Corporate Brainwashing: 12 Things Big Business Tricked Us All Into Accepting As Normal

Corporations pulled a whammy on ordinary folks. They created a toxic work culture and then gaslighted everyone into thinking their practices were normal. 

Here are the top messed up things companies tricked us into believing are normal. 

Making Salary Talks Taboo

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Companies are the only ones who benefit from the idea that salary discussions are taboo. You should discuss salary with your colleagues to ensure everyone is paid fairly. 

Salary Negotiations

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Why is salary negotiation a thing in the first place? Companies tricked us into believing this is normal to get away with lowballing naive job seekers. The highest-paid folks shouldn’t be the best negotiators; they should be the highest performers. 

I Gave You a Job Thus You Owe Me

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Have you ever worked for a mom-and-pop that expected you to be grateful to them for giving you a job?  The gratefulness goes well beyond doing the job you’re paid for. You’re expected to worship at the altar of the all-powerful job creators and jump at their every whim. 

No. All you owe is the labor you agreed to when you took the job, nothing more, nothing less. 

Work is the Number One Priority

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We need to work to survive, but companies somehow morphed the reality into a culture where work is celebrated above all else. 

Parenthood, education, hobbies, accomplishment, friendship – everything that’s actually meaningful in life takes a backseat to work’s domineering presence. 

Employment & Healthcare

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Employers first offered healthcare as a recruitment tool to attract the best and brightest. I don’t think even the giant corporations could have possibly envisioned the gigantic mess it’s become. 

Now, only those privileged with a “good” job have access to healthcare benefits, and people all shrug like there’s no better way. 

Hint: There is. Ask Europe

The Nine to Five is the Schedule

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The eight-hour workday significantly improved the horrific working conditions post-industrial revolution. And with the shift to factory work, it was necessary. People needed to be there to assemble products. 

With the rise of information technology and automation, spending eight hours in a row at a job is no longer necessary

Many jobs can be done in shorter work weeks or flexible schedules, but companies scoff at the idea of implementing scheduling practices that would benefit employees. 

You Must Request Time Off

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Why do companies think they have the right to dictate our lives? We work for them, so they pay us, but they seem to believe that contract gives them control over how we use our time off. 

Paid vacations are part of a compensation package, so employees should be free to use them whenever they like without asking permission, barring a life-saving position like ER work. But companies insist that employees ask for the time, and petty managers love the power trip they get from denying leave. 

We all let them do it. 

You Love It So We Don’t Have To Pay

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Have you noticed that passion projects tend to pay very little? Why are scientists, researchers, teachers, and zookeepers paid paltry sums?

The answer is that people love the work. And since they love the work, companies know they can get away with paying pennies. 

You Can’t Be Sick

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Far too many jobs have weird restrictions about calling off sick. Many don’t offer paid sick leave, so an employee must choose between coming to work ill or not getting paid. They can even get fired and lose all their income if they try to take a sick day. 

And the worst part is, the positions most likely to get fired for being sick are the ones who probably need to stay home: food service workers, retail cashiers, and other service workers who see hundreds of customers a day are out there spreading germs because they can’t afford not to. 

We thought COVID would teach us a lesson on this, but it didn’t. 

Employees Need to Find Coverage

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Retail and shift workers are often saddled with managerial responsibilities, though they never see a manager-level paycheck. 

If workers need a day off, their supervisor puts it on them to find coverage. What’s even the point of a manager who can’t figure out a schedule?

Corporate Culture

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We’ve all bought into the idea of corporate culture as if it’s some kind of all-knowing deity. Managers can reject applicants for not vibing with the culture, and no one bats an eye. 

Corporate culture is often a dog whistle for a racist good ole’ boys club. The managers aren’t sexist or racist, but women and people of color don’t always fit the “culture.” It never seems to be a problem for white men, though. 

Mandatory Fun

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Companies trying to recruit the best and brightest and force them into longer hours provide amazing office perks that make folks want to live there. 

Cafeterias, nap rooms, ping pong tables, and more are highlighted as a bonus, but in reality, they’re a trap. The entire goal is to get people to spend more time at the office. 

The Best Workers Work Longer

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Why did we decide it’s the time we put in rather than our accomplishments that showcase our contributions to a company?

Bosses praise the guy who comes in early and leaves late, not even noticing that they don’t do anything while there. Meanwhile, someone who completes all their tasks on time gets side-eyed for leaving work on time.

America’s Toxic Work Culture

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Our work culture is destroying us. Find out how. 

Read it Here: America’s Toxic Work Culture

Why No One Wants To Work Anymore

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The common boomer refrain derides younger generations for refusing awful working conditions. Are they right?

Find out why no one wants to work anymore

FU Money Helps You Quit that Toxic Job

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Want enough money to quit your toxic job and not have to stress about it? You need an FU money fund. 

Find out how to build your FU Fund here

High-Paying Jobs Earning Far More Than They Should

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Why do we pay some people so much money? These professions earn big bucks but they’re not worth the high cost

Achieve Financial Independence with Stress Free Part Time Work

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could work part time at an easy, stress free job you love? Barista Fire is the path to financial independence that lets you do just that!