9.06.2005


Well its Labor Day, and while I usually like to post something relevant to the given holiday that I happen to be blogging on, Labor Day is just so...blah. I mean its a holiday to celebrate labor. Work. By not working, which is kind of ironic. "A creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers blah blah blah blah blah."

So, in honor of Labor Day, I'm going to post here an email that I once sent to a group of my friends back when I was working at my first miserable job at Kaufmann's, in the buying program there. I had been working late on a Friday as was often the case, and more than a little unhappy about it. Its basically my views on work and where it came from and why I don't like it. Some people who received my rant have taken some issue with it, and while for the large part its written in wry jest, some parts of it still ring fairly true.

Guess what? That's right. I hate work. I don't hate my job; I just hate work in general. I know this to be true because I hate work at home (i.e. laundry, dishes, etc.) just as much as I hate it here at my job (heretofore undistinguished from "work" - it should be noted that an underlying presupposition to this litany is that work and job are two entirely different entities).

It all goes back to that stupid Adam guy. Boy, did we humans ever had it made, running around butt naked, eating anything we wanted except fruit from one stinking tree in a whole huge garden (how hard was this concept, really?), no hurt, no pain, life was great, you never got sick or died or anything. Then it all went to heck in a hand-basket.

This whole "sweat of your brow" thing - suitable punishment for man's sin, I grant God that (although it is still under debate as to whether it was actually "man's" sin - yet regardless of who's sin it was, Adam did, however, set the perfect initial example of what has become known as "blame" when he said "the woman You gave me..." - notice he blames both the woman and God for giving him the woman. Classic.). Nevertheless, it never said anywhere that we were explicitly required to love work. So I propose that whoever first came up with the insane idea that work was something you should love, was, in fact, an absolute moron.

Now, since we postulate that most people (present company excluded, naturally) are generally stupid, we can assume that most people are of the mind (or lack thereof) that you can, ideally, find work that you actually love. These people are stupid because they believe this, and they believe this because they are stupid. It is a vicious cycle.

Side note: some say you should fear stupid people in large numbers, I say fear large numbers of people. Chances are there are more stupid people than not in any given large group. Most smart people are too cautious to gather too often with any group of people for fear of too much association with stupid people, as stupidity has, in rare instances, been known to be contagious.

To my point, I don't believe there is such a thing as work that can be loved. Labor of love is an oxy moron, when in situations where the labor is the focus (i.e. the apostle who coined the phrase meant labor of LOVE, not LABOR of love). Perhaps it may be said that there are jobs that you can love, but are these really work? No. They are a form of something, anything else (relaxing, playing, thinking, what have you...) that you happen to get paid for. This is what I want. That I could love.

Please contact me if you know where I can find this. Of course, if you did know where I could find this, you would keep it to yourself, if you were smart. And since I have formerly excluded present company from the category of idiocy, my request is rendered moot.

I rephrase - please forward this to stupid people you may be pained to know who do have jobs that they love (and likely, therefore, think they love their work). Ask them to get back to me with info.

Thanks,

---David---

2 comments:

becca said...

Well, I have to say that my work (teaching) is work that I love. And it definitely is work.

Yes, playing and thinking and relaxing are all part of it...just as exhaustion and responsibility and lesson-planning and cutting and having meetings with irate parents are all part of it.

I think the love of the work comes from having the joy of working towards something that brings about the kingdom of God in some way, small or large as it may seem.

Of course I can say that easily, working in a Christian school where the effects of my kingdom-work are easily observed....I can't say anything for the corporate world and how its members can be used to build the kingdom through their work.

David said...

Hmm, well the younger, dumber version of me that originally wrote that email would have argued that your teaching work isn't actually work, but just teaching. Kind of like when I had the only job I loved - which involved a lot of skiing. Each day would end with me exhausted, yet I still woke up the next morning wanting to get to work early. So I wouldn't have called the skiing work, just skiing. That I got paid for.

But I'm older and wiser now so I'm not going to make that arguement. You make good points. And offer the conviction that here in the offices of corporate America there may be far much more work that needs to be done. Or maybe just more difficult work, but the same amount. Or something like that...if that makes any sense.