The 9 to 5 is the modern slavery most of us sign up for.

Waking up, going to work, coming back home, and repeating this boring routine day in, day out, only craving for the next day off is what this kind of lifestyle is all about.

What’s worse, too often the paycheck we receive in exchange for our time is nowhere close to how much our time is worth.

Can we really put a price on our time? I don’t think so! 

Our time is the most precious asset, yet, we give it away by spending the entire day at work, in exchange for low wages. 

We are lured into thinking we work 9 to 5, and then have lots of time left for ourselves, yet, a 9 to 5 job drains all our energy and affects our entire life.

Our thoughts, emotions, our location, the circle of people we interact with, our diet, the clothes we need to wear, the time we spend to get to work, in a nutshell, everything is impacted by our working life.

In addition, we have to deal with bosses who take credit for our work, and yet always complain about what we do, making our life impossible.

A study carried out by TotalJobs revealed that 49% of the 2,000 employees interviewed quit their job because of their bosses, and 24% had experienced nightmares because of them.

The study also revealed that 26% of participants have sought mental health support, and 19% have requested to move teams.

In short, most employees see their bosses as enemies, as someone they cannot trust. 

“Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors”. - Charles Bukowski

This is an extract from the letter (which you’ll find below) the famous writer Charles Bukowski wrote to John Martin.

He was a publisher who in 1971 suggested Bukowski quit his job at the post office to become a writer.

Don’t get me wrong.

The aim of this post is not to suggest you quit your job, but to invite you to reflect on your life, freedom, and level of happiness.

Bukowski’s letter contains many reflections on the insanity of living the 9 to 5 trap where you trade your life for a paycheck.


Society conditions us to think that trading our time for a salary is the "right" and the only option available to us.

It brainwashes us into buying this creed since we are kids.

Thus, we end up believing it.

As a result, many people work in the 9 to 5 trap for the rest of their life.

But there are rebels and dreamers like Bukowski who cannot stand seeing their life slip through their fingers and their dreams fade away.

People who believe life is much more than waking up, going to work, having a 15-minute break, and coming back home late at night, too tired for doing anything except for falling asleep.

People who know that, till they keep trading their life for a paycheck in a 9 to 5 job, they will never experience true FREEDOM.

I am one of those people, longing for a lifestyle with more FREEDOM and FLEXIBILITY.

The fear of being stuck in the 9 to 5 insane system was far greater than the fear of starting something new.

Being trapped in the rat race for the next 40 years or so scared the hell out of me.

I fully agree with what Bukowski wrote in the letter you’ll read:

“They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work”. - Charles Bukowski

That’s why I decided to invest in myself.

Learning high-income skills and starting an online business around my full-time job was the road map to free me from the 9 to 5 trap.

I understood that building an online business would enable me to separate my time from my income.

“If so many other people are living a better lifestyle, so can I”, I remember thinking - while I read about digital nomads living the laptop lifestyle.

If we are unhappy and unfulfilled with our soul-sucking job, making a change, starting something new is more than a possibility, it’s a moral duty towards ourselves.


August 12, 1986

Hello John:

Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from.

You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. 

They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. 

Then there’s overtime and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place.

You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.”

And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. 

People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. 

The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does.

As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions.

 As an old man, I still can’t believe it. 

What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did?

Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?”

They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds.

Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the workplace). They are laid off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned:

“I put in 35 years…”

“It ain’t right…”

“I don’t know what to do…”

They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work.

I could see all this.

Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait?

I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system.

And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system.

I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!”

One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life.

So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle.

I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die.

To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.

yr boy,



Do you like your job? Do you work to live or do you live to work? Does your job make you jump out of bed, or on the contrary, does it drain all of your energy?

What would you do if money were no object? Would you still go to your current job? 

Imagine that you had a death clock that showed you how much time you have left before you die. How would you live your life? Would you live your life differently? Or would you keep selling your time for a paycheck just to enrich everybody else except yourself?

These are a few questions I invite you to reflect on, bearing in mind that:

“Lost time is never found again”. - Benjamin Franklin

To help you answer the above question make sure you watch the following 4-minute video. 

Today more than ever before there are many ways to escape the RAT RACE and live a lifestyle with more FREEDOM and FLEXIBILITY.

It all comes down to your willingness.

Which do you prefer:

1) to pay the price of being a slave for the rest of your life?


2) to pay the price of learning new skills that in time will enable you to escape the 9 to 5 trap and live a lifestyle with more FREEDOM?

The choice is yours!

“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so ”? - Charles Bukowski, Factotum

If this post has struck a chord with you, may I ask you a favor?

Would you consider sharing this post with the world?

It would mean everything to me. 

If this post can inspire and light up even one single person, it would accomplish its purpose and I would feel fulfilled.

What’s more, you’ll have played your part in waking someone up, allowing them to make a change, and start designing a better lifestyle.

More resources for YOU:

Christian Caliendo
my signature

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top