When people talk about ‘quiet quitting’ what they mean is just doing the job you were paid to do. That’s a truly horrendous concept. Doing the job you were paid to do is doing your job. Going above and beyond is not something your employer is entitled to. Whether that’s unpaid overtime, being available when out of work when that isn’t in your contract, or anything else being extracted from you that you aren’t paid to do – that’s exploitation.
The dangled carrot is that this is the only way to progress. Doing the job you are paid to do is not enough to get you a pay rise or a promotion. That’s also appalling when you stop and think about it. The idea that your job should be more important than anything else in your life, and that your job should own you, is entirely vile. Unpaid overtime is wage theft. Most people aren’t following a calling, they just want to be able to afford to live. Asking everyone to work like they have a soul deep compulsion to do the job is unreasonable in the extreme.
Workplaces often try to save money by not replacing staff who leave, making those who remain pick up more than their share of the work. It’s exploitative. We’re seeing at the moment in UK transport what happens when a business runs on the assumption that employees can be pressured into working their days off to cover for colleagues who are ill. You can’t sustain that as a model, especially not for a public facing job during a pandemic. You can’t have people working their rest time and not have them get ill and burned out. Companies should employ enough people so that they can cope with illness and holiday leave, but far too many don’t. It’s not a lack of money – vast sums go to shareholders in this case.
I had a round some years ago when it became apparent that I’d got pretty good at the freelance job I was doing. It was suggested to me that my workload should therefore increase with no pay increase, because they were paying for my time. I was able to sit the relevant people down and explain that this is basically punishing someone for being good at their job and honest about what they are doing, and the whole thing was dropped. It helped that as a freelancer doing multiple jobs I was in a position where I could really quit if something became too much work for too little money. Of course, not everyone can do that.
Doing the job you are being paid to do, is doing your job. Don’t let anyone persuade you that they are entitled to more than that, or that you are a bad employee if you simply do what you’ve been contracted to do.