Get Out If You Can

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Some years ago I walked away from my super-high paying cubicle job in the financial district of London, and haven't been back since. Believe it or not, I was a proper corporate dude working for some of the largest companies in the world.

For years, I showed up before time, unfailingly come rain or shine, sickness or health. I had to! Part of my job was to ensure all the trading systems were up and running before market open, otherwise millions of dollars would be "lost". It was one of those zero-tolerance, fail and get fired, high octane jobs.

The second part of my job was to produce complex analysis of our trading activity from the technology point of view, as well as detect (and fix) any problems with the system. It was basically one of those "it's all your fault" jobs, where you take the fall for anything that happens.

I was an analyst.

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Self portrait in the elevator on my last day at work in the "City"


Truth be told, I really wasn't cut out for that environment, even though I was really good at the job. It's not surprising though. I, like most other people with a western education, have been prepared for this sort of job all my life.

Since the beginning, I was made to sit at a desk of some kind for a structured number of hours, doing a structured number of things. It was less strict in nursery school, but as I approached working age, the education style became more and more like the eventual working environment I'd find myself in.

By the way, it's the same regardless of class - with the exception of the elite class. If you find yourself in the working classes, you'd be in a factory assembly line of sorts. In the middle classes, you'd be at a cubicle, or a virtual one like I was in.

I didn't actually sit at a cubicle. I had my own lovely desk space with some high end computer equipment. I was pals with the IT guys, so I was always negotiating for the best gadgets. Also, because I knew as much about computers as the IT guys, I was often the de-facto IT person at our department, hence saving the IT guys a lot of time and effort. They loved me.

They loved me, of course, until something went wrong. Then I become public enemy number 1, and the cause of everyone's problems. It was a really challenging job, with a pay to match. I'm proud to say that I did it with distinction, like a good corporate robot.

There came a time when we started experiencing "cuts" due to the global financial crisis. Hundreds, of jobs were lost at our company and dozens of departments were closed altogether. I survived three rounds of redundancies until I was left with just one colleague.

The two of us did the job that was previously the responsibility of eight team members! Because we were both quite good at our job, and upped our game, the company assumed this situation was ok. We pilled on some more work from other departments that had closed too.

This went on for about a year or so until I started feeling the stress pretty badly, and it started to affect my wellbeing - both physical and mental. My immune system took a nose-dive and I got ill for the first time in five years. It was just the common cold, but I never used to get colds. I got a few of them back-to-back, and for the first time in a decade, I think I got the winter blues.

At the same time, I also had some family issues, and my dad took ill. The whole situation was just too much for me. I had a great manager at the time so I spoke to him about it. He advised me to take some time off, but I couldn't - since I only had one other colleague and there was no way he could do the job on his own.

The higher-ups agreed to hire someone extra to give us the ability to take the legally obligated 10 concurrent days off. I decided to wait until the new hire before taking the time off to recharge. One month became two, three, four, five, and no new hire. There was always some excuse why. We even had one guy come in who declined the offer after understanding what the role entailed.

Then came another restructuring, and I lost my awesome manager. Another person was brought in that seemed more concerned with the bottom line than the wellbeing of the staff. The only respite I got from that was the fact that we were merged with an offshore team, meaning I could then finally take that time off. I intended to travel somewhere warm and peaceful to regenerate my body and mind.

I had put on some weight and let go of my diet and exercise regimes. I used to run quite a lot, and would even run home from work at least twice a week. I was fit and healthy before the long, stressful hours made me swap my home-cooked meals for restaurant takeouts and sugar laced cappuccinos from the coffee machine. I must have been drinking about three cups an hour. It was bad.

So I finally booked the time off on the system. My manager was supposed to approve the holiday on the system, to enable me to actually take the time off. The time came and, nothing. He didn't not approve my holiday, he just didn't notice I had booked one.

I was a given. A part of the furniture, expected to be there come rain or shine. I had been taken for granted.

In hindsight, that was probably the best thing that happened to me in that place, because it opened my eyes to my real status in the corporate beast. I was but just another number to be milked and squeezed dry, and discarded of when no longer needed.

I decided I wanted no more of it, and handed in my notice that very day.

The thing is, because of the sensitivity of my role, the notice period was zero days. So I should have been escorted off the premises by my manger and not allowed to log back into my machine. I had access to everything and had the potential to cause serious damage to the company if I decided to be malicious - hence the policy.

Because I had worked there for so long, however, I was allowed to work for another month. Besides, they had nobody else to turn to. My colleague had called in sick that day, and the offshore guys were marginally above useless. So, actually, it was out of desperation that I was allowed to work there, not because of any trust or love they had for me.

The funny thing is, for the last four weeks I worked there, most people didn't even realise I was leaving. Only some of the friends I had made that really cared about me realised.

It was customary in the company for the manager and the leaving employee to give a mini speech on their last day. The team members and other interested staff would also normally raise a little pot of money to buy some kind of departing gift.

On my occasion, I got a card with some haphazard comments from the people I worked for. There was one of them that came over to have a chat with me. I remember him, James, he was very caring and a genuine person. The only thing that almost teared me up a bit was that a relatively new hire in another department - an American, had gone out of her way to buy me some parting token gifts from her own pocket. She is the only person I stayed in contact with till today, even though she's now back in America. I really value people like that.


Get out!

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If I can offer some advice to someone who's currently in the situation I was in, it would be to get out now, before it's too late.

I get it. It's hard, very very hard to do. It's easier if you're single and have no children, but if you have a family to feed, it's infinitely more difficult. If you do get the slightest chance to remove yourself from such a toxic environment, do it! Run and don't look back.

It took an epiphany to make me realise what path I was going down. I had been prepared for it all my life. I even wanted it, but deep down, I wasn't cut out for it.

Don't get me wrong, some people ARE cut out for the corporate rat-race. If you are one of such, then more power to you. You should stay and achieve your best. The rest of us, if you're like me, are not. I am a creative person by nature, so even though I was good at my corporate job, I wasn't operating in my excellence.

I'd like to think I am closer to my correct path now. I am doing more of the stuff I love, creatively and otherwise, but for much, much less money. I am a lot happier than I was, and I'm less likely to die of high blood pressure, or jump out of a window like someone actually did in my building back then.

I have since travelled to so many places and had such wonderful experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have also created alternative ways of making money to sustain myself. It's doesn't have the apparent "security" of a city job, but as I learnt the hard way, that is a false sense of security.

In the corporate machine you're always a redundancy round away from the unemployment register.

I know it sounds easier said than done, and you've probably heard this over and over, but;

Life is short. Do what you love.



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Peace and Love ✌🏿
Adé

All copy and photos are original content by me.
© adetorrent.com

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@tipu curate

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Upvoted 👌 (Mana: 0/3)

My Goodness what a reflection! It's 12 midnight here man and reading this for close to ten minutes just made me realised that once one's health is compromised, the money isn't really shouldn't be in contention anymore. I knew you might have been a corporate guy but I didn't know you were in so big at a time. I'm glad you got out at the end

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Yeah, I was a hot shot haha. Me too, I'm glad. Health above wealth all day everyday :)

I felt like you were speaking directly to me and about me! I have it on my to do and continue to work towards that day!

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I wish you the best. I hope you're able to achieve it soon.

Great read!! I love to hear when some has had enough and dropped out of the Bullshit that white people are conditioned to do, so welcome to the first steps to freedom!

Did you leave London? I havent been back to Uk in 8years, dont really miss it either 🤣

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ROTFLOL. No, I'm still in the Big Smoke haha.

A really nice. The best I have read in a long time here. I like personal stories like this that are very relatable. I'm on a similar, though it's quite difficult and to be honest for the past one year I have been doing what I love but not the way I want it. I have been chasing money because I have little or no option. I want to change this by next year hopefully. Maybe I will talk about this in my next article. You are one of the people I look up to. I look at you some times and youre actually living my dream--a dream of a free man. I hope God permits me such luxury.

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Thanks man. I hope you're able to live that dream some day. It's never easy, and I did sacrifice a significant amount of time sadly, but I'm glad to have finally stepped off the speed train :)

Well done 😎 Pleased I've met you in this life, not your previous one. You don't look happy in that lift picture on your last day.

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Hahaha. Yeah, I was pretty different back then. Also, in that photo I had no plan of what to do afterwards. Daunting times.

I have just started such a nice myself (2 months now), for all the same reasons!
Yes the "insecure security", doing very well (esp. in IT), being so good You get taken for granted..
All of it, and not personally doing "any better"!
More Power To You!
Have A Most Blessed Day!!
👍🏼😀👍🏼

Posted using Partiko Android

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This story brought back memories for me, some fresh and some distant. My IT career (in what feels like a past life) was a lot like what you described. On-call 24x7 with a 2 or 3 week rotation, and supporting more and more systems with the same level of staff. It never got as bad as you had it but definitely became a grind.

I left when a new role that I had negotiated fell through. The thing is, I had always been drawn to the markets and really wanted to be a trader, so I spent a good 5 years or more going down that path. I actually figured out fairly quickly that I didn't want to sit at a computer and trade so I made use of my IT and programming skills to develop a trading algo. But, it never got good enough to let loose. Then:

It took an epiphany to make me realise what path I was going down. I had been prepared for it all my life. I even wanted it, but deep down, I wasn't cut out for it.

I was putting all of my creative energy into something that I don't believe in. I had mistakenly convinced myself that I needed money in order to create but I had it backwards. Money can be a tool but we are creators first and foremost.

I'm glad that you got out.

Well, this is an interesting story. Thanks for inspiring me and hope one day you achieve Nirvana.

P.s if you're into fitness content my channel is always welcoming you

My work on Our planet is to remove the corporation by way of making money moot. My life was spent, first identifying the foundational problem, the foundational tool, the means to remove that tool, and creating a blueprint for Human society to emerge, fully free and Ethical, without that tool. The tool is money, the accounting for Our energy added into a community/system. It promotes psychopaths to power - which is the foundational problem: We have psychopaths in control. I have drawn up the blueprint and now My work is in both sharing it, and convincing Others to help in sharing it. And to build the infrastructure needed.

If society was built on the foundation I offer the blueprint for, You would have been "trained" to follow Your bliss, fulfill Your potential, make Your dreams a reality, not be a "Human resource" to be used up and cast away. I am hoping Others will help create the foundation for future generations to come.

See My playlist on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyPmuhBYhW1za9rIg2qqJj1JcUtxBUeho