After finishing my last final on Thursday, I went immediately back home, so I can go to bed. I was tired, depleted, and burnt-out. So, naturally, I want to relax. But then my sister messaged me and urged me to get a job. And already, I am stressed again.
I just finished a semester with a hefty workload. Can you give me one day where I don't have to worry about a deadline? Though, I am not the only one. I know countless others, even some graduating seniors, worrying about getting a job in the summer. What about a break?
Well, there are no breaks in our capitalistic systems. It, instead, only emphasizes on productivity and thus make our mental health possibly worse.
First of all, the system believes in productivity on behalf of the individual. JD Taylor, for example, notes that many of us boast about not having enough sleep. He describes the reasoning of the dilemma in a quote: "....productivity, growth, entrepreneurialism, and drive are ‘virtues’ both of the effective individual and the expanding economy." Truly productivity is a marker of success. Acting like a machine, the individual works, and works that he has no breaks. His eyebags, his bloodshot eyes, the individual is suffering from too much work. But he disregards his suffering and believes it to be necessary.
And so, the system ruins the individual's mental health. JD Taylor states that workers found themselves to be in "zero-hour contracts." He then states a major condition of working in these contracts: "an increasing dependence on management thrives on sucking the remaining residues of performance from precarious workers." Now we see why the worker continues to work: he wants to please his manager. If he cannot work tons and ton, then he cannot prove his worth in the workplace. The manager, as a result, can possibly fire the work, and this possibility puts the worker in a state of anxiety.
I am typing this article while enjoying the breeze of my fan. After this, I have to start applying for jobs. Thinking about the job search gives me great anxiety. I don't know what the manager will feel when he looks at my resume. But I am not the only one. I know countless others who feel the same anxiety as me. And I know once they get into work, they will continue working until they literally die.
Our capitalistic system encourages us to do this. As we work and work, we stress and stress over our manager's perception of us. Are we worthy enough to be in this workplace? Did we do a good job? Does the manager even like us? Our crutch of living a normal life with no debts relies on the manager.
We cannot catch a break; we, instead, only live in a state of misery, stress, and anxiety.