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Chinese employees are selling their jobs to cope up with workplace stress

A viral trend was seen emerging where employees list their bosses, colleagues, and jobs for sale on second-hand e-commerce platforms, like Xianyu.

In response to workplace stress, young professionals in China have found a unique way to cope with their work related frustrations. A viral trend was seen emerging where employees list their bosses, colleagues, and jobs for sale on second-hand e-commerce platforms, like Xianyu, Alibaba’s second-hand marketplace. This trend has gained significant attention and has started discussions about the pressures faced by the modern workforce in the jobs.

Every job involves some level of stress, but the situation can become even more challenging when the work environment is toxic, with unsupportive and insensitive bosses. Such conditions can lead to negativity, depression, and conflicts. To get out of this, Chinese employees have adopted an unconventional and amusing coping mechanism by listing their jobs and colleagues for sale online as a humorous way to vent their frustrations and to cope up with stress. This trend, referred to as “selling the work smell.” ‘Work Smell’ refers to the mental and physical exhaustion that comes after a long day of work.

Workplace Stress
Image Source: NeuronUP

Humor and Workplace Stress: The Trend of Listing Annoying Bosses and Colleagues

As reported by the South China Morning Post, these listings have included descriptions of “annoying bosses,” “terrible jobs,” and “hated colleagues,” with price tags ranging from ₹4 to ₹9 lakh. One user, selling her job for ₹91,000, also mentioned that it pays ₹33,000 a month, promising that buyers could regain their investment within three months. Another user listed a sarcastic colleague for 3,999 yuan (approximately ₹45,925), offering tips on how to handle this colleague and avoid becoming a scapegoat at work. A third professional listed his “terrible boss” for 500 yuan (around ₹5,742), citing personality clashes and frequent criticism that caused significant mental stress.

These listings are only playful in nature and are not meant to result in actual transactions. Sellers typically cancel the deal or refuse purchase attempts if someone tries to buy the “product.” This practice serves as a form of emotional venting rather than a serious transaction.

One anonymous seller explained, “Someone did pay before, but I applied to offer them a refund, and I deleted the listing after. This is just my way of venting my emotions, not actually buying or selling anyone. I saw many people selling their jobs on Xianyu, and I thought it was interesting, so I wanted to try it too. Selling my job that has no weekends for just 9.9 yuan feels like a small act of revenge.”

The trend has given rise to a mix of emotions of amusement and concern among netizens. While some find the listings humorous and a creative way to deal with stress, others worry that the trend might have gone too far.

You might also be interested in – Chinese employees grow bananas on desks to combat office stress

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