Hustle Porn? This isn’t your Father’s Porn!

Remember your first job?

Remember your first check . . . and how small it was? It didn’t take long for me to realize that a minimum wage job wasn’t going to cut it.

I’ve worked hard my whole life. My first real job was at Burger King and I worked 50 to 60 hours a week and sometimes when given the opportunity, as many as 70 hours. Did I work because I liked money? Did I work because of the lack of social life?

It certainly wasn’t because I loved money. I worked for minimum wage and minimum wage at the time was $3.35 per hour. If I loved money, I would’ve made the leap from high school to college immediately, but there were obstacles beyond my control which made it impossible for that transition.

It’s true I didn’t have much of a social life, but I had adjusted to the lack of one years earlier. Growing up in a blue-collar family and on top of that having no looks didn’t help. Add-in growing up in the military and being dragged around the world and constantly losing my friends made me anti-social.

I think what made me a hard worker was the Protestant work ethic I picked up somewhere along the way.

The Protestant work ethic is a concept in theology, sociology, economics and history which emphasizes hard work, discipline and frugality will lead a person to happiness. I definitely worked hard and had the discipline to show up for work on time, if not early and stay late into the night.

Frugality? Not so much because there were things I wanted to buy and at minimum wage, how much could I really save? As far as saving money? The interest rates on savings accounts was a joke as they are today.

It’s claimed that the Protestant work ethics [and values] gave birth to capitalism. Some argue that the Protestant work ethic didn’t create capitalism, in fact, capitalism developed in pre-Reformation Catholic communities. To be more specific, capitalism began in Italy in the 14th century. This sounds just like another Protestant verses Catholic argument to me.

Where my work ethic evolved from is irrelevant, I believe I’m losing my work ethic altogether. I will always work because I need to survive. Don’t get me wrong, but my drive to work, work, work is fading. Instead of going to work to do a good job, I just go to work and do what I must do and then leave; no staying late, no coming in early except if it benefits me.

I believe I know why, and I’ve made a rough timeline of sorts:

Growing up I was constantly told by my parents, my school, and by society if you want a decent job you must graduate from high school. So, I did, and it took me four years to get a job, my Burger King job.

Then I was told after I graduated if I wanted a decent job I needed a degree. So, I earned a bachelor’s degree and still slaved away at a minimum wage job. A few years after I graduated from college, I was told a person needed an advanced degree if they wanted a decent job.

Before I go further, I have to say that when I was growing up and all the way to the eighties being a veteran in the Armed Forces was a honorable position. My father and uncles were veterans and they did well, what more proof did I need.

I served in the military just after 9/11 and even served in combat in Iraq. I returned highly decorated and a disabled combat vet (nothing too seriously, no PTSD either). Well, being a veteran, a combat veteran who saw action was now considered a liability, so I went back to school.

I went back to college and received a graduate degree. I was going to be a teacher but then for some reason, the city I lived in decided they didn’t need any teachers and put a moratorium on hiring.

Can you really blame a person for losing their work ethic?

Along the way I earned six or so tech certificates in various tech related fields. I minored in Computer Science earlier in college. I taught myself how to develop websites just using notepad. I taught myself how to code and had a respectable portfolio. This really impressed those doing the interviews, but they wanted experience.

I give up!

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Despite having all these qualifications, I’m stuck working minimum wage jobs or just above the minimum wage. I am stuck with student debt that is impossible to pay off, and I want to pay it off. I must work two jobs just to make ends meet.

Let’s add in the latest critiques of the free market ideology’s newest darling: Hustle Porn.

Those who subscribe to “hustle porn” theology indirectly believe that if a person doesn’t become successful then they didn’t work hard enough. Working ridiculously long hours, sacrificing time with your friends and family all in the name of success.

Hustle Porn is a toxic and dangerous thing in tech at the moment. The idea that you must be suffering, grinding, and working every hour of every day; if you’re not working hard enough you will never succeed.

A side note, “Hustle porn” differs from being a workaholic only because a workaholic’s goal is to make money and those who prescribe to “hustle porn,” the end game for them is to make money…and be a success.

What went wrong?

Was it me or was it society?

Maybe capitalism doesn’t work anymore. I’m not saying America should change to a socialist economy but maybe we should rethink and re-examine capitalism.

Photo by Sunrise on Unsplash

Maybe I should embrace the welfare state and live off taxpayers. Altruism by strangers for strangers is an attempt to fill a moral wasteland by giving charity to the casualty's of industrialism and the wretched of capitalism and as much as I’ve tried, I’ve become a dupeof capitalism.

Another side note, I’ve always been against the welfare state and accepting any form of state welfare except for the period I was homeless. I’ve avoided the use of the welfare state religiously, but the times, they are a changing.

Either way, whether I work three jobs or embrace the welfare state, I’ve lost the Protestant work ethic.

I’m a blogger and writer, and soon to be published author. I’m a disabled, combat vet who has found himself exiled in London. If you like my work, please don’t hesitate to follow and maybe throw a little support my way in the form of a donation at paypal.me/JBaxley.

Thanks for your support

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A Grain of Salt

A Grain of Salt

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I’m an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. I’m a 4x top writer.