Working hard or hardly working?


Moon in the sky over Hong Kong Disneyland, in this post for no reason at all

This post relates to: The Atlantic - The Art of Not Working at Work.

Adams questions not only the link between work and rationality, but also the relation between work and productivity: “Work can be defined as ‘anything you’d rather not be doing,’” he says. “Productivity is a different matter.”

In the preface to the Dilbert collection This Is the Part Where You Pretend to Add Value, Adams openly gives his impressions of 16 years of employment at Crocker National Bank and Pacific Bell:
“If I had to describe my 16 years of corporate work with one phrase, it would be ‘pretending to add value.’ … The key to career advancement is appearing valuable despite all hard evidence to the contrary. … If you add any actual value to your company today, your career is probably not moving in the right direction. Real work is for people at the bottom who plan to stay there.”

Unfortunately, this is why I hate those who say they enjoy their jobs, that it gives them meaning and it’s their dream job. I overhead an interesting conversation between our MD and another of my colleagues today, recounting his experience becoming a professional skateboarder when he was younger. He loved skateboarding, but he abhorred having to turn up at a certain time and performing tricks like a trained monkey rather than doing what he loved, which was skating.

Literature talks of optimal levels of stress, where too much can result in burnout, and too little results in workers becoming disengaged, disinterested. That there needs to be positive stress. I haven’t felt this positive stress for a while now, I need a bit more positive stress in my life; rather than see-sawing between both extremes.

In other news, I always wanted to try a blockquote within a blockquote - success!