The Curse of the Permanent Job in 1904

The Saturday Evening Post warned of the risks of becoming too comfortable on the job (or in your marriage).

A tired phone operator at work

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This editorial appeared in the December 3, 1904, issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

The chief cause of matrimonial failures is the chief cause of failure in other directions. It is what may be called the curse of the “permanent job.” Give a man what is, or seems to him to be, a permanent job, and he begins to go to seed.

Before it is too late, transfer him to a job where there are but two certainties — that he can keep it if he does well, that he will lose it if he doesn’t. At once, the man who was degenerating into a sour, querulous failure is developing into a cheerful, useful success.

The husband who says, “Now I’ve got her,” and ceases to try to please — or the wife who acts in the same spirit — is on the way to matrimonial disaster. Whether or not the marriage was made in heaven, it’s got to be lived on earth. Nor are the laws of human nature suspended for the benefit of the married.

This article is featured in the January/February 2019 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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