The armrest on the bus was stabbing me in my side. The seat on the small van was too small
Goodbye Corporate. Good Luck. See You Never.
Gen. X is done working for corporations. Other generations are following.
The absence of anger took me by surprise. My daily enragement evaporated. I didn't know it was a part of my life until it was gone.
That was most striking to me after I left my retail career after twenty years. I didn’t even realize how often I was angry, but after I left and was reflecting, I realized I’d been angry a lot.
An email or some asinine direction from my boss would get me started — either that or some ridiculous customer request. After that, I’d talk about it with my leadership team.
“How dumb is this?” I’d fume.
“So dumb!” They’d agree.
“Do they even know what we do in stores? We don’t have time for this!” I’d carry on. That anger would eat into my day. It would tear up the better part of an hour. It was so normal to me that I didn’t even realize the toll. My blood pressure would spike, and I’d waste so much time on meaningless crap that I couldn’t control. Welcome to working for corporate. You earn a paycheck but hand over your health and sanity.
Thanks for nothing.
Those of us who have been in the workforce for a while now are done with working for corporations. We’re out.
I’ve paid my taxes and held down jobs for the past twenty-five years. While I wouldn’t change a thing about my work experience, I don’t know if I’d ever return to working for a corporation.
I can’t stomach it anymore. Neither can my friends.
One of my friends worked for Microsoft in their heyday. He handled giant accounts. He worked his guts out there for a decade. Then, they made moves and laid him off.
Thanks for nothing.
In his past two jobs, his corporate bosses have been the stuff your nightmares are made of. Imagine the worst boss ever. Someone who does nothing, talks all the time, takes all the credit, and strangles all of the autonomy out of you like a dishrag — a total terror.
He’s spent thirty years trying to live that corporate/suit lifestyle and finally realized that he doesn’t care anymore. He doesn’t care if the company makes money, succeeds, or goes under. Whatever.
He’s totally over it.
“The most business-savvy person in any room I was ever in was me.” He told me. Now, he’s looking at starting his own business. He wants nothing to do with software or suits or effing corporate.
No glass office. No view. No dry cleaning.
Every time I talk to him, I give him a pep talk. He can’t leave as easily as I did. Major moves take time. But we Gen X-ers are over the game. It’s a game we won’t win.
We'll Figure it Out
We don’t want the beer fridge, the ping pong tables, or the yellow couch. We don’t want the gym or the cold brew on tap.
We want to be in charge of our time. We are rebelling against micromanaging self-important bosses who send pointless emails and waste our time. We can’t take it anymore.
Not one more meeting. Not one more Slack notification. No more.
We figured out how to walk home from school by ourselves, get in the house, and make dinner alone at age eight. We can figure out how to be a solo entrepreneur.
We can drive a stick shift and read a map. We grew up before the internet. We don’t need your benefits package, sir. Thank you anyway.
In high school, we roamed the hallways, sold jewelry we made as a side hustle, and threw secret parties in the desert. Our parents never had any idea where we were. I think we can figure out how email marketing works.
I don’t know what corporate will do without us, and I don’t really care.
This beautiful, delicate earth is being destroyed by greedy humans who run powerful corporations, and I’m done being a part of it.
I made my career in retail — fast fashion. The fast fashion items people buy, wear twice, and then throw in landfills.
Although I loved building and leading teams, consumerism is pretty gross to watch close up every day. I’d watch people buy stuff they didn’t need every hour of every day. After two decades of that, I no longer want many material things.
I want my time. I want my health. I want to spend time with my family and friends and won’t trade that for a paycheck anymore.
It’s not worth it.
Gen. X is walking away, Millennials are fed up, and Gen. Z is already getting hip to the fact that the forty-hour work week no longer works.
Goodbye corporate. Good luck. See you never.
Based in Southern California, Kit Campoy is a former retail leader turned freelance writer. She covers Retail, Leadership, and Business.
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