Crappy jobs. We’ve all had them. Soul-suck as they may, they’re a means to an end -- a paycheck.
Like most working stiffs not born into money, I paid my dues at junk jobs in high school and college. I’ve scrubbed toilets, sliced bagels and made sandwich art, er, I mean subs, thankfully not all at the same time. I’ve also felt strangers up and down for weapons and drugs at concerts. Hey, at least I got to watch the shows for free while on security duty. The only drawback: Not being allowed to rage in the mosh pit while on the clock.
After all, rage and crud jobs go together like jerk bosses and, well, crud jobs. If you work for a soul-crushing boss at a dead-end job, you’re not alone. Until you land your dream job, all you can do is shake it off at the end of a bad day. These cathartic songs will help you do just that. Or maybe they’ll motivate you to become your own boss, an entrepreneur.
Put your weary feet up, crack open a cold one and prepare to relate. Hard. Here we go.
Muse -- “Uprising”
“Flick the switch and open up your third eye,” people. “Rise up and take the power back. It’s time that the fat cats had a heart attack.” Uh, metaphorically only, of course. If Muse’s powerful lyrics strike a burning chord deep within about your work situation, it’s probably also time to get your resume in order.
Remember, if you have another job to jump to (or a tidy oh-shit fund), you don’t have to suck it up and stay where you punch a clock now. You’re in control. No one can force, degrade or control you -- unless you let them -- and you WILL be victorious. Rise up and rock on.
Johnny Paycheck -- “Take This Job and Shove It”
Why the crusty throwback? Because a list like this wouldn’t be complete without good ole curmudgeonly Johnny Paycheck. Besides, who hasn’t wished, hoped and dreamed for the guts to say “I ain’t workin’ here no more!”? Don’t forget the sweet Southern twang when you finally do. It’ll add a lil’ somethin’ extra special to your exit.
Related: 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job
Canibus -- “Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee”
Remember the hilarious movie “ Office Space”? We do, and, don’t worry, we promise no Michael Bolton here. Hold that middle finger and save this doozy for your earbuds. And for those oh-so productive “in-between” moments, when you’re spacing out at your desk, zombie-staring at your computer screen, like you’re in deep thought or something.
Wiz Khalifa -- “Work Hard, Play Hard”
When you “got so much money you should start a bank,” so much paper right in front of you it’s hard to think, then you’ve got 99 problems and keeping your job ain’t one. Until you’re at that point, baller, you better work. And if you’re going to work hard, you might as well play hard, too. Speaking of, is it Friday yet? Cheers to the freakin’ weekend. We’ll drink to that.
Heads-up: This song is loaded with so many swears, it’s not even close to SFW. Don’t blast it in the office, not unless you like the color pink, as in pink slip.
Thundamentals -- “Quit Your Job”
This is your jam if you want to quit your job but can’t afford to. Afraid if you complain you’ll “get the boot”? Know anyone like that? Yeah, that’d be pretty much everyone in this bunk economy. Do what the Thundamentals did. Vent about your B.O. double S in a fun song, so when he or she hears it, “the whole world will know” they’re a “fool.” Beats quitting in anger and collecting unemployment scraps. The video’s worth the watch, too. (Those poor kids. The boss-men took their candy.)
Queen -- “I Want to Break Free”
God knows you want to break free, worker bee. You’ve done fallen out of love with your 9-to-5 and you can’t get over the way your boss treats you like he (or she) does. Break free, just don’t break down in the break room in front of everyone, OK? Oh, and don’t break away without being a professional champ and giving the customary two weeks’ notice. You want a good recommendation, dontcha’?
Hot tip: Don’t miss the official video for this song. There’s perhaps nothing more freeing than eyeballing contortionists as they twist themselves into pretzels in Spandex…or seeing Freddie Mercury vacuum floors in a teased-up wig, high heels and a leather skirt.
Beck -- “Soul Suckin’ Jerk”
Sorry to be a buzzkill here, but yes, you are gonna work for some soul-sucking jerk. Everyone does at one point or another. At least Beck is there for you, singing your pain in a sorta drunk kind of way, reminding you that there’s hope. One day you too will rock “the town like a moldy crouton.” Like when you gather up the gumption to quit, find another job or, better yet, win the lottery.
Fifth Harmony -- “Work From Home”
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the office. Work from home. Bonus: You can wear “‘bout nothin’,” except for during video meetings. So what if Fifth Harmony is really singing about putting in a different type of work? If you telecommute (like this homebody writer), “You don’t gotta go to work, but you gotta put in work.” You might as well work to cheesy tunes like this, because you can. On full blast, if your heart so desires. Your boss will never know.
U2 -- “Bad”
“Let it go. Surrender. Dislocate.” This is Bono’s big, bad battle cry for the oppressed workers of the world. At least we’d like to think it is. Once you’re wide awake, not sleeping on the job, and you realize that, damnit, you deserve better and your talents will be better recognized and utilized elsewhere, let it go. Let it fade away. That is, after you brush up your resume and alert your references, you know, just to be prepared.
Black Flag -- “I’ve Had It”
Hold onto this classic punk screamfest for when you’ve absolutely had it and might explode. Again, not in the office, please. Head-banging and air guitar are best done in private and off the clock, not unlike snooping Glassdoor for what your co-workers are saying about your company or trolling LinkedIn for job leads. You wouldn’t want to get busted for those big no-no’s on the cube farm either.
The Smiths -- “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”
Yeah, sometimes we feel it, too, Morrissey. Like that frigid recycled office air, “the 21st century” is “breathing down” our necks. If you feel like “a sickening wreck,” that the work that pays your way “corrodes [your] soul,” this one’s for you, pal. No one does melodrama like The Pope of Mope. Dig deep and feel all the Mozza feels.