This isn’t something be proud of, exactly, but the longest job that I ever had was for 4 months. They were: dishwasher, bus boy, food runner, waiter, car washer, rental car driver, cashier, stockbroker trainee, and a toy salesman. My last job was as a project manager for a web development / interactive media firm in New York City. I started in April ’06 and left in the beginning of August. The main reason for leaving or sometimes even being fired (once or twice) was simply because I was never happy working for someone else.
The first few weeks I was able to put on a nice big smile and pretend that everything was ok. Actually, I always “tried” to like the job but always failed. After time went by, I couldn’t fake it anymore and the fake cheesy smile disappeared and it became evident that I didn’t want to be there.
I hated the bureaucracy. I hated all the rules. I hated making cents and not being paid a lot when I knew that the company owners were millionaires and I was making snack money. I hated being reprimanded for mistakes. In the world or entrepreneurship, mistakes are good and help us learn. In corporate America, mistakes cost you your job and you aren’t given the chance to learn.
What else? I hated being lied to by my bosses. I was once told that I would be getting paid $10 per hour and a month later when I got the first check, they said “oopps I meant to say $6 per hour.” One time while working for a restaurant I was told that the first two weeks would be a “trial” to see if I was cut out for the job. It was a non-paid “trial.” Everyday that I worked, my boss patted me on the back and said: “you’re doing an excellent job and you’ll be hired.” The day before I was to start, he called me up and said that he no longer wanted me. WOW — two weeks of free labor. I figure he does that 26 times a year, equaling an entire year of free labor from 26 suckers (26 people x 2 weeks of bullshit trickery = 52 weeks = 1 year of free workers).
So I have compiled this list (part fun / part serious / part joking) as a way for entrepreneurs who are currently slaving away for jobs that they hate and bosses that treat them badly and companies that unfairly pay. This list isn’t to be taken as a literal manual to do anything illegal or corrupt — take it for face value and have a laugh! Maybe I’ll motivate you to leave and go full force with your company. Or, maybe it’ll give you something to read at work. Either way, you’ll be that much closer to quitting — I hope.
Turn Every Off
Ok, so you’ve had it and you can’t take it any longer. It’s 6AM, you partied with your pals last night, and there is no way you are going to make it to work today. In fact, you plan on never going back. You’ve already got your last check. Yes, the alarm is buzzing and your boss is calling your phone and dropping emails in your blackberry. Please proceed to unplugging your alarm, shutting off the blackberry, and unplugging the router for your digital phone and calmly shut your eyes and go back to dreaming.
At least Get Your Paid Vacation
It’s been 3 months since you’ve been working at your new job. You absolutely hate it. All day you spend your time reading blogs and writing emails to your pals. Well look at the bright side, it’s been 3 months and you now qualify for your 2 week vacation. Tell your boss you’d like to take your paid vacation starting next week. After your “paid” vacation, call up your boss and say goodbye. If you plan to quit, at least take your vacation before your quit!
The Entrepreneur Letter of Resignation
Pull a nice white sheet of computer paper out of your printer and get yourself a nice black magic marker. Now write the following “I HATE THIS JOB. I HATE THE PAY. I THINK I HATE YOU. I’M STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS. I’M AN ENTREPRENEUR! I QUIT. SUCKER!” And hand it to your boss and walk out.
Might As Well Get Free Software
The day you leave, open your favorite FTP client and connect to your server. Open up the applications folder on your company computer and drag the folders (applications) of your choice onto your server-side window. And don’t forget to rip all of your co-workers itunes music with “itunes redux” software. Now delete the FTP client, shut off your computer, and walk out for good.
Start Taking Mini Vacations
Ok, this method is best used for people who “want” to get fired or for people who plan on quitting within the next 3 months — whichever happens first, it won’t matter. Start by studying your boss: when he walks around, how long he takes a break for, the times he usually calls upon you, etc. You have to know all of his moves. Once you’ve done your homework, start taking an extra break here and there. Call up some buddies and meet them at the bar during your lunch break and have a few drinks for an hour. When you return and if your boss still isn’t around, quietly slip back to the bar for another 30mins to 1 hour or so. Continue this behavior for 3 months, then leave if you haven’t already been fired. It’s a win-win — you got to party the last 3 months of working AND you got paid for it.
Fire Your Boss
Being the entrepreneur that you are, you have a growing list of a million inefficiencies and bad work practices that you have noticed and painfully endured since you have been working at the job. You’ve tried to make changes and speak your voice, but every time that you do, you get a bureaucratic brick thrown in your face. That’s it!! You’ve had enough! Storm into your bosses office and say the following “boss, please sit down, I’d like to talk to you. Over the past few months I have been closely evaluating your performance and your level of productivity has been dropping. You have proven yourself incompetent and have no idea what you are doing. You’re FIRED!!” Now smile, stand up, and walk out and never return.
Build Your Business Team Before You Go
Over the past few months you have been getting close to some of the other younger guys at your office. Like you, they hate the job and would rather be working for themselves. They are also natural born entrepreneurs and feel “forced” to work the dreaded 9-to-5. Every day, continue speaking to these select co-workers about entrepreneurship and starting a company; share stories with them, talk to them about the latest Business 2.0 articles, and have brainstorm sessions about future startups. One day, when the time is right, get up, jump on top of your desk, and give a speech about entrepreneurship and how young entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to start a business. State that you are leaving the company and “if any of you would like to come with me and join my startup, you are welcome. Let’s get out of here.” Hopefully you now have your founding team.
Run Your Business From Your Cubicle
If you’re slick enough, you can do this for a long time before you leave. In fact, I became a master at this before I left my last job. You have everything that you can possibly need, a phone, fax, computer, printer, etc., to run your startup directly out of your company office. If you need to fax a client, go right ahead and use the company fax, nobody is going to ask you what you are faxing. Keep your gmail account minimized and pop it open when no one is around; send some emails and check your inbox for new updates. In fact, you should be able to squeeze in at least 4 – 5 hours of “startup” work per day because the fact of the matter is that most employees only work a total of 2-3 hours of “real” work per day. You may as well run your company and make the most of your time before you quit. This is ideal for entrepreneurs working a 9-to-5 in order to raise capital for their startup. Once you have enough, get out of there!
So there you have it. Now, what are you going to do?
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