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The Wagie Diaries [Part Two]
Barely Escaping Unscathed
Note: This is Part Two of The Wagie Diaries. If you haven't read Part One, click here:
I was at a breaking point.
I had been lied to. By my parents. By school. By society.
By every mainstream piece of advice that told me the path to happiness was to "study hard, work a steady job and climb the corporate ladder".
My degree? A glorified piece of paper that had me in debt.
Working for a big company? An absolute joke. You had to be a turbo normie in order to even survive modern office culture.
To make matters worse, the job I had put myself into tens of thousands of dollars of debt for... barely paid above minimum wage. I had friends working in hardware stores who made more than I did.
The workload had become unbearable. I don't know how my co-workers survived. I guess it makes sense when you consider the fact they de-spawn when they leave the office.
I saw no end in sight. I had almost accepted defeat, projecting the decades of my life that I would spend in a job I hated just to make ends meet.
And then everything changed.
And it was all because of one word:
Overnight, my whole life changed when the company implemented a work from home policy.
The first and most noticable change was the one hour extra of sleep I got each day. Since I didn't have to commute, there was no reason for me to wake up earlier.
I could simply rest, knowing all I needed to start work was roll out of bed and walk five metres to my desk.
I immediately felt more rested and energised, especially since I didn't have to jolt awake to my alarm clock.
Then it was the one hour of extra time I got as soon as I finished work. I remember shutting my laptop screen and taking a deep breath, soaking in the fact that I did not have a long journey to make it back home.
The benefits kept rolling in. I saved money on transport. I spent less money on food and mindless purchases as I stayed at home and ate most of the time. There were many days where I made zero purchases.
But the biggest benefit of all? I didn't have a manager breathing down my neck. Not in-person at least. I didn't have to deal with normies. I didn't have to make small talk, say goodmorning to people I despised, or be interrupted by anybody I didn't want to speak to.
My workload immediately went down from 7 hours a day to just 5. My stress levels plummeted, hitting all-time lows that I hadn’t seen in years.
This gave me plenty of time to focus on other things. I started running and became lean very quickly. Coupled with the free-standing pull-up bar I ordered from China, I soon became in the best shape I had ever been.
I started reading more and lurking on Twitter. I replayed some iconic Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 classics. I started learning to code, even if it was a beginner’s Python course it was a step in the right direction. And all of this was on company time.
What I found hilarious was in my weekly stand-up, my normie co-workers were seething. They couldn’t wait for a vaccine to be developed so they could go about their daily lives. Their only saving grace was garbage Netflix drama, like Tiger King, which kept them from going insane.
Meanwhile, I was saving more than 70% of my salary, doing less work, learning new skills and living my best life.
I thought I had won.
And then one day, I hit the jackpot.
The concept of avoiding my job entirely wasn't just foreign. It was impossible. Multiple managers were in place to strictly monitor performance.
This meant that every minute of my work day was logged, tracked, and reported. If I was on a client phone call, my call was recorded. So was the amount of time I spent on the call, how long I was on hold, when I was free to take the next call, and so on.
Even if I had to go take a piss, I had to log that time too. In hindsight, it was bordeline inhumane.
With so much scrutiny, I never saw a way out. But then, out of pure luck, my system glitched. I was able to fake any activity that I wanted.
This meant that I could make it look like I was taking a phone call, even though I wasn't. It was basically a 'Get Out Of Work' free card.
The glitch only lasted for a few hours, but I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. For the first time ever, I had a taste of freedom. A taste of passive income. A taste of being a NEET.
I understood what is what it was like to do nothing and get paid.
Then my curiosity got the best of me. I started frantically clicking on buttons, and discovered a way to generate that same 'glitch' once again. And again.
For the next six months, my workload dropped 90%.
I still had to do some semblance of my job. I never took a whole day off, in the sense that I made sure to do some legitimate work to cover up all the work I wasn't doing.
But my managers never caught on. There were red flags which I thought they'd notice, but luckily never did.
For example, I'd deliberately have empty phone calls for 20-30 mins. I would then use this time to play Chrono Trigger or another nostalgic video game.
My managers would be too lazy to listen to the 20 min phone calls, so they'd only review and assess the shorter calls. There were metrics for the 'average phone call length' and even a dedicated person who exported and presented the analytics daily.
But thankfully, nothing ever happened. Corporate culture is truly full of idiots.
I used a lot of this time to re-enter the cryptocurrency markets. I had made bad decisions in the last bear market, like trying to outperform Bitcoin by swing trading altcoins that bled to zero. But with a steady source of 'passive' income and a newfound sense of energy and clarity, I began making excellent trades.
Months went by. Covid restrictions had begun to ease. They wanted me to return to the office. They also made it a requirement that I mentor new starters for no additional pay.
I wasn't even willing to fight it. I had outgrown this job, and even the half an hour of work I was doing a day was starting to annoy me. I was also printing money with cryptocurrency as the markets were surging.
They managed to get me back into the office once, and kept hinting at getting me in more frequently. They were awful sales people, hinting at how ‘lonely’ it can get working from home.
On the one day that they made me came in, they announced that I had to return to the office at least three times a week. I printed off my resignation letter and handed it in.
In four weeks, I would be a free man.
Throughout my sentence in wageslavery, I had made two close friends. I considered neither of them normies, and trusted both of them.
On my last day, I decided to tell Friend 1 about the exploit. I sent him a text message with a detailed breakdown on exactly how he can avoid doing his job. Friend 1 was amazed. I saw his face lit up, the same way mine must have when I discovered the exploit.
And then only a few days after I had left, I receive a call from Friend 2.
Apparently, Friend 1 shared my method with someone else, who then went and snitched. Friend 1 then pinned the blame on me, since I was no longer with the company, and a large internal meeting was held.
I had successfully abused the system for months, earning myself tens of thousands of dollars of income I barely worked for, or “wage theft” as I soon learned it was called.
Yet within a matter of days, it was brought to the attention of the Chief Operating Officer. Serious action was going to be taken against anyone who abused the system, and the technical issue that caused the glitch was quickly patched.
In hindsight, it was a mistake to trust anyone. I had spent over a year at the company, and now my reputation was tarnished. I wouldn't be able to go back and get employed.
But the truth is? I didn't want to. I had broken free of the shackles of wageslavery, never to return.
I cracked the code. I made money doing nothing. I optimised my work day to do as little work as possible and still keep my job and get paid.
I was also significantly richer than when I started, thanks to the time, income and mental clarity that avoiding my full-time job awarded me with. And it wouldn’t have been possible without dollar-cost averaging into Bitcoin and Ethereum.
I do not look back fondly on these days I spent. My resentment towards the workplace and corporate culture has only increased.
I’ve had several jobs. Some were better than others. Some were so painful, like door-to-door sales or telemarketing, that I only lasted a day or a week.
What I’ve learned is the only way out is through. You need to build such a resentment towards a sterile corporate office job that you will do ANYTHING to break free.
It wasn’t sheer luck that I had cracked the code. It was thinking outside of the box, something they actively try to suppress in any job, that led to my freedom.
To my dear readers, who might be currently trapped in wagie hell with no end in sight, I have just one thing to say to you:
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
And the end of the tunnel is much closer than you think.
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