“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened by an alarm clock at 6.30am, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” – (Man’s name)
It was one morning at approximately 5.30AM, in the midst of performing the usual ritual of scrubbing plaque off of one’s teeth, that it dawned upon me - Why? Why am I to awaken at this ungodly hour of the morning, to fight traffic from Pretoria to Joburg, only to arrive at a company that I possess no direct affiliation with, to make money for my boss - a man who I do not know or really care for? This is the harsh reality of the working world. Unless one owns one’s own business, you are essentially commuting to work every day to make money for another human being. Whether you are a salesperson, a waitress, a teller at a bank, or working behind the counter at Checkers, you are making money for a stranger.
The Boss finds a person with a talent or skill in the relevant field, and makes them feel special by hiring them. Wow, I must be very talented if he wants me to be a part of his company. I feel so privileged. Yes, they know you are good, that is why they want to hire you, but he doesn’t care about you personally. He wants to take advantage of your skills for his own financial gain. We are offered a “fantastic” salary, and we accept it with gratitude and excitement…times that salary by 100, and that is how much he will be receiving thanks to you. But still, we should be grateful for the opportunity, right?
We sit on a planet with endless things to do and limitless opportunities, yet we sit behind a computer screen for 8-9 hours a day, working our backsides off to make someone else rich. We endure fatigue, backache, migraines, eyestrain, stress, and financial strain. We simply live for the end of the month, when we can receive our measly paychecks once again, so we may eat as opposed to dying of starvation. Why should we live for 2 days of the week out of 7, just to have a bit of time to ourselves? Which we usually only use to catch up on things like cleaning, sleeping and wasting our hard-earned money, and before we know it it’s Monday again. Why should Sunday evenings be so morbidly soul killing, knowing we must work the next day? We might as well work in a physical money-making-factory, and spend our lives making amazing amounts of cash notes - but we may not touch it or remove it from where it was made. Because even though you made it, what does it matter? It does not belong to you. If you really think about it - how does this make any sense?
You are most likely thinking that it is easier said than done. We need to pay our bills, feed our families, and afford the ever-rising petrol price. It is important, however, for people to acknowledge reality. You will probably also be thinking: But if I become a boss and subsequently employ people, am I not becoming that which I hate? As one gets older, one slowly learns how business works, and the ins and outs of the trade. You will arrive at a point where you can step out of the corporate underworld. The people that you one day employ will also probably hate you, then they themselves will also strive to one day move on and make their own money. It is the Circle of Business, and things all happen in due time. Nobody wants to retire at 70, still working for someone else (potentially generations younger than you) finally realizing you have failed in all your life’s goals. I am not saying everyone should up and quit their jobs right now, just be aware of the reality of our situations and begin striving for more.
If you have a talent, start doing your own thing on the side, unbeknownst to your boss if necessary. You have nothing to lose, just the potential of extra cash. If it takes off, you have only gained your own life back. If not, try something else, but never give up. Stop making money for a stranger who couldn’t care less as to whether you live or die, and start making money for the person that actually matters – yourself.