I heard yesterday about #TakeTheExit the first time, or better said did read their Guerrilla marketing in form of spraying their advertising pitch on the ground in front of a comic book shop. Most notable the “CTRL-Q” part.
My first guess was, this is just some advertising for one of the Exit Game places which we have in Berlin.
Today morning I saw this advertising also directly aligned to a Bar entrance, and also of a more expensive Restaurant. So my next guess was, some anti capitalist movement. W̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶t̶t̶y̶ ̶i̶r̶o̶n̶i̶c̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶b̶v̶i̶o̶u̶s̶l̶y̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶A̶p̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶M̶a̶c̶B̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶r̶s̶.̶ ̶A̶l̶l̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶“̶@̶”̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶k̶e̶y̶s̶.(UPDATE: I was made aware, “CTRL-Q” is App specific and used by for example Firefox, its not OS specific as I first believed. Sorry for that mix up)
So what is it really about. After looking trough their website, they want to advocate people to leave their bad workplaces.
What they describe is also known as (toxic) startup culture, but they prefer for yet unknown reasons the term “ventures” over “startups”.
On the other side is most of what they describe with their Pictures and Videos also a problem which can be found in older and bigger companies.
Lets Review their Webpage.
First, the typical Newsletter Subscribe, and additional a Countdown targeting the 9th of April (a monday)
Then a gallery of shortfilms showing how bad the live (mostly as a Developer) is inside such Companies. (I will comment them later)
Then a list of tweets which should show how unsatisfied people are. (I will comment on one example in a bit)
Next a funny online form to create a “dismissal notice” in 4 flavors.
Then the for me most important part (because it shows the money driven motivation behind this): a merchandising shop!!!
Then following a few more numbers.
While the Topic they speak about is a very important one, I dislike a lot the methods they use and Iam questioning their motives.
Also Iam questioning their competence, as they seem to have not a real good insight into this topic at all.
And most importantly, they want to trigger people to leave a company, but they dont show the slightest sign of wanting to actually help them.
The Campaign and the material show signs for a planned marketing and hyping strategy. But their marketing staff is focusing a lot on stereotypes and ignoring a lot of details.
First of all, they are typical MacUsers (MacUsers are fine, but dont expect everyone to be one or knowing your internal keyboard shortcuts). They are using Guerrilla marketing techniques but in parallel also start with billboard advertisements.
Their whole marketing focus Developers, so only the good paid and most demanded part of this companies. Still they fail on most basic parts. For example they seem to never have been a day in a real Co-Working space. They display it in such a negatively nonsense way, its just absurd.
Then there is this one Tweet (the reference from earlier is referring to this) where they actually tell someone to quit, because he is using his free time to work on open source. Like if they had no idea that people could and want to do this independent from their job.
They even highlight it on their website.
They make it all sounding fun and cool to quit a job, but dont mention once the possible problems people are facing, which could prevent them mentally or financial to just quit.
A very good article about this out of my bookmarks: https://blog.valerieaurora.org/2018/01/17/getting-free-of-toxic-tech-culture/
Really! read it, completely, I cant describe it as good as it is there!!!!
So in case you really want to quit, but dont feel ready yet: connect with people who have access to new Jobs.
This could be Recruiter (they may have a bad reputation, but there are enough out there, who really want to find a job you also feel good with, and they have access to a bigger list of companies)
This could be friends working in other Companies, they often hear about job offers and probably would also like to find a job you can feel good with.
Connect with more prominent people in your field of competence. I see it often (on twitter) that they get so many requests, that they are happy to connect people for new jobs.
But Quitting only helps this developers who can easy find a new job, there are whole departments which have it similar bad, but dont have this option.
The traditional, and also proven, way of improving work conditions permanently and in a big manner is to unionize. It may not be the easiest way, but it helps also the weaker departments and jobs, where there is not such a high demand as for Developers. #DontQuitButUnionize
There may come a followup Post, which I will link here then.
Till then, let us take over the Hashtag #taketheexit and help each other.
Offer people help to find a Job with better work conditions. Offer them mentoring, training, support, advice, whatever you can which may help them to find a Job they can be happy with.
Lets make use of the money they put into advertising for this hashtag and actually offer help over it.
Other usefull more or less related Posts I found in my bookmarks:
* https://blog.valerieaurora.org/2018/01/17/getting-free-of-toxic-tech-culture/ (yes, its the same from earlier, its good, read it)