11
   

What is the difference between your Work and Play?

 
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2012 06:52 pm
As far as creativity being the factor that makes work enjoyable, I think it depends.

I've done work where I've had to be creative, where there was constant change, etc. and loved some of the jobs, and hated some of the jobs. Sometimes it was exactly the same work, but I'd be content at one job, and be antsy and depressed like at another.

I've worked on an assembly line putting hinge pins into Cover Girl makeup compacts. Like a 60-80 a minute for 8 hours straight. Some days I'd feel stressed at times, like when work backed up (think Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory) but most days I was totally happy doing my job. This wasn't my first job as a teenager, it was when I was in my 30's.
Part of me was doing the necessary motions, watching out for the quality, part of me was not even there, thinking about the meaning of life.

Huh. Just now I realized the meaning of life is NOT to pay a lot of money for school, worrying about getting into the right school, getting a job that will take years to pay off all that education, one that is considered "work".

I know it's a sacred cow I'm stabbing in the heart, but deep in my soul I believe a whole lot of getting a college degree is a complete crock.

Even if you do get a job that pays a lot, justifying all the expense, now you need to go out and buy stuff like boats and motorcycles to relax from your work, and play. What if you looked at you work like play, even on days it's not creative? Being creative all the time would be exhausting.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2012 07:49 pm
@chai2,
That's not how it's worked out for E.G. at all (for example).

We went to school and then more school, got his Ph.D, did his postdoc, and now is able to make a pretty good living by thinking about stuff he likes to think about (and then writing that down).

He got a lot of scholarships so he didn't pay that much for the education, really, but he's also so not buying motorcycles and boats (I've been trying to convince him for like a year to get a 21st-century TV even -- just watched the OSU game and since the aspect ratio is so different, the left and right sides were completely cut off! Everyone would be looking off-screen and then the ball would squirt out of nowhere. But I digress.)
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2012 08:32 pm
@sozobe,
But I didn't say all education soz.

plus his is very specialized.

look though at the stress so many go through, and end up feeling like work is a 4 letter word.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 05:04 am
Actually, some employers believe that a college degree shows that you can do a certain level of work. A liberal arts degree may not qualify you to do a specific job, but it indicates to employers that you will successfully complete the job-related training that they put you through. The first year of my job I was considered a "trainee." When I had successfully passed all of my reviews, I was given "career status."
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 08:53 am
College taught me how to learn independently more than high school did.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 09:56 am
@wandeljw,
Well wandel, of course we could back and forth all day about the advantages of going to college in someone's specific case, because the profession being sought needs that degree., or that one learned independent study/learning skills in college etc..

I'd like not to get bogged down in anecdotal evidence.

Furthermore, there are many points between getting a job with a high school education, and a full blown bach. or masters.

Technical schools abound that teach the skills for sorely needed openings, good opening. Many times all that's needed is a certificate, or license. Sometimes not even that.

I have a degree. I suppose it was needed in the professional jobs I've had. I frankly don't feel that ever made me a better candidate, it just enabled me to truthfully say "I went to college"
After all these decades, I can honestly say my time spent in college endowed me with no more intelligence that I already had. Oh, I learned some interesting stuff, but it was the real world afterwards that was my real schooling.

I'm not saying college education is unnecessary all the time. But should be be the default position?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 10:01 am
@chai2,
I used to really regret giving up my scholarship and going to work.

now I'm not so sure. (that opinion may change as I near old age)

I think about how much stuff I didn't have to learn that I would have had to to fit in the program. I've learned a lot about what truly interests me along the way. especially now that the internet makes knowledge free...

I'm poor right now due to illness and the American health care "system". but I can go wherever I want when I am healthy, and my skills play there.

I dunno...
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 10:07 am
@Rockhead,
I get what you're saying rocky.

Much of the stuff that interests me I learned on my own.

0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 10:37 am
@chai2,
I don't actually feel like that about my job, smarty-pants - I was trying to come up with an answer to your question.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 11:11 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

I don't actually feel like that about my job, smarty-pants - I was trying to come up with an answer to your question.


I don't think there is one definitive answer mame.

But, I do think it goes beyond having an annoying boss.
We've been conditioned since birth to catagorize work=generally unpleasant, play=always pretty good.
Even if nothing outstandingly fun happens at your job, or during "chores", I think if most people think about it, it's not horrible all the time working.

I like to watch people work. Seems to me the look on their face, motions while doing something and trying to do it correctly, indicates attention to what they're doing, pleasure in the act, etc.

I wonder if you were to freeze frame a moment in time while watching someone work and ask "Quick! Right now, what emotion are you feeling?" You'd more often get "I'm happy" or at least "I'm okay, I feel good, content right now."

At the end of the day working, if there were more ok or pleasant moments, I think it was a pretty fab day.
The concentration you give to a task at work isn't any different than the concentration given to sinking that pool ball.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 11:34 am
@chai2,
I wouldn't generalize that we have been conditioned since birth to categorize work as generally unpleasant. I sure wasn't, and I'm confident that people vary on this. I'll agree that a great number do think of work that way.

I agree strongly re the benefit of trade schools, but from my reading lately I take it that many of those that still exist are something of a rook, and that many trade classes in junior colleges (they used to have auto shop at our local one) have been aced out in budgetary consideration at some point, I think in the early nineties. This makes me grumpier than even usual about our spending priorities.

A book I liked, sent to me by Boomer since she thought I would like it and did - Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford. I've read more on all this elsewhere recently, forget the source.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 11:41 am
@ossobuco,
There is a class issue here. The idea that work should be enjoyable isn't held by anyone except for the upper classes, and it certainly wasn't held through most of history.

Look throughout history and you will see that work has always been characterized as something tedious and difficult that had to be endured (not enjoyed). And most of the time this was true.

Try living for days in a coal mine, or working in a factory for 10 hours a day or breaking rocks for a new road. These jobs have long hours in unbearable conditions with constant quotas and deadlines. "Be happy in your work" is an ironic line from a classic film, not any statement about real life.

If you are fortunate enough to enjoy your work, it isn't because work is supposed to be enjoyed. It means that you are lucky to be living in an affluent society with enough social status to have this luxury. If you look broadly at the wide range of human experience, enjoying your work is an anomaly.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 12:06 pm
@maxdancona,
I've looked at a broad range of human experience.
Of course there is a class issue, but I don't think of it quite as cut and dried as you do.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 02:56 pm
@maxdancona,
You make some good points. Are you working because you have to? Are you working where you're working (doing what you're doing) because that's all you're qualified to do? Is there any hope of rising above where you are? How long have you spent doing what you're doing - has it become routine? Are you challenged? These questions are not directed at you, max, just general questions which I think must have an impact on how you feel about what you're doing.

I've met cleaning ladies who loved what they did, and was married to a professor who loved what he did.

I've changed my careers frequently because they became routine and there was no where else for me to go there. Each time I sought a new job, I sought a completely different one or one in a different industry from the one (s) I'd had. I love the challenge of learning something new, making things more efficient and organized, then moving on when I've mastered it and/or can no longer learn something new.

I could not do the same thing every day, every season year after year. I would probably slit my throat. And it's all to do with mental stimulation, for me, not the people or the business. Just ... it gets old. It'd be like reading the same book over and over.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 04:09 pm
@Mame,
Of course I am working because I have to, isn't almost everyone? I bet that if you gave most of us $10 million dollars (i.e. we wouldn't have to work any more) we would stop our jobs right away (or maybe after the ethical 2 weeks).

The fact is we all need money. That is the primary reason for work.

That being said, there are jobs that I have enjoyed more than others. My current job happens to be particularly unenjoyable. I am looking for another job but that is another topic. There is no job that I wouldn't have quit right away if I could have lived without working.

If for some reason I no longer needed to work I would most likely continue doing what I do-- i.e. programming. The difference for me is that I would be free to program what I wanted to program and create things that I thought were cool without having to worry about the annoying details of work like customers and requirements and deadlines.

To me having intellectual and creative freedom makes all the difference between programming for work and programming for the joy of it.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 04:49 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
If you are fortunate enough to enjoy your work, it isn't because work is supposed to be enjoyed. It means that you are lucky to be living in an affluent society with enough social status to have this luxury.
I was following most of what you were trying to say. When you hit this I part company. There are manypeople who enjoy lower payed professions and jobs. I know one guy who lives to make pizza, and another guy who loves back country fling, another whos a hunting guide who was on his way to a life in medicine and got the shits of THAT.

Id venture to say that if you gave everyone their amnount of "Fyou" money (whatever the amount is), at least half would still want to work at something useful. SItting on ones asses like the ENglish "Upper classes" is why ENgland is the way it is and doesnt even know it.

If you spek for yourself, fine, I just dont think you come even close to speking for the masses of Americans. Look at those people who win the lottery, at least half of them buy or start businesses or keep farming etc.

The group of people you may win an argument about is "The uneducated", those are the backs upon which heavy lifting was done throughout our early and middle history. The wealthier Americans (not trust fund babies like all the DUpont interbreds) work harder than just making a living. Money is made and accumulated and is, in reality, just a means to "keep score", not a bare necessity
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 04:52 pm
@farmerman,
all it would do is dramatically improve my clientele.

and all my jobs would be fun ones.

except mowing the yard. I hate having someone else mow. they always do a crappy job...
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 07:18 pm
@farmerman,
After a little googling I found this study that suggests that you are right and I am wrong in my assumption that most people would stop working.

http://bschool.nus.edu/Departments/ManagementNOrganization/publication/RichArveypublist/lottery%20paper--gallies.pdf

It turns out that according to this paper 63% of big lottery winners stay on full time with the company they were at before they hit it big. People are more likely to quit the less responsibility and education they have. And people are more likely to quit the more they win. But basically, there seems to be a tendency for people to work even when they no longer have to.

Personally I don't get it.

I would certainly want to do something constructive. I could see myself starting a business, or working on a new project that I thought was cool or interesting or useful. But making a living requires all sorts of compromises to creativity and enjoyment. There are lots of things that I would love to do professionally, except that I can't convince anyone that they make business sense (and maybe they don't). But being able to choose what I wanted to work on would be a dream.

I can't imagine that my productive/professional/creative life wouldn't change dramatically if I could do whatever I wanted to without worrying about the stable dependable income I currently need to live. I would quit my current job in a heartbeat.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 08:01 pm
@maxdancona,
I also agree with a lot of what you're saying.

I'm another one who's chosen work, though. I always planned to be a stay-at-home mom for at least a while, and saved half my salary for a year before my daughter was born so that I could.

I started going stir-crazy from not working about a month into it. Found a job pretty quickly -- flexible, telecommuting job, but a job.

We were definitely not well-off, especially because we'd decided to try to not touch my savings and use it as a down payment on a house (we were still renting at the time). So any money helped, for sure.

But we were also OK, and if we got less than OK we had some savings to dip into. So I didn't have to work, and in fact went to some effort to ensure that I wouldn't.

But I don't do well when I'm not working. I have a need to accomplish things, help out, make a difference, and household "accomplishments" get old fast.

I also have been doing a ton of volunteer work throughout, either at the same time as paid work or when I haven't had paid work (I've worked at intervals but not continuously).

And I've been offered a few full-time jobs I've really seriously considered because they sounded fun. (But decided not to do until sozlet's older.)

My husband now makes enough for the three of us to live off of fine, not rolling in it but certainly comfortable. I'm still doing both paid work and volunteering up the wazoo, though. (I'm trying to cut back on the volunteering, mixed results so far.)

I try to remain aware of how lucky I am to have these choices.

Anyway, I agree with you and Osso that I don't really see this as a general thing, that people dislike work because it's work. I know a lot of people, in a wide range of jobs and situations, who all get satisfaction from their work.

I do think balance is important. If I work too much without play, my efficiency and creativity take a nosedive. If I play too much without work, I get really blah and dull and unmotivated, and that can snowball in a bad way. So I need some of each.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2012 10:14 pm
@maxdancona,
Like I said, I was not asking YOU those questions - just generally. Perhaps I should have said 'we' instead of 'you'.
 

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