Quiet Quitting is a dumb narrative that furthers the demographic chasm

Ted Bauer
4 min readAug 22, 2022

Business journalism, which usually exists to accomplish virtually nothing except maybe put some words next to digital advertisements, loves to get on these “hot topics” and ride the horse to death. A few years ago, the big thing was “ghosting.” That was ultimately a “whatever” discourse — companies ghost candidates, candidates ghost companies, and life continues to go on. Most of the time, if someone ghosts you on Day 1 of a job, it’s pretty lame, absolutely. But the company usually goes and slices $10,000 off the compensation, re-posts it, and gets someone else. Away we go.

The new big topic is “quiet quitting.” It’s being discussed everywhere, apparently powered by TikTok. I won’t link out to all the thought pieces, although there are a myriad number. Basically, it means you don’t actually quit, but you either (a) half-ass your job or (b) do exactly what the job entails as opposed to going above and beyond.

I’m not really sure why this is even a thing we need to discuss. Some reasons why:

(1) Work is inherently a series of tasks and transactions for compensation. That’s all work is. There are some people who take work very seriously and make it almost a religion, yes. Most people are just chasing a check, and honestly, most people I’ve worked with do the bare minimum as is — and that’s usually even truer of people who constantly tell you how busy they are. Those people usually work, at most, 10 hours to 20 hours in a week. So, “Quiet Quitting” has been going on forever. We just didn’t have a meme name for it.

(2) Bringing this up creates this weird cultural and demographic chasm. See, every older generation since the beginning of time thinks that they worked super hard for everything, and the younger generation is a bunch of slackers. This behavior pattern probably goes back 4,000 years. By bringing up “Quiet Quitting” all the time, what you’re doing is allowing the Boomer watching Tucker or MSNBC in his recliner with his third vodka soda to groan about “kids these days” and “avocado toast” and “no one wants to work.” In that way, this narrative is furthering the division in society, when in fact it’s just an alliterative term for something that should happen anyway. If your boss is a wanker, or your company keeps you at the…

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Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.