My Foolproof Guide to Getting Yourself Fired

Trust me, this 3-step method is tried and true

I got fired, and I should’ve seen it coming. I followed the plan to get canned to a T.

To give you a little background, I’ve been working as an engineer for about 2 years now. Unfortunately for me, this has not been a pleasant experience.

I was unhappy with my job as an engineer for almost the entire time I was one. And in hindsight, I probably should’ve known I wouldn’t like being a mechanical engineer in the first place.

I don’t want to work in a machine shop, a factory, and certainly not in a dirty field. And honestly, I never really liked working with the design software either.

And I don’t know how familiar you are with that career field, but that’s most of it.

From the beginning, I ignored the countless signs that I was going down the wrong path.

Unfortunately, when I arbitrarily decided my entire future, my 18-year-old child brain didn’t have the foresight to see this coming. And when I finally started to put two and two together, my 23-year-old college brain just wanted school to be over with.

To put it simply, I felt like I was in it too deep. I talked myself into the idea that my career was nothing more than a means to an end and that it didn’t matter if I liked what I was doing.

But that was before I knew just how long a 40-hour work week could feel.

And hour by hour, week by week, the more I endured, the more I simply couldn’t stand my job.

Eventually, I started looking into new professions. And that’s when I discovered how awesome programming was for me.

Little did I know, that would be the beginning of the end. I had flawlessly executed the first step toward getting fired.

Photo by Peter Conrad on Unsplash

Step 1: Develop palpable apathy

If you want to ensure you get fired, the best thing you can do is stop caring. And I stopped giving a single shit about my job.

After enrolling in a data science course, I quickly began to find that the task of programming was like one giant puzzle. And I got to keep working at it until I did it in the most efficient way possible.

And as someone who’s an avid puzzler, naturally, this was a match made in heaven.

So at that point, I already felt like I had one foot out the door.

The second I figured out what direction I wanted my career to go, I started to completely lose interest in my job. I became complacent and treated my job as nothing more than a way to bankroll the projects I really cared about.

And rediscovering my love of writing certainly didn’t help me care more.

Don’t get me wrong, publishing my book and starting blogging are maybe the two best decisions I’ve made in years.

Beyond simply providing a never-ending creative outlet, harnessing my love of writing has helped me process my emotions and critically think about the world around me.

The better I got at thinking critically and organizing my ideas, the more I understood the life I actually wanted to live.

I finally accepted that dedicating 40 hours a week to a job that made me actively hate the world was not a life I wanted to live.

The responsible thing, at that point, probably would’ve been to just quit my job and pursue my passions. I should’ve left on good terms and avoided burning bridges.

But I thought I could have my cake and eat it too. And that’s what ultimately did me in.

Step 2: Like Icarus, be a careless idiot

Doing nothing to hide how much you despise your job is a great way to get the boot. And actively promoting your distaste for your job online is even better.

But there was one thing about my job that I wasn’t going to complain about in any context, and that was my paycheck. About a month before my career’s untimely demise, I got a promotion and a generous pay raise.

And I assumed that since I was getting paid this glorious salary, I could power through another 6 to 12 months at my job to pad my bank account.

And boy was that a dangerous assumption.

My last few months on the job tested my professionalism in ways I never could’ve imagined. 

I suddenly had multiple things I had become genuinely passionate about pursuing. Meanwhile, I was showing up daily for a job I had zero interest in, and my workload suddenly became almost nonexistent.

That meant that I had almost unlimited free time at my desk that I could dedicate to focusing on all the projects I cared about more than my job.

And the rush of getting paid to do things I didn’t hate became a high I couldn’t quit.

The more I was able to focus on the things that excited me, the more it felt like my job was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. And as a result, every little thing that was wrong with my job kept getting deeper and deeper under my skin.

Everything that I had been able to tolerate for so long had suddenly become unbearable.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it, there were A LOT of problems at the place I worked at.

That office oozed toxic bro culture, while still maintaining that patented snobbery we’ve all come to know and love from upper-middle-class white people.

And I wrote about all of it.

I didn’t just write about it, either. I scathingly wrote about all of my gripes using an online platform that boasted my first and last name and featured a profile picture that prominently displayed my face.

There were a couple of times I even published from my work computer, using company Wi-Fi. In hindsight, it felt like I was asking to be caught.

Step 3: Wait for the big day

At this point, assuming you’ve followed my method, you’ve already worked hard to make sure people find out you haven’t been working hard, so trust that your time is coming. 

In my case, I knew on some level that I was about to get fired.

During my last week on the job, some weird things were happening around me.

One of my bosses, who was generally pretty open to chatting with me, suddenly started acting dodgy whenever I was around. 

Instead of exchanging those mindless, phony pleasantries that all of us use to awkwardly fill the air with words, he started doing that head nod and dismissive hello that you give to people you actively avoid talking with.

And beyond being actively avoided, something that caught my eye was the active engagement I was receiving.

Two of my blog posts, the two where I talked the most shit about my job, suddenly started receiving a spike in views.

And that was a conflicting feeling.

On the one hand, I was getting a lot more people viewing my work, so that was pretty awesome. But on the other hand, it felt strange that these specific posts were suddenly popping off.

Then the day came.

They brought me into the conference room, and before anyone said the words, I knew. Even if I tried to convince myself this was a normal, impromptu meeting, I knew I was in trouble. 

And I was right.

Technically, the official reason they gave me for firing me was “internet usage”. But something tells me that the generic policy violation they cited wasn’t the actual reason, because they showed me a printed screenshot of my blog post and referenced blogging about 17 times.

I also have to imagine I would’ve gotten at least one warning before getting fired if the only problem was excessive Google searches.

Whether or not I should’ve been fired for an open exchange of thoughts and ideas, during which I named zero names, is certainly a question worth asking. Especially considering it couldn’t have had any tangible effect on my work performance because there was no work to perform.

But ultimately, in our capitalist society, talking bad about business daddy will get you fired.

So if you’re looking to get fired, follow my foolproof method and you too can find yourself unemployed.

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