sake.


r/antiwork 11h ago

Nobody wants to work anymore

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2.1k Upvotes

r/antiwork 5h ago

My hubby works for a company with firing quotas, on each team, at eval time, one person must be placed on a performance improvement plan and one must be fired. Hubby is on a team of all strong performers but a strong performer of 15 years is going to get fired for literally no reason.

533 Upvotes

r/antiwork 18h ago Helpful Silver

Took a 1 week holiday, boss decides he can do without me.

5.0k Upvotes

I've been at this company since 2016, an order picking/packing warehouse, and since 2019 I've been the supervisor of a team of 3.

A month ago I decided I needed a week off, I don't normally take time off because when we're down to 3 workers for more than a few days we start to fall behind. But I hadn't had any time off since last year so I deserved it. Notified the boss months in advance and all was well. Made sure before I went that everything was stocked and organised so my guys wouldn't fall behind.

First Monday of my week off I get a text, one of my guys got covid and would be off for a week, and they were the only person besides me who can legally operate the forklift. So now the team was halved and nobody could move heavy stock around or load trucks. Boss said it was ok, he'd do the forklift and I was thankful he didn't try to ask me back. I didn't think anything of it until I came back to work the following week.

Monday morning on my first week back I get called up into the office, where the boss informed me my position and that of the worker who was sick would be made redundant and this was my one month notice. Blamed the recession, rising transport costs, the usual bullshit. But I knew from talking with the 2 guys who were on that week that the boss was impressed by the work they were doing, not realising it was partly because of me having set them up with a lot of pre-packed stock. Their theory and mine was that he decided he can get by with 2 staff in the warehouse instead of 4. In the end I wasn't fussed, I have been looking into shifting careers anyway as I've been feeling a bit stagnant here.

That other worker soon found another job and was out by the end of that week, with a nearly $20 an hour pay increase into a high demand forklift job that was closer to home for them. I stayed on for the 4 weeks just to make sure my team would be ok, and just to give myself time to look for work. But as the weeks wore on and we started to fall behind you could see the gears in my boss' head turning as he realised that pretty soon he'd have no forklift drivers and a lot of back orders. The day before I left he asked if I'd be willing to stay on for another month, but I told him I'd already had another job lined up (didn't tell him it was also $10 an hour more than he paid me). On my last day he asked if I'd want to come in on the weekends, told him no sorry I have family obligations.

TL;DR my boss tried to save money by letting go his 2 most experienced workers and his only forklift drivers, regrets his decision far too late.

Sorry this ones kinda slow, no blow ups, no dramatic walk outs, no rubbing better offers in anyones faces, just another boss cutting costs and accidentally cutting too much.


r/antiwork 2h ago

Just saw this as the latest review for my local Panera Bread. Im assuming it’s a current or former worker, good for them for speaking out!

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201 Upvotes

r/antiwork 23h ago Helpful Silver Wholesome

My wife’s employer decided to take her paycheck back after it was deposited

27.2k Upvotes

UPDATES AT THE END:

Her payroll was fully deposited on the 10th as per usual (she’s paid twice a month) and I got paid yesterday. Paid all our bills and payments on cards. Get word today that they are taking everyone’s payroll back, no reason why, office manager is completely in the dark. I happened to get off work early today and I checked the account sure enough there was a pending transaction for her office’s “reversal” and putting our account negative over $500. I went straight to the credit union and explained the situation and asked if there was anyway to yo stop them from doing that.

They teller put a stop payment on it and blocked them from being able withdraw money from our account ever again. She wasn’t sure if we caught it in time, but we’ll find out tomorrow if they did. In the meantime the office manager is trying to reach a resolution by the end of the day.

I’m fucking absolutely pissed. I’m fairly certain that has got to be against the law to just withdraw money like that without our consent. It’s not like the payroll was pending, they straight up are robbing our account.

Update 1: getting to the bank yesterday and stopping payment worked. Everyone else is still screwed today. They’re waiting until they get a valid reason (there won’t be one) as to why it happened. I really can’t recommend enough to them, and my wife, to take action against them. But ultimately it’s up to them and I hope they do what’s best for them.

Update 2: wife just got a text from the manager. Owner says the payroll app reversal won’t be fixed for five days so is bringing in physical checks in on Monday. No action answer as to wtf was going on.

Update 3: They are blaming the payroll app (tbf is a third party app) apparently there was a payroll reversal happening at another company and they included my wife’s office in it. I guess I can buy it but seems awfully convenient to blame them. I’d hope if this seriously is the case they drop the app immediately, if they don’t then I don’t buy it.


r/antiwork 22h ago

Trader Joe’s Workers Unionize A Second Store With Minneapolis Victory

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8.9k Upvotes

r/antiwork 21h ago Wholesome Helpful

Brother worked 39 years/heir screwed out of his pension by union.

7.5k Upvotes

My younger brother (60M) worked 39 years for Roseburg Lumber, Coquille, OR and retired on May 1st. He met with the union retirement personnel early May to get his paperwork in and set up 5 yrs/Certain Life so his step daughter would get at least 5 years of his retirement payments (approx $84K), if he died before it was all paid out. His first payment was due June 1st, but he died in a car accident May 17th. Fidelity Investments, on advice from the Carpenter’s Union, said he was not “in pay”, so all pension funds were ineligible. They PAID him by direct deposit on 6/1/22, but immediately reversed the transaction and took the money back. Worked his entire life and they are screwing his daughter out of his payments.

Edit: my brother was unmarried at death, wanted his stepdaughter to have the money but hadn’t set up a trust for her yet. She’s not his legal heir, my Mom is, but we want step daughter to have the money, per his wishes. He didn’t list a beneficiary because he wanted to set up a protected trust for her, figured he had time to do so. Sadly, he did not. I guess the moral of this story is, don’t procrastinate on your legal paperwork. Thanks for all of the people who provided great advice on reaching out to Oregon pols and the AG, I will pursue this.


r/antiwork 1d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome

Workers demolish their work after not being paid for it.

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19.2k Upvotes

r/antiwork 20h ago Wholesome

my manager tried to get me to take a higher position at the company for the same pay i was already making

4.0k Upvotes

As the title says today my manager tried to "graduate" me to taking on more work but for the same pay. Only thing she did was try to dangle an earlier time slot

Thankfully the girl who had the position, whos last day was today, as soon as she walked in this morning gave me a quick coaching.

"I'm leaving (she got pormoted to Supervisor of the same department but at another store) they're going to offer you the position you're the obvious choice don't do it for any less that 23$ and they're going to make it sound like you have no choice thell say you're being "graduated" but it's your call they can't force you!"

I love it when supervisors look out for the fellow employees rather than the company. I considered her a good friend


r/antiwork 7h ago Gold

Was told "If you don't like it, there is the door" and I took it - Systems Administrator

271 Upvotes

I have worked in IT for my entire 20s. I have prided myself on holding myself to a high standard. However earlier this year, I accepted a Systems Administrator Role to be closer to my family, since my mother had just passed away.

Merely weeks into the role, I began noticing how poorly their systems were being managed. Such as running core services on server 2000 and by far the least secure environment I have ever seen. When bringing these items of note up to the IT Director, I was told "Just because" "We don't want to change" "What we have been doing is working." During my first few weeks in the role, there was a decent sized breach, due to not having any MFA enabled. (Multi Factor Authentication). I also saw many systems that were housing sensitive data on server 2000, mind you, this is 2022, and they have the fully capabilities to migrate these systems to newer operating systems.

After attempting to plan projects, and get them up to speed, I was encountering a more and more hostile attitude towards the changes. When questioning if they even want to improve, I was told if I do not like it, there is the door.

I bided my time, wrote up the lengthiest full-scale technical analysis of their entire environment. Documented all my interactions, and then quit with no notice, after emailing the "IT Directors" Superiors.

Last I heard, he was fired from the role after my review was seen. Sadly, I had to part from a decent paying salary. However I find it unacceptable that anyone in an IT Director position has the brain capacity to be running things so poorly. It is a disservice to the title, and a shame that he has been paid nearly 800,000$ in his 10 years in this role, while allowing such poor practices to exist.

It makes me question why I am incapable of landing such a role when there are literal clowns out there running things. I hope one day this entire experience can be used as an example of how not to become such a poor leader. This was terrifying. I am thankful everday I have quit (over 2 months) that I held my ground for the sake of acceptable standards. It should be criminal to have such negligence in charge of sensitive systems.

If someone says if you don't like it, there is the door, and they are causing you to turn a blind eye to malpractice, or lack of standards, Id encourage anyone to take it. Do not lower your own value because someone above you has none. Keep your head held high. Do not compromise yourself for any superior.


r/antiwork 8h ago

Our branch manager sent this to my department cause it's our turn to clean the break room. I detest cleaning up after coworkers and I often never use the break room.

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327 Upvotes

r/antiwork 3h ago

Credit scores are such a fucking scam.

114 Upvotes

I had to buy new tires for my wife's car and had to put them on a credit card cause I can't afford the $1000+ (cars are a scam in itself and a tax for poor people), and my fucking score dropped 22 points cause I used the card for its intended purpose. I am not even using that much credit, only 23% of my limit, and I pay these fuckers off every month, double the minimum payment to escape the interest rates.

I remember 2 years ago I paid off a car and my score still went down. Why the fuck does it seem like everything in this society is designed to rip you off and fuck you over. Why do I feel like I can never get ahead. I fucking went to college and got a nice technical degree and I troubleshoot and repair medical devices for a living, I am a US Navy veteran, why the fuck am I still skirting the poverty line. I can barely pay my fucking bills. I have no money left over to save, literally everything goes to rent, bills, food, and gas to get to work. How the fuck do I escape this system.


r/antiwork 1h ago

Just quit my job. Feel fucking great about it lol.

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Upvotes

r/antiwork 5h ago

We are not free

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131 Upvotes

r/antiwork 16h ago

Found at some bumfuck gas station (in West Branch, MI) that didn't require table service.

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875 Upvotes

r/antiwork 12h ago

Felt like this belonged here

328 Upvotes