Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Working is for saps

A great place to kill forty hours a week

I've meant to write this for a while, but other, more pressing matters took hold. Now that Britney's baldness has had time to sink in, I can start getting on with my life again.

To begin in the annoying, hip comedian tone, so y'know work, right? What's WITH that?!

I'm not going to pretend for a moment that I enjoy working. Is it that I don't enjoy what I do? Probably. But how many people enjoy the work they do? Not that many. For the most part we are caught up doing whatever job our skills best serve in order to make ends meet.

If that's what work really is all about, then why is there this incredible societal pressure to work, no matter what your financial status? I have two friends with significant others who are doing well enough to provide for the both of them and the lady not have to work. Yet both of them have come under scrutiny from friends and loved ones about getting jobs. Why? Why should someone with enough money to stay home, work for the sake of it? At what point did an individual's value as a human being rest on whether or not they are employed to do something, anything? It pretty much doesn't even matter what it is. As long as you're employed, you're on the right track. It is amazing how much more credibility people get from their jobs. Someone could be a complete bastard, but if they have a good job, his general impression is quite good. No matter how miserable a job is, it seems to command some level of respect over someone who, not needing one, doesn't have one.

Still got too much time? Any of these methods work great for killing an additional 5 - 10 hours in the week.

Is it jealousy? I think that's part of it. I think it pains some people to watch others not have to work when they have to, so the best they can do it make the person living comfortably feel guilty for having the time to enjoy their lives.

I've worked part time for over a year now and even that just kills me. It's not the five hours a day so much as the schedule. I hate being up in the morning and the 8am - 1pm encroaches on my late nights at which time I am at my productive peak. Which isn't to say I'm always productive. In fact, often I am not. But why, even if Gregg started raking it in, should I have to have a job or vice versa? I've talked to my mother and she says that if she won the lottery, she would still want to keep a part time job in a shop or something to keep busy. And that's fine if that sort of thing keeps her going, but she says to me "You'd want to be doing SOMETHING wouldn't you?" hoping I'll break all stereotypes about myself and show that I am NOT lazy. Well guess what? I am! And when I'm not, I've got better things to do with my time than work for someone else! I like to knit and sew and read and SLEEP! So much sleeping to be done. And why shouldn't I? It's free. Why would following up on all those other little things make me feel like less of a person? I'd like to get good enough at sewing to make my own designs and maybe start a small business, and I have the time to pursue that now! I agree it's good to have things to do outside of the home, but they don't have to be work! You can take classes or play a sport a million other things that you can do when you have the means to not have to work!

What I'd rather be doing

Once you are stuck in that rut, despite the automatic credit you get as a functioning member of society for simply having a job, you still have your worth judged by the job you do. People automatically assume that if you have a certain type of job, it means you aren't very smart. When I did temp work, I often noted the demeaning tone in which people addressed me because I was working as a receptionist. But there are plenty of people like me who are smart beyond their job requirements, but choose to do something that suits their schedule and meets their needs. I use to be hung up on people thinking I was stupid for answering phones, but I don't worry about that anymore, knowing that anyone who knows me knows I'm much more than my job, and if anyone is going to judge me for having a job that barely requires a brain, I say the laugh is on them because I'm the one whose home by 1:15, eaten lunch by 2pm, and then doing whatever I want for the next eleven to twelve hours! Doing stuff I like to do! When I had a full time, a "smart" person's job, sure, I got a little more respect, but what good was that when I was too tired to do anything else?

My dad use to be a computer programmer, but he worked an hour from home so he didn't get to spend as much time with us. One day, he came home to find me asleep in a bean bag, clutching a bunch of, by then wilted, flowers that I had picked for him. This sight really struck a chord with him and he soon made the decision to quit his job. He and mum ended up buying a Milk Bar (convenience store) and we were with them all the time after that. One of them would pick us up from school, take us to the shop and we'd see each other all the time. After they sold the shop, Dad got a job in a factory right near our school. He finished at the same time school did, so he'd pick us up, and he, my sister and I would all be home by four and we'd watch Family Ties together. Obviously my dad knew it was more important to be close to his family while working in a factory, than keeping his prestigious computer programming job and hardly see us. While at the factory, he ended up getting a job in the office at the factory anyway, and he was still close to home. He's now nearing retirement and delivers cabinet doors. He loves it because he drives all over Melbourne and gets to have lunch at neat and pretty places every day. I think he's got the right idea. Once you've got your necessities covered, it's time to prioritise.

Good luck seeing that in your usual lunch break
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