Top Ten Reasons You Are TI

Top Ten Reasons You Are TI

Written by Mark

Topics: Freedom

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Top Ten Reasons You are TI (The Illusion).

1. You brag about not taking all your vacation days.
2. You blow an entire paycheck at a club on bottle service you can’t afford.
3. You measure your personal productivity based on hours sat at your desk instead of work actually accomplished.
4. You ask someone where they work, just so you can one up them when you tell them where you work.
5. You purchase things to create an illusion of status that you don’t have.
6. You eat all of your meals at your desk.
7. You fear doing anything personal at work. (Email, texting, instant messages, etc.).  When you are texting someone and your boss walks by, you   shove your phone in your pocket.
8. You wear a tie to work when you don’t have to.
9. You ask questions that serve no purpose (and that usually don’t make any sense) in order to sound engaged and important during meetings.
10.  You don’t do things because you enjoy them; You do them so you can tell other people.

Expansion and Detail

1.       Bragging about not taking all your vacation days has the intention of illustrating your commitment to the company.  However, vacation days were meant to be used.  The number of paid vacation days in the U.S is one of the lowest in the world!

Yet, there are many who not only fail to utilize all of their allotted days, but brag about not using them.  This is horrible.   You are not getting a break or time for yourself, your family, or friends.  This may be in pursuit of “climbing the corporate ladder”, but you miss out on life.  You are TI.

2.        Your wages barely cover your credit card bills every month.  Maybe you just make the minimum payment while interest charges rack up.  You can barely afford your current lifestyle and you surely don’t save anything each month.  Yet you insist on buying that expensive bottle of liquid to pretend for a fleeting moment that you’re more successful than you really are.You are SUPER TI.

3.       Hours sat at your desk does not necessarily translate into a more productive employee.  You love the illusion created.  You love looking good.  You keep “intelligent” publications (wall street journal, the economist) in plain sight so that people notice “how smart and well-read” you are. The truth is you don’t even read them!  You are always the first one in the office, and damn surely will be the last one out of the office, regardless of necessity. You are TI

4.       You can’t wait for the other person to finish talking about their work.   You don’t even listen.  You just can’t wait to drone on about your job which you think is better.  You think you sound sweet.  Your anecdotes are mind numbing and insipid.  You are TI

5.       You buy things so people around you will notice the label.  You love when someone asks where you got that.  You can’t afford it, but you don’t care.  You love the false impression the things create.You are TI

6.       You eat meals at your desk with the hope that others around you will notice.  You don’t need to eat meals at your desk, but you do so by giving yourself artificial time constraints which trick yourself into thinking you are more busy and more important than you really are.You are TI

7.       You have no personality.  You quiver with terror, panic and alarm while cowering in fear and worry when you don’t have to.   You have no soul.  You sellout at any cost to gain your boss’s approval.  You know that your work means nothing, but it is your life.You are TI

8.       You wear a tie to work when you do not have to.  You do this to feel more important.  You like telling friends and family you have to wear a tie to work.  You may have a “backoffice” job, yet you wear a tie in a vain attempt to foster the illusion that you are a “front office” employee.   When you walk around the office, you can’t help but look down on the proletariat you artificially create in your mind that don’t wear ties.You are T-I-E. The Illusion Extreme

9.       You can’t wait for the meeting to be over because then it’s “your time to shine”.  It’s question time!  You ask pointless questions.   You extend the meeting and consume people’s time.  You ask a question, just to ask a question.  You don’t add value with your words.  You suck up and drain everybody’s time with your meaningless jargon in a futile attempt to sound important.You are TI

10.   You don’t do what you want.  You do what you think will sound sweet to others.  You are trapped by the illusion.  You are TI

Photo from flickr

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23 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jeff says:

    Climbing the corporate ladder.

    Working solely to impress others.

    Bragging about your accomplishments.

    Trying to fit in with your peers, instead of leading them.

    T. I. sounds like a personality disorder.

    Why does someone want to get noticed “going the extra mile” at work?

    For me it could mean I wanted to be rewarded monetarily.

    I think the T. I. individual would be more motivated by achieving a higher position of power in their business lives.

    If they were solely motivated by money they would probably want to be an entrepreneur and start their own business so they would be more in control of their financial future.

    The T. I. person has been talked down to and abused by power, or somehow become obsessed with it over time.

    Bottom line…

    If you want a feeling of power… get a job at a prison and abuse inmates.

    If you want money start a business and take control of your finances.

    In order to achieve growth it’s important to leave mental issues in your past and be mentally tough in the present and future.

  2. Jennifer Engelhart says:

    Bottle service is for idiots. It is the #1 indicator of the dumbest TI drones out there. It does not impress the ladies or make you look cooler than the other guys at the club. Let’s just call it what it is, that you are spending $200 for a $20 bottle of alcohol to broadcast the fact that you’ve “made it” to everyone out there who doesn’t even care.

  3. David says:

    I disagree with the lunch at your desk part. I generally eat lunch at my desk when I am annoyed with my colleagues and don’t want to go out to eat with them.

  4. Patrick Miller says:

    Hilarious Mark. Right on point. So glad I have not been warped into one of the mindless clowns. It’s too bad the city of Chicago is filled with them.

  5. ti says:

    Aren’t you a hypocrite because you still work in corporate america yet you denigrate the corporate lifestyle endlessly. If you hate and see so much wrong with it why dont you leave? You slave!! Ha! THere is nothing stopping you Mark. Go! Corporate america will go on without and you without it. Or are you just a hypocrite hanging on because you can’t live out your philosophy? Why don’t you put this post on your blog and respond so people can see you are just some angst-ridden dope who can’t find anything more interesting in his life than the bordem you so easily find. You say you went to college, got a job, and “…did everything right” well Mark you should try to revise that last comment and contemplate on why you say such a stupid thing because obviously you did not do much right.

    • I think my favorite part about this reply is the fact that they remain anonymous. Seriously? What benefit is it to crush someone’s spirit and dreams? If that is the legacy you hope to leave, I pity you.

      Mark, I applaud your desire to leave the corporate world and to break free from the template life. You will continue to encounter people who feel threatened and lash out against you. Take it as encouragement when members of the life you want to leave don’t like it!

      Like any change in life, there is always a period of time where you have to talk the talk BEFORE you are able to walk the walk. Jumping from one style of living to another without thinking about how you are going to do it is not adventurous, it’s careless. It makes sense that you want to take the time to plan your change.

      It’s called ‘lifestyle design’ because it takes intentional though. If you just up and quit, it’d be closer to ‘lifestyle roulette’.

      Besides, this is probably just a flame from some tie-wearing fool who is all wound up because they haven’t taken a vacation in years and eat lunch at their desk.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks David for the kind words and support! I don’t believe in censorship and do believe in open dialogue, so I let the comments stay. Anonymous!? I know right?! I will take it as encouragement that an “obvious cynic” came out of the woodwork and spent their time to leave anonymous personal attacks on every post I have made so far. As for my lifestyle and the future, I am still gathering my thoughts and carefully working out a path that works for me. Thanks again! Great connecting with you today David!

      • Amazing!!! Love ya Canfield

    • Jennifer Engelhart says:

      The anonymous coward who posted the above comment most likely gets bottle service every weekend in the club. This website can serve two purposes: inspiration for those who are PLANNING their escape from corporate life, and amusement for those stuck in it who need to laugh at all the ridiculous and true TI things that go on every day. Of course as is common with websites like this there had to be at least one stereotypical name-calling, immature individual just dying to lash out. Anyone who takes the time to read this site can clearly see that you are not just here to complain and sit idly in a cubicle watching your life go by. So keep doing what you’re doing Mark, you are about to have an amazing adventure!

  6. These are great points. I most especially love the no-vacation and the always-wear-a-tie people. I can seriously think of specific individuals that fit those descriptions. And you are right, they ARE missing out on life. When I talk to them, you can hear a desperation in their voice. Sadly, they seem to just think that more work will solve their problem and help them reach their long term goal quicker.

    I think it just helps them work longer. :(

    I look forward to seeing what develops here.

  7. Nation says:

    Mark this is a really interesting topic. It is very obvious that the points listed address the issue of insecurity. People who are insecure are constantly looking for situations to reinforce their value. They find meaning in life through their commitment to the “company” by eating at their desks, wearing ties, and not using time off. Their effort to show their commitment becomes their struggle and fight. It ultimately becomes the source of everything in their life. This is the problem with TI. Those who are TI haven’t figured out who they are and they seek external sources to affirm their value. They go down a false road to artificially feed their personal insecurity.

    Outside of work, they suffer from the same crippling illness. They lack personal confidence and need social situations to boost their self-esteem. I mean how else can you justify dropping two hundo large at the club on a bottle of $20 vodka. Then again, it is pretty cool when random girls come to your table and drink your liquor only to leave once the bottle runs dry. You might as well wear a giant sign on your forehead that says “SUCKER”.

    To those who fit the TI mold, I suggest you take a step back and ask yourself how you can change. Learn to focus on yourself and developing your personality and values, and let the bottle service go. You will feel better in the long run, and you might actually overcome your own insecurities!

  8. TI says:

    HA! Mark just because I am Anonymous means my points were not valid? And you call me an obvious cynic? Why? I am not complaining about my life. You are! In fact you built a blog for that sole purpose. Why don’t you address the contradiction that you are swimming in? You go to work each day in a cuve and look at people around you and call them slaves. That is your perception. You talk about bottle service and how people are insecure. That is your perception. You don’t know what the people around at work are thinking. You dont’t know if the people who get bottle service are actually “ballers” or they think it is a good time. Everyone is different leave them alone. You lable them as X (“a slave”) or Y(“a phony bottle service buyer”) BUT that is ALL your perception. YOu created these labels and now you are living with them. You feel you have to label other people and thier behavior because in fact YOU (not them) are the insecure one here. Why would anyone start a blog about the “supposed” shortcomings of other people? Doesn’t that seem desperate? If you were half the individual you want to be (someone with their own thoughts and ideas) you would not even be thinking about ridiculous things like “TI” because you would be sure of yourself and wouldn’t need to second guess all your life choices. YOu sound like someone who had great expectations and then was let down by the reality of the world. Some people can accept and even overcome the facts of life and be content and achieve success. Others like you feel entitled to things. Like you went to school and got a job and now you are unhappy about what you see around you. Well whose fault is that? You say it is society’s fault or the culture in corporate america!! Take some responsibility and ownership for your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are the one who made all the choices!!! Do you get it yet?!?!?!?! You created this whole sense of disappointment you have. It is all in you head. Don’t blame anything on a corporate culture or label others. Everyone is different. Accept it and don’t tear down anyone’s lifestyle or what industry people choose to work. YOu are one tearing down and making excuses for your own failures. I am trying to get you to understand that.

    • beari says:

      TI, Blogs are meant to express people’s perspectives. Mark is not saying anything bad about anyone but just stating issues that he’s noticed in his work place, and as we know…regardless of what kind of work place it is, there are issues. You’re telling Mark to leave people alone, yet you are on here smashing how he feels, very rude and hypocritical. It seems as though you’re taking this a little too personal. I think you need to calm down.

  9. Meaghan says:

    Good work, Mark. Got plenty of hugs while growing up, so I just want to leave you with this warm and supportive sentiment: keep up the writing and share some of your travel stories. I’m amazed at how committed you are to living life to its fullest. You’re a “quality, not quantity” kind of guy.

    • Mark says:

      Meaghan, I’m glad you like the site and that you got plenty of hugs growing up! Thanks for the support and enjoy the posts!

  10. MattA says:

    Interesting site Mark – Ignore the haters. If this is your “journey”, then I’m happy to be a “part” of it by reading along.

  11. Ignacio says:

    Nice website, Mark. Congratulations!

    First I would like to address the negative posts by “Anonymous TI.” It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. TI, why such negativity? You accuse Mark of being “destructive” but you don’t realize that he’s not really trying to destroy anything, nor is he passively accepting his personal state of things, on the contrary, he has begun to disengage and free himsef from a lifestyle he can no longer assume. So it is senseless to tell him to “Do something!” or ask him “Why dont you leave?” That is already happening. It may be that in order to effectuate this rupture Mark needs to see things somewhat extremely or radically, criticizing this or that. But you, TI, see that criticism as negativity and almost as a personal attack (?!). Is there perhaps an element of envy in TI’s reaction? At any rate, TI exhibits a lack of empathy.

    Now, of course, the grass always seems greener on the other side, and, believe it or not, some people might actually be leading fully realized lives in their personal illusion, even within those cubicles. After some time vagabonding or wandering around, the natural reaction or feeling (sometimes, not always) is to envy somehow those who have a secure and stable existence, especially when one is running low on funds. That’s how I feel sometimes. By the way, you all, I’m at (really shitty website, I know, but I do what I can!), and as many out there, I’m also searching for an alternative lifestyle, in addition to having my own “mega-mega projects” (see the Language Learning and Travel Network). Feedback and collaborative proposals are welcome!

    Mark, your concept of The Illusion (as far as I understood those “Top 10 reasons you are TI”) can be summed up in two words: pretentiousness and ostentation. So you could coin a new word, prostentatiousness.

    And, another question/comment: the title of your blog, Lifestyle Ignition, makes me wonder, is it expressly ambiguous? I mean, I see it as the Death card in the Tarot, representing Destruction and Creation or Change at the same time. “Igniting” evokes burning away the old lifestyle, and at the same time instilling life into the new one. In any case, a balance or cycle is to be expected. For example, to have an underlying “ground,” purpose or direction in one’s wanderings, and to have a dreamy, imaginative life within the cubicle. Or rather, to live in phases; nothing lasts for ever, so the lifestyle you ignite and live out (when it is “out”) needs to be replaced by another, etc. A constant renovation.

    You wrote: “We all walked the same direction in the same way to some cubicle, in some office, in some building downtown. There had to be a better way.” Well, my first thought as I read that was “Well, somebody has to do it.” But that’s not right. No one should lead empty, unimaginative lives. The real challenge might be to establish banks (if it is deemed that banks are worthwhile or necessary institutions) in which the employees (or ideally the co-owners) are more and more able to lead meaningful non-TI lives. It’s like the difference between being poor or being rich; it’s more challenging to be rich and not be affected by it (that is, to avoid corruption and to be able to manage the wealth wisely) than to be poor and still happy. So I think you should definitely go out and “get it out of your system,” and then either continue happily on that path or “come back” and realize the “third way.”

  12. Brent says:

    Thanks for the comment, Mark. I enjoyed your post here, and I think some of the ideas you talk about play into the concept of the “rat race” which I discuss on my site. Hope to hear more from you!

    • Mark says:

      Thanks for dropping by Brent! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I really like the concept of your brand new blog. Great logo too by the way! The Illusion or TI definitely plays into the concept of the rat race. The rat race can fuel TI, and their is a contest to see who is “winning” the rat race. Though, if someone is “losing” they can make it appear they are “ahead” with an illusion that will end up making them feel empty inside.

  13. Mark, I can relate with your reasons for why someone is TI. Great insight, by the way!! Love it.

    For reason #9, I remember in one ridiculously long and unnecessary meeting I had to attend, EVERYONE went around the room to ask a general question, in which after it’s been posed, EVERYONE responds to it in his/her own fashion, doling out generous helpings of useless and trivial advice and best practices. I was the only one listening, but not necessarily participating with questions/answers because I did not have anything to contribute to the topics at hand.

    Finally, someone looked at me and said, “Why, Nina, you’ve been very quiet. Do you have something you want to share?” Everyone stared at me.

    I just responded, “No, I believe everyone else has shared quite enough that all that needs to be said has been said already.”

    It’s as if because I wasn’t participating that something must be wrong. There’s a time and place for everything. Meetings is not necessarily one of them (i.e., waste of time, generally).

    • Mark says:

      Nina, I remember those ridiculously long and unnecessary meetings, (and conference calls). Your description of how the “questions” and “input” happens is spot on. That is completely TI. Everyone wants to make it look like they are contributing and doing a good job. In order for everyone to achieve this, people ask useless questions or make statements. We are always told to ask questions in order to contribute and show we are being attentive. This standard not only wastes time, but sucks away moral. This is an illusion. They are fake questions in fake meetings with fake answers sprinkled with corporate jargon and a cherry on top. Great description Nina. Many of us can relate!

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