Thursday, April 06, 2006

Here's a news flash for all those who know me: I don't like to work.

Actually, I should preface that statement. I like to work, all right. But I don't have this freakishly strong work ethic, where I work 70 hours/week without breaking a sweat. 40 hours is enough for me, and even that is a bit too much. Maybe 6 hours a day TOPS, and four days a week. And that might be a little too much.

Here's the rub: The people with whom I work love what they do, and they are damn good at it. I don't want to rag on them. I admire their strength, especially considering the mission of the organization. But as much as I want to be a positive force in the world of social change - and I find the Lutheran Volunteer Corps to be a great experience for a year - I do not have this incredible need to work all the time.

There is much to do, I agree with that. But when it hits 5pm, I am out of this door, and done working. This has absolutely nothing to do with my love for what we are doing. I'm just pretty sure that work is not something I can do at all hours of the day.

When people talk about a 'work ethic', I interpret that to mean a willingness to be at work on time and to not slack off. I do this with vigor - I can't stand to be late to anything, and I try and not become too bored with my serene office job. There are always things to be done at work, but it's hard for me to not wander online to BBC.com, facebook, or - of course - my precious blog. But does this mean I have a crap work ethic? Or simply that I cannot force myself to work consistently from 8-5?

I remember college (oh, so looooong ago), when I felt like I 'worked' almost all day, with some naps and movies in between. I was up for class at 8 or 9am, and I got back to bed at maybe 1 or 2am, if I was lucky. There was always so much to do, to be involved in, and to enjoy. This new world (ironically, a "volunteer" world) is simply exhausting, and I - on the outside - seem to be doing nothing but work.

It's an interesting dynamic. I feel like a bum because I work with workaholics. I'm always afraid I'm not working enough, but on the other hand, I feel like I am a solid volunteer who is never late and always "works hard" (whatever that means).

All of this is to say:

30 hours/week. Maximum. Europe gets shit for not working as long as American and Japanese workers, but is that so bad? Is our only measure of happiness the GDP? I imagine working 30 hours, and I get pretty damn happy.

But that's me. And maybe this is our generation. Or maybe it's post-college blues.

Back to 'work'. :)

1 Comments:

At 9:06 PM , Anonymous Katie said...

Unrelated to work [except that I'm avoiding a term paper and two presentations as we speak]...I ran across a choral piece called "Nkosi Sikelel'i Afrika" and I thought of you.

 

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