Overworking and Capitalism

Under capitalism often times people who don’t have generational wealth are forced to work to be able to afford their existence. But what happens when a person is overworked?

In our society work is considered a must for most people whose family members aren’t inherently rich. Things like ‘hustle culture’ are ideas that are pushed to us from an early age. Funny enough, some people actually believe that if they just hustle and work hard enough they can go from barely affording their rent to billionaires in a couple of years. That ultimately can be seen as part of the ‘American Dream’ sold and packaged in a way to keep the middle class under control. With all that taken into consideration, what happens when a person overworks themselves over and over? Is it that much of an issue or is it just part of the work culture, thus expected? 


Signs You Have Overworked 

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Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Burnouts can happen any time anywhere. No matter what kind of job you’re doing, even if it’s the job of your dreams, you can ultimately burn out after a while. Now, that can include you just needing a small break or it can mean that you’ve been compromising your wellbeing for your capitalist overlords. If you can take a week-long break for example, and afterward feel like you can just go back to work the same as before, then that’s manageable and not too much of an issue. But, if you find yourself consumed by your work so much that your personal life has long lost priority, then that’s a real issue that needs taking care of. 

Sleep is the number one factor that is a tell-tale sign of overworking. Just take a look at your recent sleep schedule and that will tell you so much about your habits. Insomnia can absolutely be caused by you being utterly obsessed with your work, willingly or not. Moreover, an overall negative attitude toward even the smallest things in your life is also a sign you need to take a step back. It’s hard to even take a look at yourself and your mental or physical condition knowing that your sick days are numbered. If you’re finding yourself deciding on whether going for a doctor check-up is possible due to your demanding job, then, simply put, you are overworked and exploited. 


The Reality of Capitalism  

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Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

There is no blaming yourself for this because your 9-5 job is a necessity. It’s often said in ‘Instagram quotes’ that most people nowadays don’t have dream jobs because they simply don’t dream of labor. As such, we all do our jobs because it’s the only way we’ve been told it’s possible to afford a life. With the incredibly high prices and the improbability of ever owning property, so many people are living paycheck to paycheck. 

Of course, landlords on one hand are as vicious as ever and any opportunity they get they suck your bank account dry. Inflation on the other hand hasn’t been this bad for a while which is all to say that this creates extra pressure for people to work as if their lives depended on it, which unfortunately they do. 

More recently, there was a video of an employee who never missed a single day for 27 years at Burger King. And what did he get for it? A gift back from his manager. Meaning it was probably from his manager’s own pocket because the corporate did not spend a single cent on him more than they had to. Thankfully his daughter set up a place online where people can donate and everyone chimed in to get him a real gift. Though his story has a happy ending, it’s just yet another reminder that workers do not matter to corporations.

You often see ‘feel-good’ stories about a kid gathering money for a school lunch or maybe someone with cancer donating lots of money. The truth is people in need shouldn’t have to depend on the goodwill of others to eat or afford basic healthcare. It’d be great if there were concise solutions, which there are none. Overworking is a real thing that a lot of people go through, so try to take care of yourself as much as possible. 


Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock


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