Man Cheered for Telling 'Shocked' Boomer Grandparents He Won't Work Hard

One worker who makes a decent living wage is receiving kudos due to his outward loathing for his job, coupled with a self-admitted lousy work ethic.

A Reddit post titled "My boomer grandparents were shocked and disgusted when I said 'terrible wage, terrible effort'" by user u/RAR_Birdman on the platform's "Anti-Work" forum generated over 35,000 upvotes.

The poster explained that he lives in the rural Midwest and makes about $20 an hour. Paying bills accounts for a large portion of his income, not to mention "insane" food and gas prices.

"I make way more money than most Americans and it's still an offensively low wage," he wrote. "But when I said, 'I don't really try at my job and slack off constantly,' my grandparents were disgusted, telling me I should bust my a**, even for minimum wage."

They also told him his generation is "insane."

"Uh, no thanks, I'm not slaving away for an evil corporation that makes billions and gives me this comical salary," the poster told them.

"Tell your grandparents what minimum wage is in your state, and compare that to your rent," one Redditor commented. "If that doesn't wake them up, nothing will."

"It's the scale of the difference between what they experienced versus what it is today that is hard for people to wrap their mind around," another opined. "Costs shifted more than people are comfortable thinking about. While many of them complain about how much people are demanding for wages, at the same time they'll complain about how many items are much more expensive and fixed-income can't keep up."

Burnout
A Reddit post outlines how one man told his grandparents that he hates his job and doesn't attempt to work hard. He received praise from others on the platform as jobs and median income continue to fluctuate nationwide in recent years. iStock/Getty Images

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that median household income decreased nearly three percent between 2019 and 2020, going from about $69,560 to $67,521–"the first statistically significant decline in median household income since 2011."

That included drops in family and nonfamily households and households of minorities.

Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported data from March that job openings rates increased in eight states, decreased in three states, and barely changed everywhere else in America.

That same Bureau previously reported that over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021.

'Paycheck-to-paycheck slaves'

Newsweek spoke with the poster, 26, who asked to be referred to as "Birdman" so as to not risk his employment. He said he hails from near Kansas City, Kansas, and works in the concrete industry. A single man with no kids, he lives in a trailer.

He admitted that he didn't think his response to his grandparents would be offensive, going as far as to disagree with many of the comments in the thread maligning baby boomers and previous generations.

"All I know is that it's a myth (that) boomers had it great," he said. "Most were paycheck-to-paycheck wage slaves like us. Only a few white people could afford homes. But I guess that's better than $500,000 houses we have now."

When asked what his response would be if others perceived him as "lazy" or a "freeloader" by people of any generation, he responded for other workers to "stop breaking your backs for scraps"--adding that he has self-respect.

He said the pandemic changed his life outlook, iterating that he received unemployment money for eight months and "gave up on the idea of a career." He added that it was the first time since age 18 that he's been happy.

"I work at a concrete job and I hide all day," he told Newsweek. "My boss tells me to do stuff, I say 'OK' then don't do it and say I did. Then, (I) act confused when he sees I didn't do it. I say, 'Oh sorry I did something, I'll get right in it' and don't do it."

Today, for example, Birdman said he did "maybe" 20 minutes of actual work and was already getting ready to pack it up for the day.

"One time I slept in my car for three hours, came back and pretended to do something," he said. "My boss told me he loved my work ethic and he was giving me a raise."

He started a two-year associate's program but does not intend to finish. He said the five-day workweek makes him "sad" and that he has pondered other forms of making money, such as online gaming. But even streaming on Twitch, for example, to him is "a boring and monotonous life."

"Capitalism makes people so depressed we want to revolt, and humans obviously weren't meant to do this," he said. "We are not biologically wired to do boring mundane work for rich men–comically rich men."