Living Retired –‘Quiet Quitting’
Living Retired — ‘Quiet Quitting’
By Gary Chalk.
Do you know what the latest thing is? It is a concept sweeping the workplace called ‘quiet quitting.’
I heard about quiet quitting on the Mike Farwell Show on City News 570.
The way Mike described it, quiet quitting is doing the bare minimum at your job. You show up and the minute your shift ends you leave. That is all I learned because while Mike’s expert guest was explaining quiet quitting I practiced quiet quitting — I reached forward and turned the radio off. Unfortunately, that is one instance where quiet quitting doesn’t serve you well.
In my work life quiet quitting did not exist. We worked hard every day checking the office lottery results, updating the football pool, and of course deciding which staff person would sit on the Xerox machine for our department Christmas card photo. I could go on and on but you get my point.
Mike’s topic got me thinking to how I could adapt quiet quitting into my retirement. I decided I would do my daily chores around the house but feign interest halfway through and just stop. So here is what I have done, or not done, around our house.
“Gary, you didn’t finish washing the dishes. What’s up with that?”
“Jan I figured I had done enough for now. There’s a game on television I’m watching. Can you bring me a beer please?”
Jan was taken aback! She mumbled something about what I could do with my beer.
The first thing I do most mornings is go outside and water the flowers. But with quiet quitting I watered the hibiscus plants and decided that was it. An hour later Jan said, “Gary, you left the watering can on the patio table? And the hose is still running.”
I shrugged my shoulders and nonchalantly said, “So.”
“Gary, all you can say is ‘SO?’ That’s all you’ve got to say?”
Just then Jan’s iPhone rang so she took the call. I went to the bathroom and shaved. I tossed my razor in the sink of water and left the Foamy on the countertop.
I am getting the hang of quiet quitting. I deadheaded the daisies and left the garden shears on top of the barbecue. I pulled my Jeep into the garage and left Jan’s car in the driveway. Doing the laundry, I stopped when the clothes were washed and didn’t brother putting them in the dryer. And I left the toilet seat up. (Okay that’s not quiet quitting — it’s just being a guy.)
One night Jan came to bed. “Gary we need to talk. Something strange is happening. I don’t know what’s gotten into you but I have noticed you aren’t getting anything done.”
“Jan, you’re exaggerating. Give me 10 examples.”
“Me exaggerating? Gary, that is calling the kettle black. But okay. Just today you left the toaster on the counter after breakfast. The lunch dishes are still on the table. You left your dirty clothes on the floor in the closet. You…”
“OKAY JAN I GET IT!”
“Well, I don’t Gary! What on earth is going on with you these days? It is like you are not in the moment. Are you working to rule?”
It was time to fess up. “Jan, there was a guest on the Mike Farwell Show explaining something called ‘quiet quitting.’ It’s the latest thing these days. Think of not going the extra mile. Just doing enough to get by.”
Jan didn’t know whether to be upset at me, or call the Mike Farwell Show and give him a piece of her mind!
“Gary, if you want to see what it is like living with someone who is quiet quitting just watch me!”
For the next few days Jan left her empty coffee cup at her desk. She never turned the lights off when she left a room. And when she went to bed she tossed the 9 decorator pillows onto the bedroom floor knowing full well I would trip over them when I got up during the night! (Okay that’s not quiet quitting — it’s just being a woman.)
Jan and I are now on the same page with this quiet quitting thing. We haven’t decided what we will do next in a haphazard way. What we do know is when it is half done we will spend the rest of the day in our pyjamas eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream right out of the container.
What a life!
Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.
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