This Humans of New York post created quite the controversy!
I love this post, and especially the idea that (gasp!) BOTH THINGS CAN BE RIGHT! In online "discourse" these days, so many people are hell bent on things being pro or con, yes or no, for or against, when in life, there is so much more gray area. With some exceptions, it really is OK to hold multiple points of view in one's mind at once, and not come down hard on one side or another.
As you say, two things can be true. What's true for me is that I have always observed those people in the workforce who skated by and those people who just weren't built that way. I saw it when I was the younger generation in the workplace and now that I'm the older generation in the workplace. I mean the movie Office Space was release 24 years ago (don't kill me for making you realize that!) and it presages "quiet quitting" by a couple of decades!
I think of the workplace much like the evolution of the Web. Web 1.0 was pretty broadcast/uni-directional...and that's how our workplaces used to be. The higher-ups told the lower-downs how it was going to be, and we didn't fell like we had a lot of space to argue it. Web 2.0 becomes more of a conversation, and web community demanded that we all had a voice in how things should be. Sounds like today's workplace, and younger generations want that voice. We earned a voice by being overworked, underpaid and, particularly if you were a woman, harassed. They earn it by being human. I'll still take the latter over the former any day, even if I occasionally have "get off my lawn" moments.
The shift from a world where so many took pride in their work to what we’ve become is seismic. But there are still outliers. There’s a guy who serves me coffee every morning. Dead end job some would say. But don’t tell Jake that. Always got a smile. Sun is always shining. And he treats those cups of coffee like they were little works of art.
Her pride in her achievements is wonderful. But the distain about a "change in the culture" feels like hyperbole. There's a lot of pain in this world and "kids today" is as old as methuselah.
I'm so glad to read your reasoned, thoughtful take on one woman's POV (as the kids say). I think the anonymity of social media gives some of us permission to print unedited thoughts and responses. I wonder how many of the responders would have said the same thing to her in person.
I can see both sides of the "argument". I worked like her, got in early, stayed late, went the extra mile. It's kinda who I am. However, all it really got me was more work and a tiny bit of appreciation from a few.
I see people today trying to get ahead and taking the same approach to only be ignored for promotions, considered the "work horse" of the department, and taken for granted.
Quiet quitting is working your wage. Doing your job and doing it well. It's not slacking off but it's also not being taken advantage of for a great work ethic.
People who use quiet quitting as an insult don't really understand the concept.
I used to place legal assistants/secretaries/word processors when I was a recruiter in my 20's (in the early '90s) and most were like her. From what I could tell, the legal environment pushed as much as they could get from you, it's why many lawyers leave firms to work in corporate, because they have a more "reasonable" work/life balance. I'm in my 50's and have never really found my passion when it came to work. I think I worked my butt off for one job only, but we were all doing it (start up in 2000, we were all young and were having fun while working 15 hour days). I've always wanted to do a good job, so I had pride in my work, and wouldn't leave if something important still had to be done, but I'd bet she'd think I was a slacker if I worked with her. I wanted a life outside of work. When I first started out, I learned from some older coworkers that you work so you can have a life, not live to work. Maybe more of the younger generation are seeing that approach and living it more than her generation, so it's more of a shock to her, but I think we've always been that way. Some people are super achievers, no matter what, and others just want to get the job done and clock out.