The Employment Rat Race

The Rat Race Definition?

The rat race is an endless, pointless, self-defeating process of repeating certain actions, much like the life of some employees.


Most often, employees wake up in the morning, have a quick breakfast, rush-feed the kids if they have any, drop them off at school quickly, then dash quickly to work to arrive at 9 a.m., grabbing their morning coffee. Then they work two to three hours, keep looking at their watches to count the minutes until lunch time, sometimes stretching their hour lunch to 90 or 120 minutes. They return to work for a couple of hours, chat with colleagues, work a bit more, then spend the rest of the time planning when to leave work.

Other employees kill themselves working an extra two to three hours because they are workaholics or hope to achieve a promotion. After they leave work they are stuck in traffic because of rush hour, then reach home in one to three hours, based on traffic and distance. During weekdays they often don’t have time for family, sports or entertainment because they’re exhausted from their work routine and always under stress to keep their job by strictly following the policies and politics of the company and doing their best to be nice to people they’d rather not be nice to.

They have a quick dinner with the family; sometimes the kids are asleep by that time, so they chat or argue with their spouse. Then they go to sleep, and the next day they get up and do it all again. At the end of the week, they start counting the hours to reach the weekend.

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that
even if you win, you’re still a rat.” Lily Tomlin

The weekend arrives, they do some shopping, then hang out with the family, entertain the kids, and many of them get drunk to forget the tiring week that they’ve gone through. This same process is repeated their entire life as they hope life will change by itself, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t until they get a wakeup call due to a disaster or from a revolution that comes from within them. The fact is, you don’t have to wait for a disaster. It’s never too late to start over again.

This is the rat race of far too many employees. It’s one of my goals to help more people become aware that they’re caught in this routine, as many of them don’t discover it until they are much older.

Sometimes when I wake up early, I see the rat race in the morning at 8 o’clock as all cars are going to work at the same time, the traffic is horrible, and my brain draws a picture of too many rats leaving their homes and running in the direction of their cheese. This image repeats between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. when employees are traveling home from work.

I often go to malls to eat, work, interview somebody, go to the bank, watch a movie or shop, but I try my best to avoid weekends in the malls because the heavy traffic brings the same rats there, when you have to struggle to park or simply enjoy your shopping experience. So I try to plan my visits to the malls on weekdays when most employees are still at work.

It’s important to diagnose the rat race that you’re in, and then take continuous focused action to escape it over a certain planned period of time.

Please share your experience and thoughts about the Rat Race?