Day one of year three! We have a doozy of a piece this week by Judith Arcana.
I want to thank you for reading, submitting, thinking and sharing. I can admit that some days I wonder why I keep WORKing. When I stop to think about it, I realize that I love the language of WORK and I want more ways to talk about employment. I want to understand why people do the things they do: why they strive for one career over another, why they get trapped in a job they never wanted, how they learned to enjoy doing what many people would abhor, what ways they survive on next-to-no sleep or next-to-no money, and all of it for what.
I’ve been in all of those situations, I am one of those people. I work with those folks. I remember the circumstances. I watched Dad drain pots of coffee, slip into uniform, hurry to the punch clock, and then come home haggard and bitter. I watched Brother raise his hands as far as he could as he described waves thrashing the fishing boat he worked on. I watched Mother lean in careful stretch with her hands on her back after cleaning under a client’s coffee table. I myself woke at 4 am, Monday through Saturday, to press police uniforms one year and the next to answer phones as a virtual receptionist.
How do we do it? Where is the motivation? Do you find motivation in prestige? The wage? Watching your bills get chipped away? The promise of retirement? What peace do you make with yourself when your job doesn’t match your soul?
We are told in the United States that employment is important, that what you do when you’re on the clock defines who you are. In many ways, I disagree. However, there is no denying that timesheets change how we think, how we behave, where we can go and who we meet. That is why WORK continues. WORK is here because The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week and The New York Times do not know how it is. We know how it is.