Reddit is a digital version of the old water cooler, or the even older cracker barrel — a place where people can get together to discuss whatever nutty nonsense is on their minds. It sounded like a pretty stupid idea to me, but since the site has an estimated 234 million “unique users,” and probably just as many who are not unique in any way, I’ll have to admit that after all these years, I’ve finally made my first mistake.
One area of the website is devoted to critical career questions.
Why these posters decided to crowd source career advice instead of coming directly to me is a mystery. (I asked Siri and Alexa and neither one had a clue. Nor did either one have the slightest interest in meeting me for a drinky-winky after work. Another mystery!)
Take Cats_Cradle, who “recently took a job as an entry level IT support technician for a large, national sales company.” When the company installed a new warehouse management system, Cats_Cradle faced “insane hours.”
“I haven’t had a day off in 30 days now and we’re working 12-hour days besides Sunday, which is a ‘half day’ of 8 hours.” These working conditions have had an effect on Cats_Cradle feline sensitivity. “It’s really been getting to me and I’ve been caring less and less about my rationalizations that this is a good opportunity, and more and more about me and my coworkers mental health.”
Interestingly, not one person out of the 234 million Reddit community responded to this heart-wrenching call for help. I suggest it’s because the idea of an IT person having a terrible time at work is just so wonderful that we’re all too busy enjoying the situation.
Considering the superior attitudes of IT types, or the merciless disinterest they show in finding timely solutions to our serious computer problems, like forgetting to plug in the stupid things, Reddit users must feel that Cats_Cradle is getting exactly the level of grief she deserves.
My advice? Stick with the job, Cats_Cradle. Ignore the stress, endure the hours, and in a year or three, you will be as fed up with technology as the rest of us.
Winter_Baby20 “hopes someone can help me out because it’s important to me that I do what I love at work.”
What Winter_Baby20 would love is “working like 20-28 a week, pay like $30,000 – $45,000, and interests like animal careers.”
Again, the Reddit community is not sympathetic. As one extremely unique user responds, “no, your magic snowflake job that pays $30K-$48K on half a weeks work while you cuddle with cute widdle animals does not exist.”
This is not only mean; it’s also not true! Remember, Winter_Baby20, your coworkers are animals, too. I’m sure your company is full of employees like Cats_Cradle — a self-identified animal you might notice — who would be totally at peace with her punishing schedule if only someone would offer a widdle cuddle. It may seem scary, but let’s face it — it’s a lot better than cleaning up after incontinent mastiffs.
Very_strange_man also has a problem. “I’m physically starting to fall apart and mentally, as well,” he writes when describing the results of his 78-hour a week job. The good news is that very_strange_man is being courted by what must be a very strange company that is offering him “10 percent more doing 20 percent less hours a week.”
So, what’s the problem? The other company wants him to start in four days and that wouldn’t allow for the standard two-week notice. You won’t be surprised to learn that all the responses insist that very_strange_man decamps immediately and the heck with the two weeks.
I disagree. I suggest giving the company two years, or maybe, two decades notice. When the new employer finds out how very strange the very_strange_man actually is, they’ll show him the door, toots sweet.
As we somewhat-strange men and women know, your present employers may be monsters, but they’re used to your strange ways. Why spend all the time and effort to break in a new monster?
I trust that my advice has been useful, though I have to say, I’m coming away from this dalliance with Reddit with a critical career posting of my own.
It’s quite simple, really. All I want is for the 234 million Reddit users to tell me where I can find a “snowflake job.”
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.