I Was The World’s Greatest Workaholic: Now, Getting Good Siestas Is All That Matters

Employment society is soul-destroying

Adebayo Adeniran
Published in
5 min readNov 10, 2021


The author in 2001 as a McDonald’s manager in Kingsbury, North London

I used to be one of those guys whose self-esteem was inextricably linked to being employed. Nothing gave me greater trepidation than being out of a job. Work was my life, and work was all I knew.

As soon as it was legally permissible to enter employment society, I was in it working at a local bakery in Edgware, North London, during the day, while flipping burgers at night at the McDonald’s restaurant in Neasden, not too far from the Wembley stadium.

In the 90s, I would work 16–17 hours a day while combining my full-time education; needless to say, my grades weren’t the best.

I had the spirit of capitalism and the protestant ethic down to my very fingertips. My philosophy was a man who doesn’t work, should never eat, and nothing frightened the life out of me more than being unemployed.
This practice of working and studying full time was something I had embraced wholeheartedly; By the time I was at Middlesex University in Hendon, an area very close to home, I was store manager at Kingsbury McDonald’s. The 183 bus from Golders Green took me from uni straight to the front of my old workplace in Kingsbury.

My life existed solely because of work.

Once I began working as a department manager at ASDA supermarket, which was only two streets away from my home in Colindale, North London, the same pattern of overworking carried on.

It wasn’t unusual for me to get to the office at 6 am to finish off close to midnight or early the next morning, on one’s feet for 18 hours of the day, working very hard to ensure that all three departments under my supervision were fully functional.

The soulless grind of working a job and the fear of the sack meant that I did all that I could to survive.

And survive I did, until September 2013, when a chance encounter led to my moving to Lagos, Nigeria, to work for a local multi-national. Little did I know then that my capacity for hard work would be tested to its limit.

Lagos is probably the most chaotic, energetic city on earth. Its infrastructural…



Adebayo Adeniran
Writer for

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible