Patriotism Died In A Secret Intelligence Agent

A short story of the journey when I finally realized I was brainwashed by patriotism

by Percy Bolmér, August 21, 2021

By [Stefan Steinbauer] on Unsplash
By [Stefan Steinbauer] on Unsplash

the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country. — Oxford Languages

The week before I graduated from university something drastically changed my life. I had studied Computer Forensics, a subject of retrieving information from computers and cellphones. Forensics is mostly used in criminal investigations to help the Police solve crimes where evidence is located in digital form.

I and a friend were going to present our final essay when suddenly my phone rang and it was an unknown number, I wasn’t going to pick it up, but my friend forced me.

The phone call was something I’d never expected to happen. It was a job offer, but not one Id ever imagined.

Without even looking at the options in the job market, I graduated and went to work in a secret Intelligence agency for the government. I was so psyched and excited, I never thought this would happen. I never once even considered what it would mean.

I worked for 6 years, proud and loyal as can be. Never once did I look back. It wasn’t until I became a father of two small amazing rays of sunshine, that I started to consider my work situation. I commuted 4 hours a day and worked 10. I only saw my kids for an hour each day before they had to sleep. I had to solve this somehow, so I went to my seniors. The team spirit in our group was so strong, we all loved what we did and we did it together. Given the fact that I had sacrificed so much time for work, surely we would work a solution out.

Horrified by the fact, that they simply responded

There is nothing we can do to help that

I had to make a very hurtful decision. I had to quit my job. A thing I’ve said before that I would never do because no other employer would offer me the same meaningful work.

No other employer would be so nice to me as this one had been, with some flexible work hours, etc. No other employer would allow sick days for the kids like my current one. No other employer would teach me as much as my current one. No other employer would pay me as much. No other employer…

I had so many reasons imprinted in my head why my current work situation was the best. It wasn’t until I sat down with a company that offered me an interview, where I proudly sprouted with how good I currently had it, that I realized the truth.

At that interview, it struck me like lightning that nothing of it was real, I was so brainwashed by the military patriotism that my judgment was clouded. It wasn’t good, it was horrible. From the beginning I set foot in the government as a fresh candidate, I was being brainwashed day by day into believing that everything I did was for the better good, without hesitation.

Many employers could offer meaningful jobs. Many employers offered better work terms, fully flexible work hours. Many employers allowed more sick days. Many employers offered and gave education Many employers all paid about double the salary. Many employers…

It wasn’t the time wasted that hurt me, it was the realization that was the worst part. They had snagged me right after education, not because they were impressed by the work we had done, but because we had no experience with the work situation in the market. They wanted us because they could control us and because we had no references to working on the public market. They weren’t grateful for the work we did, they were grateful that we did as told like mindless puppets.

The horrible realization marked the death of my old life, and the arising of my new one.

A life where I have the time and energy to play with my family, a life where I don’t walk around sleep-deprived, a life with time to workout, a life full of laughter and joy.

The death of my patriotic slavery was the beginning of my journey to Happiness.

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