‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Gina Linetti Was a Quiet-Quitting Hero Long Before Quiet Quitting Was a Thing
If you’re unfamiliar with “quiet quitting,” it’s not ghosting your job because the only thing worse than continuing to work there would be to suffer through a last day party thrown by the 20 people you hate most in the world. The idea is not to quit at all, but to do just enough of your job to prevent you from getting fired and not a fraction more.
It’s a response to an economy that’s given workers an unusual amount of power, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Gina Linetti was doing it back when we were still recovering from a recession because she’s a trendsetter in all she does (and fears nothing except businessmen).
To tap into that coveted Gina state of mind, we’ve studied the Nine-Nine’s beloved administrator and put together this guide on doing the bare minimum…
Choose Your Job Wisely
It’s a lot harder to quiet quit when you’re, say, a surgeon or air traffic controller. You’ve got to pick a career path where your lack of work will go largely unnoticed. According to Jake, “an ice cream cone could do” Gina’s job, making it an ideal choice for slacking off. Previously, she was the assistant manager of a mall kiosk that sold sunglasses, a business that even the employees are going to actively avoid interacting with.
Make Sure You’re Underestimated
As a child, Gina doctored her own report cards to show lower grades because “if people knew how smart (she) was, it would have been harder to control them,” and she brings that same energy to her career. She’s always claiming not to know things (like the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars movies, for which she says she is “too pretty”) and later being revealed as a liar. Nonetheless, when Captain Holt promotes her to his personal assistant because he believes she has “hidden talents which will make (her) surprisingly good at the job,” she panics and insists, “No, I have no talents.”
Have a Strategy for Avoiding Co-Workers
No matter how useless you portray yourself to be to your co-workers, they will inevitably try to make you do stuff, so have some deflection tactics. A simple “New phone, who dis?” might be enough to confuse a colleague who approaches you face to face into backing down (though it doesn’t work on Boyle). But Gina has also tricked co-workers into doing work for her (like when she agreed to let Amy “teach” her how to change a tire as a ruse to just get her to change Gina’s tire). If all else fails, use your considerable free time, like Gina, to assemble detailed blackmail folders on everyone so you can always threaten them into submission. Speaking of which…
Not doing your job is going to give you a lot of time to kill. Gina uses most of that time to play mobile games and browse social media, but she’s also a devoted online shopper and even once gave herself a haircut right at her desk. She also “hang(s) out in the men’s room all the time” because “the acoustics are amazing.”
Block Out Distractions (That Is, Your Job)
Even if you’ve clearly communicated your intentions to neglect your job duties, they have an annoying way of butting into your haircut time. Gina copes with this by never looking up from her phone. A solid pair of noise-canceling headphones also goes a long way.
If you’re going to follow the Gina Linetti quiet quitting playbook, you can never under any circumstances be anything less than perfectly pampered at your job. That means amassing as many space heaters as necessary and keeping a blanket featuring the animal with whom you most closely identify on hand (for napping) and never giving them up. (Unless you have life lessons to impart. Ugh.)
Make the Most of Your Resources
If you’re being forced to sell your life by the hour, you should extract the most value from your employment. Gina is constantly demanding outlandish raises, but she also runs an underground market for stolen police badges, may or may not sell confiscated drugs and stole scarves and silverware from her boss’ house at a party. Gina doesn’t work off the clock, so if she has to socialize with colleagues, you better believe she’s getting some forks.
Cultivate Your Passions
After all, why are you saving all this energy? Gina, of course, was a dedicated member of the modern dance troupe Floor-gasm, at least until she decided to focus on finishing her bachelor’s degree instead. After returning from maternity leave, she often sneaks out to see her baby and convinces Holt to let her work on her side business (a sports league for other people’s pets) one day a week. Okay, she just told him that’s what was going to happen.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Being a quiet quitter doesn’t mean you have no ambition. On the contrary, it means you know you’re meant for more than your stupid dead-end job, so look for opportunities to bridge that gap. For example, Gina follows Holt when he’s transferred to the public relations department because she “figured PR would be the easiest path to launching (her) reality show, Linetti, Set, Go.”
Know When to Actually Quit
That ambition means it’s unlikely you’ll be doing this job for the rest of your life, so it’s important to recognize when it’s time to move on. When Gina decides she wants to do something with her life to make her daughter proud, she wastes little time and rarely looks back. She ends up becoming a world-famous influencer, which we can all agree is more valuable than civil service. To the bitter end, she lives by her own words of wisdom, and you should, too: “Life is chaos, success is completely arbitrary and confidence is everything.”