11/01/2008 at 10:29 pm (thoughts)

I’m having a real rough time at work lately.

The place I work for very openly believes that it’s workers are not in fact human. Just parts of the machine to be worn out and replaced when necessary. A manager actually told me this in nearly those exact words recently.

Never before have I worked for such a place and never will I again.

But I got to thinking, how is that such a place can stay in business?

It seems to me that a store working people like that would use up workers until there weren’t any more left or word got around that it was a bad place to work and folks refused to work for them. Especially in a smaller town like ours.

But it doesn’t happen. They will always have more than enough people to work for them. Why?

Because we’ve bought consumerism’s lie that we have to purchase things. Hook, line and sinker.

Folks used to make a living. Now folks only make money to purchase their “living” pre-packaged from a factory.

But how to escape?



  1. mrsabbott said,

    You know, it’s a vicious circle, isn’t it? I mean, no matter how you look at it, you still need to make money to pay for SOMETHING.. like the property in which you are attempting to make your living. You are trying to live off the land, but you still need to have a job to pay for the land, to pay the taxes on the land, to pay for the tools to farm the land, etc..

    As for places of employment treating their workers as if they are expendable.. to be honest, in today’s economy they are. So many men and women are losing their jobs that you are easily replaced. Figuratively speaking, of course.

    Long ago, I accepted the fact that having a job outside the home was just one of those things I had to do (until Gabe joined the Army, that is). I mean, it is always nice to have a job that you can tolerate reasonably well, but most people don’t have a job that they absolutely love. I just see it as a means to an end. And, by being frugal and working towards a more self sustaining lifestyle, you keep from being one of those people that are a slave to their jobs.. working 80 hours a week to pay for a house they are never in and a bunch of stuff they never use.

  2. Nick Wright said,

    “I mean, no matter how you look at it, you still need to make money to pay for SOMETHING.”

    The question is what do you pay for?

    In our great modern “society” we are told that we have to pay for everything.

    We’re trying to find out how little we can pay.

    The only thing in this world that I can foresee not being able to get away from paying would be our property tax. And that would be easy to make the money for on my own. I’ve heard that our county here in Kansas has some of the highest property taxes in the state. But even yet, I think we could easily make enough to pay the yearly taxes from our pear tree alone.

  3. mrsabbott said,

    I don’t disagree, for the most part. I certainly think that living as self sufficient a lifestyle as possible is an excellent goal. I completely agree that we are brainwashed into thinking we HAVE to spend money on lots of useless stuff.

    BUT, the one thing that I’ve noticed as that getting from point A (relying on a job to make your way) to point B (living self sufficiently) is expensive. You have to pay for your land. You have to make sure that your house is in good order..

    For example, is the roof stable, how is the siding and insulation, is there any water damage or sagging floor boards? Yes, you can potentially fix all of these things yourself with the right tools and manpower, but the materials cost money.

    What about electricity, water, and sewage? If you keep those things, they cost money. If you do without electricity, what are your other options for cooking? Wood stoves cost money. Building and outdoor brick oven costs money. Getting solar power costs money. What about water? Do you have an independent and reliable water source? And sewage?Personally, I’m willing to pay for not using an outhouse. My mom grew up with an outhouse, so I know you can survive, but the thought of flies landing on my rear while I’m trying to do my business just gives me the heebie jeebies! LOL! They do have composting toilets, but they are pricey as well.

    And in my case, I have children. I have one child who has a motor sensory delay and she required extensive physical therapy to even be able to walk. I have another child who was born with 3 heart defects and was told she would need surgery to save her life (God healed her but that’s another story). This opened my eyes to the real need to provide my children with necessary, life saving, life altering health care. I’m not talking about taking your child to the doctor for a sniffle. I’m talking about the serious stuff. I had to have c-sections with my children. I tried a natural birth and after 36 hours of labor with my first I had to have a c-section to save both our lives. I had insurance and I’m still paying it off. She’s 4 now, and it will be paid off within the next 6 months. It costs ALOT of money.

    I guess that is what I meant when you always have to pay for SOMETHING. You will always have to find some sort of way to make some sort of money to make ends meet. Pay for repairs your house, your bike, your tools, or whatever. Pay for the items needed to BE self sufficient. Pay for material and thread to sew your clothes, etc.. Pay for those emergencies that inevitably come up, especially when you have children.

    I’m not at all trying to pee in your cheerios, I’m just trying to explain what I meant about having to pay for things.. I guess for us, it would be impossible to not have a job. I DO think that we can be more self sufficient, more frugal, and less wasteful so that my husband wouldn’t have to work 80 hours a week. :)

  4. mrsabbott said,

    I want to add, that I’m not at all trying to be negative.. I’m actually excited to read about your journey into a more self sustaining lifestyle and on many points I agree with you. I wish we were able to be more self sufficient (I recently found out that we aren’t allowed to keep chickens on post.. not even as pets!) and it is my goal to one day have a more self sufficient lifestyle. I’d like to have a big garden and some fruit trees and to have my own chickens for the eggs. Gabe and I talk alot about how it would be nice if he didn’t have to go to work. For us, I guess we’re looking for someplace in between a consumer lifestyle and a self sufficient lifestyle.

  5. Nick Wright said,

    I understand what you are saying.

    But I’m not sure you understand what I am.

    All those things you mentioned, they are things you choose to pay for.

    There are always options that do not cost money. Otherwise humans would not have survived to get to this point. It is just a matter of relearning how to live that way and of learning to accept the consequences of that lifestyle.

    Your toilet is a good example. Pit toilets aren’t all that bad. We’ve used them often, flies don’t swarm you when you’re using them. Composting toilets are even better. And they don’t have to cost much money. The one we used in Missouri I built myself and cost me nothing.

  6. Clair Schwan of Sensible Small Business Ideas said,

    “But how to escape?”

    The more important question is “when to escape” and the answer to that is simply when you are ready. When you’ve had enough, when you’ve figured out how to replace that income with another source, and when you’re comfortable with the amount of planning that you’ve done in this regard, then it’s time to make the move and punch out on the time clock for the last time.

    We live in a number of marketplaces by choice, but it doesn’t mean we have to. We can create our own marketplace or our own alternative to it.

    One of my websites is dedicated to helping people start their own enterprise where they can enjoy what they do, make plenty of money, dance around the larger clumsy firms, and generally be a great success on their own and with whom they choose to associate.

    Check out the number of home-based businesses that you might consider: This discussion even takes into consideration those of us that live in the country, where starting a business can be a little more challenging.

    Back in the early 1900s, most Americans were self-employed. Now, most are employees of others. I think it is long since time to turn back the hands of time.

    Remember, there is no such thing as security, there is only opportunity. And, the best opportunties are often ones that you create.


  7. mrsabbott said,

    Yes, I suppose you are right. Most of the things mentioned were/are a choice.

    Do you find it discouraging, the cost of buying a house with some land? That has been a big stumbling block for us is how expensive it is.

  8. Nick Wright said,

    Short answer: no, I am not discouraged.

    It all kinda ties back into what we’re talking about actually.

    We’re not looking to buy a house with land. We’re looking to buy land.

    The land we buy will not having any structures on it at all. It will have no utilities running to it. In our best case scenario, it will not even have a road running to it. In other words, it’d be land that no one else wants. The hardest part is finding an area with no zones or codes or covenants etc (but we’ve already completed that step a couple times over actually).

    The only thing I’m discouraged about is that we found land just like what we are looking for and we passed on the opportunity. We could’ve purchased it and I didn’t. I wasn’t ready to. I wasn’t in the proper mindset. I had a lot of society to “unlearn.” So while I’m glad we didn’t get it (back then we would’ve really screwed it up), I’m still sorry too.

    But land like that does come up for sale every once in a while. Noel just recently found a listing for one that sounds awful close to that.

    As to what we’ll live in when we get there. That’ll come later.

    “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” Proverbs 24:27

    We want to build a completely primitive log cabin or some such. Completely by hand. Just like they did in the old days. With lumber from our own property.

    “Modern” people will wonder how we can live in such “squalor.” But our life will be comfortable and fulfilling. We will make our living from the land, and our surplus we’ll sell for those few expenditures we cannot avoid.

    Our life will be the way I believe God intended folks to live. Home and family first. Everything else won’t matter. Instead of the upside down way “modern” people live where everything else takes precedence over home and family.

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