All We Do is Work?


All We Do is Work?

Posted by imamberbug

Does it seem to you like all you do is work? Have you ever noticed while sitting at work how boring and tedious your job can be? Ever feel like doing something else? Many Americans find their jobs to be just that and would like to do something with their time that actually matters, while earning a decent wage. But these Americans have bills, rent, and families to feed so they feel stuck and need the income that their jobs provide in order to survive.

With the economy the way it is and jobs not easy to find, people in America have a lack of job security. Day in and day out, some people return to their jobs each day feeling less and less satisfied with what they do. They may even have problems with their bosses or coworkers making their job even less desirable and instilling fear that they may soon find themselves unemployed. The fear out there in the job market is palpable. Not enough jobs and too many people to compete with to get work. Also, you may notice that many employers are only hiring part time these days in order to avoid paying their employees health and retirement benefits required by labor laws.

So what do these unsatisfied people do while at work to help make their tedious days at work a little bit better? Chris Carlsson mentions in his book Nowtopia,

“On one side is the crushing necessity of making money, on the other is the creative urge to find fulfilling work, whether or not it is paid.  Frequently this bifurcation results in ‘time-theft,’ the common practice of doing one’s own activities while at work. ‘Time-theft’ can be as mundane as pretending to work while chatting with a friend on the phone, or as assertive as using facilities and resources at work to produce for oneself – appropriating building materials and consumer items, writing novels, or designing one’s own website”  Chris Carlsson (39).

Many of you, if not all of you at some point in their job have done one or all of these things. And seriously, I don’t blame you! I’ve been there and done that! We all get tired of doing the same old thing day after day and look for ways to better spend our time while at work. Capitalism is so prominent in American society that many of you find yourselves having to finish your work at home; sometimes not even getting paid, just to meet a deadline. It is no wonder that you would utilize some of the time spent at work to accomplish your own personal business.

Chris Carlsson talks about the punk movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Carlsson says, “Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, punk music exploded as a rejection of the co-optation of rock ‘n’ roll music corporations who were selling ‘glam’ rock or disco as the latest fad” (48). Well, can you blame them? The clothes and music that was being sold back then was awful! I was born in the late 1970’s and I can remember the Afro’s, bell-bottomed jeans, and horrible colors and patterns that some of us unfortunately wore. What surprises me is that some of these fashions have made a comeback! YUCK!

Punk music went against everything that the corporations and governments tried to sell us and did it with so much force, that eventually it too became popular and trendy. Punk music was also a driving force in the Do-It-Yourself movement. In the end, music corporations got on the bandwagon and turned it into a profit-making money-machine. Other businesses quickly followed suit and turned the Do-It-Yourself movement which was suppose to be about self-reliance and not being apart of Capitalist-society.

What can you do to change your situation? As I’ve noted in my other blogs, there are many ways to improve your life with out spending money. Making your own clothes, planting herb and vegetable gardens, going to the beach, turning off the television and picking up a book instead; are all great ideas to get you started on being more self-efficient. As for job security, that is a tough one. I chose to start my own business and work for myself. I began it in the Spring and feel I have real job security for the first time in my life. If there is something you’re good at doing, it might be a great idea for you to turn it into a business and make some real money doing something that you love and are passionate about. I can honestly say, I have never been so happy and so satisfied than where I am now in my life!

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