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I think I need some help

Hello everyone,

I´m not sure where to start but I will try to keep it short and on point. Some background information is probably needed though.


I am working as a carpenter/builder and I have been with a new company for a year now. From the beginning I had a feeling that something strange was going on. Some energy that I was not comfortable with.

From the outside though, it looks all very nice. By bosses(a couple) are "spiritual", and are very nice in general.

To get to the point, the longer I work there the more I have been noticing that they take advantage of people. They want people to help develop the company by working extra, for free, after work. They disguise it as opportunities to help out.


They ask me "do you not want to contribute" etc. when I tell them that I am not interested.


To me it seems like they have manipulated a lot of people. And in particular my workpartner does free work for them all the time. Most days of the week in fact. Especially weekends. I talked to him and asked him if he feels like he is being used. Well, he admitted to having the thought but that he doesn´t want to be lazy and he wants to contribute to something bigger than himself.


I should add that they have this "we are more spiritual/developed than you" thing going on. They told me that they have been on this path or much longer than me so I don´t really know what I´m talking about. Because I challenged them.


I confronted them about using people. Manipulating and taking advantage of them. Fast forward a few weeks and now they came to my home and basically said that if I don´t apologize in a very big way to them within a week I will be fired.


I keep asking myself if I am wrong about this. Because they do a lot of nice things and gestures. Even as I am writing these words though there is a voice in my head screaming "No, you´re not wrong":p.


Now there is a lot of pressure on me. Both from them and from my friend that I stood up too. He is defending them, and is constantly trying to get me to work for free too. He looks up to them as if they are highly evolved and how they have helped him get rid of issues within himself.


Basically I have turned into a black sheep. I cannot see myself apologizing because I still believe they manipulate people. Even when they came to challenge me they said, "what, you can spend time with us like this talking and drinking tea, but not with other stuff? that doesn´t really work for us"


I am the bad guy in their eyes. I´d like to think I´m not. But they do get me to question myself a lot. Getting ready for another workday right now and I hope to get through it well.


I realize you have only heard my part of the story so you cannot really judge what is going on. But still, I needed to vent and perhaps I can gain some more insight if someone has something to add.


Thank you for reading

Hi and thank you for sharing this with us.

Of course, as you say, we know only your part of the story; nonetheless your feelings are very clear about the situation. What you describe also seems to be obvious. As they ask/expect people to work extra for free, out of some “commitment”, it looks like typical and sadly common situation of exploitation. The bosses get richer at the cost of the workers. People, who take advantage of the situation and find different ways and means to manipulate and exploit others. If they cover this up with some higher ideals or spiritual growth, it doesn’t change this quiet obvious fact, does it? It makes it even more repulsive.

If your friend wants or feels it is OK to work extra hours and on the weekends, it is his choice, but it should be paid. And the companies who ask for weekend work, which is already a lot to ask/(demand?), should be paying even higher wages for this work ideally.

What I would like to add is something that happened in my life. 15 years ago I was in a difficult situation so I had to work at one place, where the boss was also exploiting people and besides that also behaving with the employees very unfriendly and looking down at them.

First I didn’t realise it, but after sometime I noticed that all employees were people, who were in some unusual and for various reasons difficult situation, so that they could not resist this otherwise not tolerable behaviour. This boss, women, was never saying hello, always unfriendly with the workers, shouting by each small mistake, and by bigger mistakes she would really put people down and humiliate them in front of others. Paying the minimum possible and giving just this many shifts that people could manage in order not to quit the job and would bear her behaviour in order to get these few shifts.

Of course, as soon as I could I left this place. Still it was long enough (I think 1 year) that even after 15 years I remember this time with uneasiness and kind of pain and anger. And the pain and anger are there, because I didn’t tell her that how she treated a person was not acceptable and unjust. I feel pain that I didn’t stand strong for myself. Who else can protect us, if we do not do this for ourselves?

At this time we all “believed” we have to bear it, because we had no way out of the situation. But now I know that there was a way out, we were just kind of in this state of fear and “paralysed” by this fear. We were so “paralysed” that I didn’t say anything even as I left. I told some other story, why I leave, which I regret.

My lesson from that is quiet clear. I would not allow again somebody treat me (and others) in this way. We think we should “bear” it, but it doesn’t lead to any better situation. I started feeling worse and worse, closing my eyes to something which was not right, not acceptable, not acknowledging my own feelings of being not well, hurt, my self-worth put down, etc etc …. And that next time I would not stay silent.

It is one of our essential needs to feel good about ourselves, and we all need to feel that we can change/influence the situations and circumstances of our lives and to feel appreciated for our work and for what we are and to feel the self-worth and that we are respected.

It is not clear from your post, what is your further plan or what would you like to change/achieve and if you are in the situation that you are dependant on this work? If you want to stand for your rights (paid working hours) or if you want/expect that these „spiritually more advanced“ bosses admit that they have been exploiting and manipulating people? Which they probably won’t do…

Thank you for taking the time and telling your story:). I agree with what you are saying

Like you realized in terms of speaking up to your old boss, that is what I also realized several years ago. I can relate to it in the sense that I noticed that each time I let something slip by I would become annoyed or angry until I actually spoke to the person in question. So nowadays I have had lots of practice doing so and am not so bothered about it anymore. Which is why I spoke up here.

I do not actually have a further plan. I just wanted to shine some light upon the issue. They made it quite clear that they do not want me around unless I bow down and submit to them.


I am dependent on the work but I am confident that I can find something else as well. Thinking about a company of my own also, but not sure if I have enough experience yet.

I am glad to hear that you speak :). And I wish you all the best in solving this situation.

You know, after few years after this my bad experience at work, we have started our own company; with no previous experience. It was one of the best decissions we have made. Of course, it is not easy sometimes, but I have gained many useful insights and it has its advantages. Sometimes, let's say I just do not want to work on this or that day, so I just don't work. It is a nice feeling to work for your self and your family and not for somebody else. Also, to be on the "other side" of employer and employee -  was a very interesting experience. Now, after 10 years, I can say that I would never again want to work for someone else and be employed. There are more risks, but also I feel more freedom in my life. And also, once we started this, new ideas come; as if a new window has opened.

Hi Red

I really recommend you read the book "Winner Take All." It is on our recommende reading page. This book exposes how employers and the rich get away with exploiting us. They exploit us mercilessly and then we complain, they say "But I do all these nice things." They become "philanthropists," by donating a few pennies (relative) and then saying "hey I'm a good person, what's wrong with you." It is exactly the experience you are describing above

Recommended Books

Also, if you end up quitting, you can tell your employers they are full of shit. NObody who exploits the labour of others is spiritually advanced. That's just a smoke show. Its gaslighting designed to make you question your feeling, your thoughts, and the obvious reality of the situation, which is that you are being financially exploited.

Just my .02 cents.



-- All you need is love...
Quote from mohini on June 9, 2020, 8:19 am

You know, after few years after this my bad experience at work, we have started our own company; with no previous experience.

Wow, thats awesome to hear. I have actually today been encouraged by two other separate individuals to start a business of my own, they both offered some collaboration or knew of people in need of help.



Quote from Michael.S on June 9, 2020, 10:22 am

Hi Red

I really recommend you read the book "Winner Take All."

Thanks, I will check it out

Quote from Michael.S on June 9, 2020, 10:22 am


Also, if you end up quitting, you can tell your employers they are full of shit. NObody who exploits the labour of others is spiritually advanced.

Lol, thanks, I needed that. Now I am much more confident when meeting them next time.

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