“The [quiet] quitter keeps their job and chooses to do only the bare minimum rather than go above and beyond…Many people have criticized the term, saying that it’s just another phrase for having a job.”—The Atlantic
The Desert Escape
Actually quit your job. Run into the desert. There, you’ll meet a snake. Name the snake. Name him Benjamin.
When the snake hisses, say nothing. Step closer. Closer.
Benjamin will bite you, but don’t cry out. As Benjamin’s poison sinks into your veins, you will know the essence of capitalism.
The Zoom Ghost
Set your Zoom background to blur. In a meeting, wait until Jim brings up “that time he wind-surfed, and he was a natural at it, like, could have gone pro.” Move so part of your body shifts out of focus.
Shift and hold your pose in each subsequent meeting, until your entire body is a smudge. Become the smudge.
Now, as a smudge ghost, float with ease through every glass ceiling.
The Oliver Twist
Do not ask for more. Do the bare minimum at the workhouse, even though Vickie always picks extra oakum. At the end of the day, she is wrapped in the approval of your overseer and a rope-fiber chrysalis.
Just eat your gruel and pick minimal oakum. The others drop around you. First, it’s tuberculosis. Then dysentery. Then a sad Dickens novel.
At last, you attain a rich benefactor. You step into the street to wait for your carriage.
It hits you. Your last view is of wheels decorated with gold leaf.
The Extreme Thoreau
Look at the ants and think about why they’re busy. When your boss asks what you’re doing, tell her, “Ants lean in. Am I an ant?”
Don’t wait for your boss to answer. Walk into the woods deliberately, with purposeful strides. It’s important when you quit to pretend you are still working.
It’s winter in Massachusetts, and you don’t have a coat. As night settles, you watch the ants. Your last thought before hypothermia sets in will be a revelation: “The ants don’t lean in. They are a collective bargaining unit.”
It will be too late to unionize.
The Willy Wonka
You finally tire of your chocolate river, your great glass elevator, even your exploitation of Oompa Loompas. So, you take a step back and let Charlie run the factory.
You get an idea for a new gum that tastes like money and working-class tears. But you never speak of it. Instead, you quietly make the gum yourself. As it bursts on your tongue, you think you finally understand what Marx meant by “use value.”
You live long after the death of pure imagination.
Climb through the pipes of your office, which may be an actual prison. Go to the beach, where no one has to work. In the sunshine, beer will appear as if by magic.
Build a boat and let your skin weather. Ease towards a peaceful, sun-drenched death amidst your magic beer bottles. Don’t think of all the people you left behind. Especially not Benjamin, your pet snake.
Your only care left is whether or not Morgan Freeman likes you. Check yes or no.