Open-plan office with wooden tables, string lights, and people working at computers.

There’s a lot of money sloshing around at the top of society, being channeled into different schemes and offshore bank accounts. To enable this, there are a lot of bullshit jobs, including PR agencies spewing out credulous content.

Joan Westenberg was one of these people, until one day, she decided not to be. As she quotes Upton Sinclair as saying, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

One morning, I sat down at my desk to craft yet another press release touting yet another “game-changing” startup that had raised - yet another - $25 million. And I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d written something I believed in. The words that used to flow felt like trying to squeeze ancient toothpaste from an empty tube.

That was the day I cracked.

It wasn’t about the individual startups or the overhyped products. It was the whole damn ecosystem—if we can call it that. The inflated valuations, cult-like frat house “culture,” and the relentless, mindless pursuit of growth that comfortably glossed over the human cost of “disruption.”

Somewhere along the way, I’d allowed my writing—the thing that used to give me purpose—to be co-opted by the bullshit industrial complex. I’d convinced myself that I was part of something bigger, something world-changing. But deep down, in the quiet moments between pitch meetings and product launches, I knew better.

Source: Joan Westenberg