Posts Tagged ‘job’

Dead Man Working

January 2, 2008

I am frequently alarmed when I hear someone describe how effectively they avoid work and are still able to receive a paycheck.  Do these people really enjoy “not working?”  Now I’m not talking about relaxing with friends and family, or taking a cruise, or even taking a break to just walk around the neighborhood.  No, I’m talking about expending energy to try to figure out how to avoid any real productive work while in their place of employment.   Computers seem to have added to this malady.  As long as someone is sitting in front of a screen I guess it looks like work.  People check personal email, browse on eBay, and do their Christmas shopping.  Recently I was walking through a corporate office and watched a woman playing solitaire.  I commented to the person showing me in and he dismissed it as that’s just what people do. It appears that looking at a computer covers a world of self-absorbed inefficiency.  It the boss walks up you can always say you’re teaching yourself some new software and thus saving the company training dollars.  You’re not a slacker – you’re a self-starter.   I’ve encountered people who have purposely jammed the production line so they could get in at least a 30-minute nap.  Others who pay co-workers to clock in for them.  And then they complain about loss of benefits or being laid off.   Don’t people realize that in avoiding work they are numbing themselves to the process of innovation, creativity, profitability and ultimately personal fulfillment?  A meaningful life cannot include deception and seeking payment for work not performed.  Is it any wonder companies are looking for ways to pay for “results” rather than “time?”  

Thanks for the bright idea – stupid!

December 27, 2007

One of the great thinkers of the world was Plato.  In describing his primary philosophy he compared people to prisoners chained in a cave.  There is only a small fire illuminating our environment.  The only reality we know is that tiny space in our cave.  But every now and then some cave dweller breaks free from the chains, steps out of the cave and is immediately blinded by the light.  He can only see a blurry version of the Truth because his eyes cannot adjust to what all he sees.  Eventually though, he will see a new reality that his old comrades cannot.  So the enlightened individual returns to the cave and tries to tell the others what they are missing.  Now here’s where it gets interesting.  Will he be welcomed with open arms?  Will his old comrades thank him for sharing his new insights and opportunities?  Not according to Plato.  He suggests that the “prophet will be killed by his former colleagues — which history appears to confirm.

So 2300 years later — are you surprised when your former co-workers think you’re stupid for suggesting you can survive without a “real job” with “real benefits?”  Or for believing that you can take your idea for making a better yo-yo and turn it into real income?    Or for building a straw house (like my son Kevin is doing in Colorado).  Don’t you remember the three little pigs?  Well, sometimes old fairy tales just aren’t true.

Don’t expect your great idea to be embraced by all the old cave dwellers.  There will always be whiners, naysayers, and small thinkers.  If you’re on a different path you can expect criticism, ridicule and laughter as they huddle around their little but familiar fire.  Just don’t let them kill you — or your idea.  Keep looking for more light.