How Do You Game When You Have To Work All Day?

Cubicle Prank
I have a long multi point reader question that I’ve been neglecting in my inbox for a couple days, here goes…
Hi Athol, I write from India and have been reading your blog for long. I stumbled upon game from MRA (Bernard Chapin) via Roissy in DC. Your views make a lot of sense and there has always been game in all cultures, including mine. However, one aspect while marriages are becoming difficult in all cultures/countries are also due to certain factors –
1)The modern economy — Most of us can only be Beta/Omega. Only a very very few of us can be truly Alpha. Most of us will be wage slaves for the rest of our lives.
Yes and no. The social groups are indeed much larger than they were in the past. Back in the Time Before Writing a tribal group topped out around 150 people. So about 75 of the group would be male, about half the males would be children, about half the others somehow sick or wounded in some way. So to be the top dog in the The Before Writing, you just had to be the best of about 15-20 adult males. That was still hard, but nothing compared to needing to be a one in a million guy these days.
The trick is to look around and see the real social group that you are part of. You may well operate in a smaller social group than you realize. Once you ignore the movie stars and look around at your actual real competition you may not be as bad off as you think. You just have to be hotter than the guys in the cubicles around you. Which may be just a case of heading to the gym rather than drinking beer.
I hear you on the wage slave thing. Try hard to break out of that if at all possible. That’s not even a Game thing, just commonsense, though I agree it’s a tough assignment to get done.
2)Most modern jobs, including in my country, are no more till you retire. Rather they are short-term contractual. For many people, it is better to give their daughters in marriage to persons who are employed in the public sector rather than private sector, even if he is an IT engineer.
And this is the modern reality. Obviously the giving daughters in marriage deal is a huge cultural difference that I’ll simply acknowledge, but the solution is just education and marketable skills that continue being useful into the future.
3)These jobs in the private sector involve becoming a worker bee. Its very difficult to play game or whatever when you work for 10 hours every day, take shit from your boss who is always alpha as he is always right.
This is where you have to work hard to try and divide the work and home lives as best you can. Ultimately continuing to provide a solid income to your family isn’t an exciting Alpha skill, but it is a solid Beta one. You do need it. I’m sure you’ll agree that income is better than no income in a wife’s opinion of you.
It’s a constant struggle to both be appropriate and a team player at work, and yet be a family leader and engaging lover at home. It does take effort. Sometimes something has to give.
4)If women complain that we do not understand them, then I ask do they understand us? Do they know what it means to be a drone? Take crap in the workplace and then take crap at home. Do they have any idea on what it means to be a man?
I think many women do understand the drone thing, especially if they have a job as well. Both my wife and I work full time and sometimes it’s all just a scheduling battle and a rush to get it all done. It’s important not to “take crap at home” though. If nothing else I’d suggest taking charge of that aspect of your life. Importantly it’s an attitude of “I’ve decided that we will not crap on each other”, then it’s moving ahead together as team in your marriage. Sometimes your team will win, sometimes it will lose, but you win and lose as a team. You just play the role of team Captain.
5)Women often complain that men are unexiting. Many of us are not. But after working long hours most of us are not exactly geared up for fun. There’s a lot I could keep on writing but I guess that both men and women have to understand this — You can’t have it all. This media-fed lie that you can have it all, for both sexes.
I think if you end up watching passive entertainment as a way of life, you do become quite boring. I think the solution is to find something you can be passionate about, that you can draw her into or at least have her appreciate that you are good at it. That can really be anything that you enjoy and are good at. It’s really a peacocking skill. Finding your fun passion may not be something that you can quit your day job for, but it will energize your life.
I agree that you can’t have it all like the media sells it. That’s why you decide on something that you do want, that you are passionate about and you focus on that.
The impermanence of everything (this is a Buddhist idea) or the notion that fruits of one’s labour are not in our hands. We have to work in a detached manner. I think inner game is the best game. A lot of Americans think and a lot of modernity is based on the notion that everything is in our hands. No it is not. This goes for both sexes. We can only act, but their fruits are not in our hand. Normal men and women should have no problem in pairing up and having children. May be, there is something more deeper here, which prevents people from pairing up. Life is absurd, men realise it, I just want to ask you, do women understand this also?
I think there is an element of luck in everything, but your own hard work is the only influence on your outcomes that you can control.
It is a strange time for mating and relationships in the human race. I believe we are just at the opening phase of the social upheavals caused by the creation of the mass availability of birth control technology. We are about 50 years into a process that will probably take 150-200 years to actually balance out as a generally hopeful estimate.
Not all men see the reality of modern life and I think at least some women do understand life is crazy. There are isolated islands of sanity, love and happiness that can be found and worked for. It is remarkably helpful and good to marry a wife that shares that viewpoint.
There really are too many things a man could do to be sexy and attractive. In the end I think you just have to focus on something that you can pull off well and live that life.


  1. This emailer's questions/comments raise some common guy issues. First up: how best to handle a drone-type job? How to DHV while working as a wage slave?

    First of all, kick out the flawed image that the job you see "that other guy" doing is all glamor and alpha. It's not. Everyone has his ass beholden to someone–from CEO to janitor. That fact remains the same no matter how much education you have or how much money you make. Moreover, every job has drone-like aspects. Again, it doesn't matter the occupation title. The only practical difference in job title is how long it takes one to finally discover the above facts!

    Given all this, the real issue then is all about how you interpret or respond to the job; which aspects you focus on; whether you let it kick your ass or you kick its.

    This brings to mind the story of Cool Hand Luke (old Paul Newman movie). In the movie, Luke (Newman) is in the shittiest of shitty job situations–working on a chain gang while serving time in prison. It's a brutal environment. But even as he's physically inside the prison, he's never entirely IN the prison. He's got this uncanny aloofness, a mental smirk, that defines him as alpha no matter what the surroundings.

    Check this scene here where, upon first arriving in prison, Luke appears to lose a fistfight. In reality though, he's very much won something else:

    It's hard to demonstrate that attitude (see the rest of the movie) in every job situation, but that's the idea.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Great comment MNL

  3. If you're in a cubicle job, keep working. More education, expertise, experience or hard work should open up opportunities. Keep moving and keep your eyes open for other ways to move forward.

    All jobs suck to some extent. Some get paid more than others. But pay typically comes with sacrifice (lifestyle, experience, expertise, etc.)

    And you have to be interesting outside of work. Think about the guys you meet that work all day and head home every night to see the family and watch TV. Boring. The most interesting people you meet always have something else going on.

  4. Sounds like this guy is letting his job define who he is as a person. Sure, 10 hours every day is a lot of time, but commenter Salut is dead-on about "being interesting outside of work."

    If you don't make the effort to have a hobby or two outside of work, why would a woman ever think you'd put in the effort for her?

  5. As a woman I appreciate you noticing that some women do get what he's talking about, and some men do not. I'm generally a fan of the good guys learning game, especially inner game.

    I've encountered some men* who have decided that DHVing in the work place/conference colleagues is done as a neg . . . to me it comes across as unprofessional and immature and based on my prejudices, suggests to me that this is a person that cannot work collaboratively. What are some of the ways you suggest for the workplace that help a man demonstrate he has value, or high value without putting others down?

    I've also noticed some men take the 'better to beg forgiveness than ask permission' approach which can work out well, but some men lack a certain situational awareness, and end up coming off as ill mannered/not well bred/harm others rather than what I think they're aiming for, which is in charge of their lives and their environments (granted you can't account for everything, but when basic situational awareness is lacking . . . it lowers my desire to associate with that person). Granted, some people are just rude.

    *some of the ones I'm talking about, I know know about game . . .

    I read a comic strip the other day that was pretty funny and apropos, Disney and Porn, make for really dissatisfied men and women . . .

  6. IMO:

    1) It's a lot easier to be alpha if you are self-employed. That's definitely not an option for everyone, but it can be a good option. You're much more likely to make more money, too. So long as you succeed. The vast majority of people don't, though. And the hours when self-employed are much longer, on average. But still . . .

    2) Resigning to fate is not an alpha trait. You do what you gotta do, but you should always continue to search your options. Your best options are normally to do what no one else is doing, yet.

    3) About the boss: Decide that his attitude won't affect your attitude to life. If his attitude sucks, it's probably because something in his life sucks. Make it a project to see if you can fix that. I don't mean grovelling. Just remove yourself from his line of fire, mentally and emotionally.

    4) Never match complaining with complaining. Her complaints are waves breaking on your rock. Tell her you've got it sorted out and she doesn't have to worry. You don't need to spell out your life's plan for the next twenty years, either.

    5) Being exciting is an attitude, not what stuff you do in your spare time. Conversely, if you're tired when you're at home, plan something while you have energy. Think ahead. Think, "When I get home I'll do _____ ". It's really hard to be creative when you're tired, but if you come up with the idea when you're not tired you can usually pull it off even without much energy later.

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