Walnut Grove, Minn.-In recent developments, it appears that the latest trend of “quiet quitting” has hit this little town of industrious workers.
Quiet quitting, a term recently in vogue to describe an employee who merely completes tasks required of their job but does not go above and beyond, is becoming pervasive in Walnut Grove. Like most developments in the town, Charles Ingalls is a driving influence in the phenomenon taking hold.
“I have spent years working hard, really busting my behind,” Charles Ingalls tells The Prairie Review. “I woke up one day and realized that I have almost nothing to show for it. All those hours spent away from my family and I’m still dirt poor. If I’m going to be poor anyway, I might as well focus my attention where it really counts–my family.”
Although Charles has been known for years to work around the clock at various jobs, Walnut Grove’s hardest worker says those days are all behind him. “I used to wake up before dawn to do the morning feeding at home before walking three miles into town to work at the mill all day, only to come home and labor at the farm all night. Sometimes I was so tired I couldn’t even eat dinner with my family. Well, I just had an epiphany one day when they asked me to haul a load to Sleepy Eye for the mill. Haul a load in my own personal wagon, all the wear and tear on my own horses? I don’t think so, buddy. They can find some other sucker to do that work.”
When asked for further comment, Charles exclaimed that he is “just a farmer–a stupid, dumb farmer!” before laying on the ground for his afternoon nap.
Charles’ defense of his work life-home life boundaries has inspired others in Walnut Grove to do the same. Hester Sue Terhune recently cut back on the efforts she puts into everyday tasks at the Blind School. “It just hit me that I was doing all this work around the place, maintenance sort of things, cleaning even, and for what? I’m the only one around there that can see anyway. My primary focus is teaching anyway. They want a custodian, they can hire one. Until then, I’m just going to turn a blind eye to the situation.”
Some residents of Walnut Grove object to the credit Charles Ingalls receives for bringing quiet quitting to the town. “Quiet quitting? Charles Ingalls? Oh please,” Nellie Oleson cackled. “When Charles Ingalls throws a plate at a customer who only wants the food they ordered, he can talk to me about avoiding work.”
Nels Oleson, another recent quiet quitter, quickly apologized for his daughter’s attitude. “This may be getting a bit semantical on my part, but I don’t think Nellie knows the meaning of the word quiet. That girl has never been a quiet quitter. She’s the loudest quitter I’ve ever seen. Now me, I am a good example of quiet quitting. Are people going to stop shopping at the only store in town if the floors are a little dusty? By no means! That’s why I’ve reduced my sweeping only to when it’s really necessary.”
Nels Oleson has also purchased a comfortable chair where he is often seen sitting between customers. Harriet Oleson is pleased with the developments in her husband’s character and has even let up her former hard demeanor in response. “Well, you know I was always the last one to want to extend credit to these farmers around here,” Harriet informs us. “Well, after all, I have my own creditors that I have to pay. But one day as I was watching Nels doze off in his chair while a customer waited at the counter to pay, it hit me: I can’t pay my creditors if I don’t get my bills. And how do I get my bills? By walking to the post office to retrieve them. You see, if I just don’t go to the post office, no bills. No bills to pay means more money for me. Everyone wins!”
At press time, everyone had taken the afternoon off to go fishing.