The workplace is a contrived society.
One Man’s Cuppa is Another Man’s Grind
I think of all the people who got to work from home during the course of the past year and a half and I get to wondering about those people who officed (yep, turning a noun into a verb) in public places. What happened to all those people who didn’t have an office space to work from to begin with and used coffee shops as their offices? Where did they work during the lockdowns and quarantines?
I won’t even try to estimate how many times I’ve gone to a local coffee shop for a cuppa and heard or saw somebody using the shop as an office. I’ve overheard and spied many a pitch, deal, hustle, and multi level marketing scheme at work while I drank overpriced, not so good coffee and read Walker Percy (or Lovecraft, or Parker, or O’Connor, or some other writer).
Many people are grumbling about going back to the office for work while others never left. Let’s take a moment to think about those who don’t have a set workplace, who don’t work from home, and who grind away at work where most of us go to relax.
Movies About Work to Watch After Work
- Up in the Air–For those who’ve been laid off or fear being laid off. A great movie for not so great times.
- Wall Street–An OG movie about hustling (and not in a good way) to get the top.
- Clerks–The classic niche movie for all retail workers.
- Office Space–What most of us at dead end jobs wish we could do but don’t.
- Glenngarry Glen Ross–The movie that made a generation wonder if they were good enough to be a closer.
“Beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life.”
-Hunter S. Thompson-
Troubling jobs get day whiskey. Many roads, letters, faces. Never feeling, crying, taking. No sorry hearterd past.
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?
We labor for ourselves but we work for others.
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-
- “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-