Shhhh. Be very quiet. I’m hunting rabbits. What? No, that isn’t right. Sorry, I was dreaming that I was Elmer Fudd (if you don’t know who Elmer Fudd is, he is the nemesis of Bugs Bunny, and famously co-starred in What’s Opera, Doc? – widely considered to be one of the greatest comedic feats of animation ever created. Written and animated by the great Chuck Jones. Who also created the Road Runner and Coyote series. If all of this is new to you, stop reading this immediately and hunt these down. But of course, this has nothing to do with what I’m planning to talk about. “Really, Mole?” you say. Yes, really, but do watch out for the giant Acme anvil plummeting towards you).
Until recently, it has seemed as though the accepted reality is that we need to work harder, faster and for more hours just to be perceived as a good and effective worker. The pandemic appears to have changed that. Across a number of sectors, we have seen a proportion of workers who are ‘quietly quitting’. This refers to people still doing their job but not ‘going above and beyond’ the confines of their job descriptions. Biotechnology researchers are no exception. This conversational piece reflects upon what is going on.
This concept of ‘quiet quitting’ is happening all around us. It came to attention last year when an engineer named Zaid Kahn posted that quiet quitting is “where you’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond. You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life.” Since then, there is ongoing debate about whether this is a good or a bad thing, but nobody seems to be saying that it isn’t happening.
Some folks can’t quietly quit. I have a friend who does sound editing for major motion pictures; he told me that if he ‘quietly quits’ it is the same thing as quitting – he isn’t going to get jobs to work on.