Why do so many people hate their jobs?

Updated Jun 8

It depends on the person and the job, and can range from very general to very specific.

Some people set a sort of baseline when they are children.

Maybe they grew up in a fairly comfortable environment, without perceiving overt financial stress. They may have perceived that their father just sort of disappeared for hours every day, and a middle-class standard of living just magically appeared. They may assume that the breadwinning parent goes to a nice, friendly, low-stress environment, to hang out and socialise with coworkers all day, and receives a nice big paycheque for dong so. They may assume that an employed person simply shows up to a job because s/he feels like it, when s/he feels like it, and expends whatever level of effort s/he feels like. Many children are absolutely coddled and shielded from adversity, stress, hurt feelings, etc, and grow up assuming that working adults are also coddled.

The child enjoys the comfortable standard of living, without having to work at a job, and may perceive everything as being “free”, and automatically provided without having to be earned. By the time they reach legal adulthood, many of them have developed massive senses of entitlement.

Then, all of a sudden, they are expected to get a job. This may involve putting forth more effort than ever before, dealing with more demands, dealing with people who aren’t their friends or family, and who aren’t going to coddle them. They may feel offended by the idea that, an employer isn’t some kind of substitute parent, with an obligation to hand over money simply because the entitled person needs some. They may feel frightened by the threat that they need to either get their work done, and act civilised, or they may be fired by a boss who doesn’t care if they end up homeless. Or they may completely fail to recognise this risk.

And, on top of that, they may experience a lowering of their material standard of living. Such as going from a nice house to a small apartment. They may have had zero concept of how hard their parent(s) had to work to provide the comfortable childhood.

A female-biased issue is the social message that, adult women are entitled to a breadwinning husband or boyfriend. Many girls grow up with a non-employed housewife mother as their primary adult role model. If they grow up and can’t find a spouse/partner to support them, they feel victimised, like society broke its promise to them. This is one aspect of the general attitude that, everybody else is accountable to the hurt feelings of the self-centred little princess, and that, those feelings are evidence of actual victimisation.

In contrast, most boys are raised with the message that, employment will be required of them (for self-support, and as a condition of receiving attention from women) and that nobody cares about their feelings on the matter. This is actually a major source of men’s advantaged position, because it pressures them to act like responsible adults, take care of themselves, and to avoid leeching off of others. It also pressures them to avoid whining or expecting sympathy about it.

Another issue can be ignorance, and denials of the connection between behaviour and outcomes. I have actually encountered grown women who believed that, all jobs pay exactly minimum wage, for (at most) forty hours per week, and that, a job is only viable if it is something that the laziest, least-skilled person could do. This feeds a sense of helplessness.

Many people have a coercion mentality, and will only put forth the absolute minimum effort needed to have housing, food, and a television to watch. Thus, they feel that, the time and effort spent at a job is something that they are being coerced into with threats to their survival, and to the necessities which they feel entitled to receive for free.

Some people have massive competition issues, and may feel enraged at the thought that someone else earns more money, or has better working conditions, or higher status. This relates to feeling victimised by their own situation.

Another female-biased issue is about hours. If you tell a man that you work more than forty hours per week, and/or that you are paid on productivity, they are likely to accept it, due to socialisation to prioritise work in their own lives. In contrast, I have encountered women who treated me like I was doing something horrifically dysfunctional and even evil, by working long hours, and/or having productivity-based earnings. These individuals acted victimised and enraged by my work schedule and/or payment structure. It was like I was “raising the bar” for adult responsibility, and winning some kind of competition for who earns more money. Some got offended at the idea that, I might use skills/knowledge/aptitude that they lacked. Some women’s aversion to work is so severe as to feel personally victimised by somebody else’s job.

Yet another job-hating point relates to coworkers. Somebody might feel envy, and engage in tall-poppy syndrome. This can include resentment on, “How dare that university student have the prospect of escaping this job after graduation”, to asking intrusive questions on your personal life, and feeling offended if it is different to theirs (e.g. if you are single and childfree, while they have unplanned kids consuming much of their paycheque).

There is also, of course, the aggravation of coworkers gossiping about your personal life. Along with the cliquishness.

Some people have a compulsion to establish that, everyone around them is incompetent. I once had a coworker who ran her mouth constantly, LOUDLY, about how stupid practically everyone else was, over incredibly petty things, to the point of distracting us, and herself, from getting work done. She hated the job, and frequently stated the need and intention to move on to something better, but is likely still right there, spewing the same negativity, and inspiring other people to hate the job due to her behaviour.

On the other side, constantly bullying coworkers (and/or supervisors) are a very legitimate reason for hating one’s job. I have experienced coworker bullying in front of elderly clients, and had an environment where the bullying increased physical safety hazards to those clients and to the staff.

One coworker may hold an incredibly petty but openly seething grudge against another coworker, which toxifies the atmosphere for other people who aren’t even the target of the grudge.

Some people love to complain to supervisors, about a coworker that they don’t like, up to the point of lying to try to cause the target to be disciplined or fired.

Some people like to slack off (unscheduled cigarette breaks, standing around socialising, etc), and leave you to do all the work.

Some coworkers are thieves, down to stealing your lunch (including the box) out of the break room. And, if you leave another lunch in there tomorrow, they will steal that one, too (including the box).

Some coworkers (and customers) have incredibly poor communication skills, and will blame you for the resulting difficulty. This is not necessarily involving immigrants with language issues.

Other interpersonal negativity can involve a coworker who brings their personal problems into the workplace. It could be someone who is fuming and directing contempt towards you, and then you overhear her on the phone, regarding the argument she had with her husband this morning. Or somebody carrying on and on about their children. I once dealt with someone who ranted non-stop about her divorce, for almost the entirety of every shift, and had been doing so for over a year.

At one job, it was known that, a certain area of the building was infected with racial/ethnic resentment, directed against european/caucasian/white people, to the point of refusing to engage appropriate teamwork.

Some people think that their particular job is beneath them. This includes people trapped in low-level jobs due to poor attitude, lack of effort, lack of skills, and/or lack of interpersonal civility.

I would expect that, there are people whose job-hatred includes the fact that they may be required to suppress compulsive electronic behaviours, such as playing with their telephone, or scrolling through FaceBook, playing video games, or watching pornography.

Many jobs actually do have poor physical and interpersonal conditions. I have had jobs with disgusting tasks, physical demands (and attendant risks), noise, hazardous equipment and substances, outdoor environments, etc. One job featured many close encounters with drug addicts and other desperate criminals, with a high risk of assault (including homicide) and armed robbery. Emphasised by actually experiencing an armed robbery.

Working with the public, and also some business-to-business situations, will expose you to a constant stream of obnoxious, irrational, inappropriate, demanding, complaining, time-wasting, bigoted, harassing, moronic people. Many enjoy bullying workers, and the power dynamic. If you speak with a foreign accent (no matter how clear or easy to understand), get ready to have strangers interrogate you about it every five minutes, with some even getting openly angry (interestingly, yet another strongly female-biased pattern, based on interpersonal competition and tall-poppy syndrome).

Jobs involving vulnerable people (children, elderly, disabled) may include the risk of being falsely accused of predatory, criminal behaviour. Even an accusation, appearance, or suspicion is extremely dangerous. This risk can be stressful, no matter how innocent you are.

I have witnessed people working in adult education (e.g. lower-tier polytechnics and community colleges), who had to tolerate incredibly obnoxious student behaviours (including stunning levels of classroom disruption), while being pressured by management to maintain a certain percentage of passing grades, to the point of zero academic integrity. I’ve also read some real horror stories about teaching primary and secondary school.

Bosses, supervisors, coworkers, and/or customers may subject you to sexual harassment. Or may take an incessant attitude that, certain jobs are only done by men, or are only done by women, and that you are breaking some kind of rules if you disobey this restriction. If you are a woman who dresses modestly and simply, you may be harassed for that, and, in some situations, run afoul of openly sexist dress codes.

Some bosses and managers are chronically abusive and/or incompetent in a range of ways.

Many jobs actually do pay very poorly for the level of time and effort involved. I once had a boss who openly sat down with me, and asked questions to the effect of, how little he could pay me, and I would still just barely afford food and shelter, while doing exhausting physical labour.

Some workplaces are extremely disorganised. This can also relate to poor orientation procedures, mass poor communication, scheduling glitches, etc.

I once had an employer who played games with taxes, including falsely categorising employees as independent contractors, leading to problems with the taxation authorities, including unexpected debts. The two owners were generally engaged in other forms of fraud, as well. There were also repeated, incompetence-based instances of paycheques bouncing. Add on sexism and possibly illegal/discriminatory firing.

Some jobs are casual-scheduled, without any set number of hours per week, and situations like being awoken by the telephone and, “Somebody called in sick. Can you be here in 20 minutes? We will be short-staffed if you don’t”. You can refuse, or might not be reachable, but this will quickly result in them ceasing to offer any work at all (without officially firing you). Some will also set rules prohibiting you from getting a second job.

Many people fear any sort of change, and that fear helps to trap them into situations (jobs, locations, relationships, etc) in which they feel miserable. Some claim to have an attitude that, the “right” (mature, responsible, stable, common-sense) path is to just get the first low-skill, low-wage job that comes along, and accept staying there for one’s entire working life. Some will denigrate you if you have ever voluntarily resigned from a job (calling you an immature, irresponsible, unstable moron deadbeat), even if you had immediately walked into a much better-paying job with better conditions. Or if you resigned to relocate to a more prosperous geographic area, with better job prospects. Or if you resigned in order to devote your time to higher education, with the goal getting a better job. They will denigrate you, but it’s really about envy, projecting competition, and their own fear and refusal to take responsibility.

Do intelligent and qualified people have tattoos?

Updated May 21

Whether I am intelligent or qualified (and the value of those things) is debatable.


The main personal application of intelligence is rationally taking in information, and using it to make good decisions. “Good” could mean effective, efficient, safe, conducive to your goals, etc.

While all activities have risks, the kinds and levels of risks (versus rewards) are a large part making good decisions. Considering environment, context, and other people (attitudes/behaviours/authority-abuses, etc), are also important.

For a brief period as a young adult (without any formal “qualifications”) I had an employer with a somewhat micro-managing appearance policy. This included seemingly sexist things like hair length for men, and that only women were allowed earrings (one per ear, 2.5 cm maximum size). As you might expect, it also stated, “No visible tattoos”.

The logic of this wasn’t necessarily a small-minded or bigoted employer. Rather, it was the reality of a high-volume, “family-friendly” business, with public-facing employees who needed to be acceptable to a very wide range of the public.

On my side, it was the reality that, I desperately needed a job to keep a roof over my head.

The smart thing to do there was, obviously, not to get any tattoos. And to understand that, in the future (no matter how intelligent I allegedly am, or how qualified I may become), I might need to resort to such a job again.

Another concern is dealings with legal systems. Even if you are an innocent, law-abiding complainant, police and criminal court personnel may be biased. That may also occur in civil matters. Add on airport security and immigration staff. Bias by any of these people can be quite dangerous.

Applying for a bank loan? Or an apartment? There is that bias again.

Tattoos may have different styles.

Visible tattoos are, by definition, publicly visible. One might think, “Why would I want/need for random strangers to see this, or perceive the statement it expresses? Why should random strangers care? How am I going to benefit from it?”

A small flower or a chemical structure is different to a highly sexual portrait or a violent scene.

“Peace And Love” written in small lettering on one’s wrist is different to, “Gangsta 4 Eva” in large lettering across one’s forehead.

Some of it is a matter of distraction level (i.e. someone is staring at the tattoo instead of listening to what you are saying). And some of it is the emotional nature of that distraction.

Lastly, there is technical point. There are objective physical risks with tattoos, both with the procedures, and with the inks. An application of intelligence would be to learn about those risks, as part of the decision-making process.

It is somewhat more complicated than simply dividing people into “intelligent-or-not”, and “tattoos-or-not”.

Personally, I don’t have any tattoos or unusual piercings, and my hair is its natural colour. This is one part of a generally simple aesthetic sense. But it is also about the social context, since, “expressing yourself” generally means that you have some kind of audience.

If I want to express myself, it is with words and behaviour, and I definitely try to keep in mind other people’s biases and interpretations.

The only kind of tattoo that I would consider would be if I developed certain conditions (serious allergy, cardiovascular issues, brain transplant, etc) that would be relevant in the event of needing emergency medical attention while unconcious.

Even if I value the, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” cliche, I understand that, many many people will judge others in a manner that is different to my judgement process. Also, I may consider whether a person in front of me has faced up to that contextual reality.

While there may be some mindless, petty biases, there is also a legitimate point of wanting to examine someone’s general decision-making process.

What are some things that many people think/believe are illegal but are actually legal?

Updated Feb 25

When I was 18 years old, I moved out of my mother’s home, without asking her permission. Upon moving out, I immediately traveled a little over a thousand kilometers away (to an area with better job prospects). Men don’t care about this, but I have encountered women who perceived this as an underage child “running away”.

Legally changing your name. People do this all the time, by court petition. Reasons can include pronunciation, immigrants adapting to a new language/culture, children getting a new surname, and even just because the person felt like it. I have encountered adults who refused to believe this.

Another female-biased area is employment. I have encountered grown women who refused to believe that:

An employer can assign you to work more than eight hours in a day.

An employer can pay you on a commission or piecework basis, without any hourly rate.

An employer can monitor your productivity, and fire you if the dollar value of your work is lower than your wage.

An employer can make you redundant (laid off) because company revenue is down, stores or facilities are shut down, or for whatever reason the number of job positions has been reduced.

In an “at-will” jurisdiction, an employer can fire you for any reason, or just because they feel like it.

Some people don’t understand laws concerning freedom of speech.

Some people think it is illegal for an undercover police officer to lie when asked about his/her job, even in a life-threatening situation.

Some people fail to understand that, there are legal means for a person to permanently move from one country to another (i.e. they think immigrants are tourists).

Some people don’t understand the difference between an infraction, a criminal offense, and a civil tort.

A lot of this kind of thing just comes down to, “I’ve never heard of it, and I don’t like it, so it must be illegal”.

What are the main causes of child poverty?

Updated Mar 9

The main cause of child poverty is obvious and simple.

However, it is not “politically correct” to talk about.

The main cause of child poverty is (drum-roll, please) poor people having children.

The child of poor parents will, by definition, start out poor.

Poor adults who have children will raise their family living expenses, so that the same paycheque provides less per-person resources. And, of course, this gets worse with more children.

Both parents will severely impair their own ability to work or pursue higher education.

A low-income breadwinner supporting an unemployed spouse and three children may remain trapped in poverty much worse than a single person, or a childfree couple.

Poor parents (especially dependent stay-at-home mothers) may stay in bad marriages or relationships, which can also impair every aspect of life (for themselves and for the children).

The bad relationships could include being geographically, financially, or psychologically tied to the children’s’ grandparents, who may function as unpaid child-minders, but who also may be toxic and abusive.

Poor people who don’t have children (yet) may be living in social environments where, having unplanned children whom you cannot afford, is viewed as normal, or even universal.

I once had a low-paying, bottom-of-the-barrel job, where some of my (always female) coworkers were confused, and even resentful, at my polite, “no” when they asked whether I had children. Shortly after I started working there, some coworkers already knew without asking, so it was obviously a point of gossip.

I was actually viewed as a “bad” poor person, for the socially-offensive act of, not producing any poor children.

I’ve also encountered women who seemed to think that, a low-income university student should be resented specifically for being childfree. The tacit implication was, “We want you to have some kids and drop out”.

A woman who doesn’t have any children is viewed as owing an explanation to everyone else. And being poor is not a socially acceptable explanation.

Even middle class and affluent women (especially if they regret their own children) believe that, poor women are morally obligated to have multiple, unplanned children before the age of thirty. They don’t care about low resources, lack of support systems, lack of a spouse/partner, or health or genetic issues. And they especially don’t care about consent.

The hatred of childfree women is so severe that, most of society would actually prefer an unemployable, illiterate, violent crackhead, living in a cardboard box, and popping kids out like a Pez dispenser.

People with low cognitive ability, low self-control, low future-planning-ability, low actions→consequences thinking, etc, will tend to gravitate towards being poor, and staying poor. These characteristics also generate higher risk of having unplanned children in their late teens and early-20s (when the derailing effect is severe).

Add in massively broken educational systems, where people can graduate from high school, still lacking any clear understanding of reproduction and contraception. Poor children live in poor areas with poorly-resourced schools and libraries.

Poor children have poor nutrition, and also higher rates of prenatal exposure to cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs. This can impair their thinking and behaviour when they are old enough to become sexually active.

Poor adults have poor children.

Those poor children grow up, and have another generation of poor children.

It is considered socially acceptable to state that, wealth gets recycled from parents to offspring.

But, if you point out the hard reality that, poor people recycle poverty the same way, it is often viewed as somehow cruel, as if poor parents are just passive, innocent victims.

Why do most scientists not have children of their own?

Answered Jan 20

Possibly a clearer question would be, “Why are a significant portion of female scientists and academics childfree?”

There are three factors.

First, having children is a major distraction (or total derailing) from pursuing higher education.

Second, women who already have the education required to work in science and academia may be filtered out of those pathways after they have children.

Third, women who prioritise this type of career may be aware of the first two points, and therefore adamantly avoid ever having children.

Marriage is also a major issue. Even highly educated women may have their careers severely impaired if they follow a husband’s relocation for his job. That relocation is a strong possibility, since her husband is likely to be highly educated as well.

For Female Scientists, There’s No Good Time to Have Children

Rule No. 1 For Female Academics: Don’t Have A Baby

The Baby Penalty

Fathers and Childless Women in Academia Are 3x More Likely to Get Tenure Than Women With Kids

Another thing that comes to mind is that, scientists, by definition, question things, and try to view things in a rational, organised manner.

Perhaps female scientists are more likely than average to question the pervasive societal message that, all women “should” (or even “have to”) have children.

The other day, a student was offended when a teacher in class touched her on the shoulder when she was wandering off task. Should teachers never touch students?

Answered Dec 8, 2017

Although I’m not a teacher, I have spent considerable time as a university student.

My default is to never touch anyone unnecessarily, aside from a handshake. I also strongly prefer for other people to have exactly that same attitude in their approach to me (with exactly one exception, who is a close, long-standing friend).

I am perfectly capable of touching people, if necessary. I once had job with plenty of up-close-and-personal touching, because it involved caring for elderly and disabled people. The key word is “necessary”.

For teaching children:

If the child just tripped on their shoelaces and face-planted, go ahead and approach to check for injuries. However, get more cautious as the age increases.

If there is a student-vs-student fight, break it up before someone is injured. If I saw a child being punched in the face, I would be inclined to restrain the assailant, and then face an investigation. An exception would be if the assailant was a teenager who was larger and stronger than me, in which case I would call security.

When in a room alone with a student, either have another person present, or at least leave the door open.

For teaching adults:

Basically, the same as for children.

An important factor (especially with children) is the gender of the teacher. Men are highly vulnerable to suspicion and accusations of “inappropriate” touching, and their career can be instantly over simply due to this bias, without actually doing anything wrong. This is unfortunate, because I would prefer to see more men in traditionally pink-collar occupations.

Women should also be cautious, and should examine the socialised sense of entitlement to be seen as safe and innocent, when the reality is that many women are predators, and some students have experience with that fact.

Transsexual people (in either direction) should never even consider working with children, due to the pervasive paranoia and discrimination, regardless of the individual’s actual integrity or innocence.

For both men and women, I strongly agree with another commentator’s willingness to have a video camera present in the room. In my personal life, I have had a few times when it would have been to my great advantage to have a video recording of an event, to prove my story, and have even considered buying and wearing a “body-cam” just in case of such a situation. It can be anything from a crime committed against you, to a false criminal accusation against you, to civilly actionable behaviour, like harassment or discrimination.

Another important factor (with anyone in any situation) is that, you don’t know the other person’s experiences. You don’t necessarily know if they have experienced child abuse, other violence, or sexual assault. They could be living in a high-crime neighbourhood, where they need to be highly vigilant about anyone suddenly reaching out to grab them. They could have experienced an armed robbery in a workplace. They aren’t obligated to tell you about it, and they aren’t obligated to simply “get over it” and allow random people to reach out and grab them without consent.

I have also heard the “touchy-culture” excuse. However, I grew up on a relatively NON-touchy culture, so “cultural sensitivity” really means respecting my space, and keeping your hands off.

As an adult student, I had a very negative experience with an educational institution (a low-rent polytechnic) where this issue was part of their incessant, totally unprofessional pattern of disrespect and boundary-violations. I switched my money and academic performance to a much better institution, with much more professional staff. “Professional” including respecting boundaries like this.

You may decide your own actions and intentions, but you don’t get to decide other people’s reactions.