Whistle While You Work

or Maybe Create a Playlist

The older I get the more things I seem to notice or maybe the more things just come into focus. One of the things I’ve noticed lately (or it has come into focus) is the importance music plays at work. What I mean is being able to listen to the music of my choice while working. I never gave it much thought so I took for granted how important it is.

I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years. I considered pay, benefits, conditions, and a variety of other factors when searching and selecting work, but I never considered whether or not I could play music while I worked. As I look back at my long list of jobs the ones I liked the most allowed me to play music of my choice. From my first full time job in retail electronics where I brought in my Case Logic binder of Columbia House CDs (if you are of a certain age you know what I’m talking about), to the 5:00 am inventory/pricing job and my IPod Nano packed with all those one penny CDs, or my current job where I can play seven hours of Pandora playlists a day for my clients I’ve come to realize music makes the work day a little more enjoyable.

All those jobs that didn’t allow music made the days a little slower, a little greyer, a little less enjoyable. I’m not saying I’d take twenty-five percent pay cut or give up all my benefits just to be able to listen to music, but I do believe if you have to do a thing for eight hours a day then try to find something that makes those eight hours a little more enjoyable. Whether or not I can listen to music while I work is something that I’ve decided to add to the list of considerations when I make the move to my next job. What about you? Any special considerations?

-K-

We labor for ourselves but we work for others.

-K-

Authors on Working

Several Cents Worth of Common Sense

  • “The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.” -Arthur Miller-
  • “You should not confuse your career with your life.” -Dave Barry-
  • “Do not whine…Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone.” -Joan Didion-
“Notice”

  • “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson-
  • “Apparently I lack some particular perversion which today’s employer is seeking.” -Patrick Kennedy Toole-
  • “If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you are a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.” -Kurt Vonnegut-
  • “In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not subversive.” -Bill Waterson-

-K-

Some More Thoughts on Warning Signs

or Knowing When to Stop

It’s hovering around 100 degrees out here in the Midwest, and I’m drinking my second cup of coffee while tapping away at a couple thoughts. It was my Pops who told me hot coffee on a hot day helps regulate the body temperature. I never asked where he picked up that bit of wisdom. Did he learn it growing up in Harlan County, while serving in the Army, or maybe while working as a chemical operator? With his passing the origin of that piece of advice is lost much like the origin of his advice about knowing when to stop.

“Stop Sign”

Pops warned me that there wouldn’t always be clearly posted stop signs throughout life. Sometimes I would have to use my best judgement, to realize that many individuals and institutions do not have my best interests in mind. He told me knowing when to stop, when not to follow, or when to go my own way wouldn’t be an easy skill to master but was one worth learning. Pops’ advice wasn’t unique. Most of us have been taught something similar at some time. But many of us (myself included) need to develop this skill now more than ever. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that warning signs abound and we often ignore them for one reason or another. Maybe we’ve become a little too complacent. Maybe we need to work a little harder at keeping an eye and ear out for those not so clearly posted stop signs.

-K-

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