JonPaulUritis.com

All Companies are Fucked Up


Belts in Karate are ordered from white to black. This is of course a new invention. Originally, new colored belts were not given upon arbitrary levels of attainment, a white belt was given at the beginning of one's training and you just never washed it. Over the years the belt would gradually turn from white to yellow, to orange, to red. And if you trained hard enough eventually you'd go black.


All companies are fucked up. There I said it, you're welcome.

One restaurant I worked for had a tremendously talented chef who was a straight-up alcoholic. Not the kind of alcoholic where the guy just gets plastered every weekend and is constantly nursing a hangover... the kind where he needed 2 shots and a beer before the dinner rush or he would cut off his fingers because of the shakes.

I'm sure you're asking "how did he manage to avoid getting fired if he was plastered every shift?" Turns out the restaurant was a great place for him- we were basically allowed to drink on the job, for free, as much as we wanted. Hell, it was debatably our "competitive advantage" because everyone in the restaurant liked to drink... and we had this tremendously talented staff that treated the place like a party where you got paid... the owner made a lot more money for it too.

Fucked up right? ... well, all companies are fucked up. I worked an office gig one time where my boss just stopped telling us what to do. We were just supposed to "know." For some people, this probably sounds amazing right? No corporate politics. No bullshit meetings. Just do whatever you feel like! It was great for half a heartbeat but then it turned into "Lord of the Flies" ... the inmates running the asylum sort of thing. Of course, some of the people at work LOVED it. They showed up every day just ecstatic that they were getting paid to do nothing.

Fucked up right? ... well, all companies are fucked up! But this was surely less fucked up than the restaurant above? Nope, not for me. I'm a high performer. I like competing and winning. Doing "nothing" feels like getting my fingernails ripped off one by one. It's masturbating with sandpaper or getting impaled by a pineapple.

But surely if it's YOUR company, and you are calling the shots it won't be fucked up right?

lol. All companies are fucked up... the trick is finding a company that's fucked up in a way that works for you. It's kind of like finding a spouse or where to live - don't live in California if earthquakes freak you out and if you're a misanthrope Manhattan is probably a bad place to live.

If you're trying to figure out "how do I find the company that's fucked up in the way that works for me?" here's my advice: Do whatever you are into as fast and with as much focus as you can. Learn as much as you can about the stuff that you care about, and put yourself around people that are doing the same thing... or put another way: "Turn your belt black."

Eventually, you'll end up with people who are fucked up in the same ways that you are fucked up... and by the transitive property, you'll find yourself at a company that's fucked up in its own special way just the way that you like.

"Most successful people are just a walking anxiety disorder harnessed for productivity."

- Andrew Wilkinson



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