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Commentary: Quiet quitters have always been among us – we called them slackers

The "quiet quitting" trend celebrates all that is depressing in the culture of the workplace, says the Financial Times' Jo Ellison

By | Jo Ellison |

LONDON: When did the workplace become a battleground? When did our boss become the enemy? Or maybe not the enemy, but some sad simulacrum of The Office’s David Brent?

As Morrissey once sang, before he was sent into celebrity exile for becoming extremely politically unfashionable, work is a four-letter word. And now, it seems, more than ever.

Culturally, the office is in crisis: Seen as some kind of workhouse, where the employees must toil unwillingly in a state of torpor and dejection and where the management must lure back staff to have a meeting with free drinks and bits of cake. Advice columns swell with pointers about how to renegotiate your work hours and get the “balance” right.

On social media, the hot topics are still burnout and depression, and how to rediscover the “power of self”. Life is a vision board on which to paste your dreams. Or, to quote Meghan of Montecito in her interview with New York Magazine’s The Cut on life outside the Windsor bubble: “You have the power within you to create a life greater than any fairy tale you’ve ever read.”

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