Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I Came Here To Work, I Didn't Come Here To Crawl

"I came here to work, I didn't come here to crawl." Great passage from Working by Studs Terkel. Reading that book reignited one of my longtime bugbears: Not everyone is a hard worker. I came to that realization a long time ago, and it still bothers me to this day.  I wish there was something we could do about it, but I think it's just one of those realities we have to deal with. Bummer. Hard working just seems like the right way to be.

"Work gives me a secure place in a portion of reality." The hardest part about looking for work is the devastating affect it has on the human psyche. What killed me most about being unemployed was that I didn't feel like a real person. I wasn't a contributing member of society. My life setting was locked in vacation mode. Which was nice for about a week, but our humanity catches up with us quickly. And if we don't start making meaning on a daily basis, it's really hard to function as a person. I remember reaching a point where I just started inventing work for myself. I literally assigned myself homework. And after about twenty minutes, it completely pulled me out of my funk, framed me back into work mode and generated the momentum I needed to eventually get hired. NiceInspired by this piece from Freud. 

"We’re so deeply screwed that we all should be getting bags of silver and shotguns." Fascinating article about the anxiety of securing funding. Poses the question, "Will there be another Google?" Part of us says that's impossible, considering the massive impact Google has made on our daily lives. On the other hand, it is because of Google itself that there has to be another Google. It's inevitable. If there's not, then we probably did something wrong.

"Americans are really bad at dealing with slow moving crisis." Our country is cursed with a broken sense of priorities. Instead of focusing on obesity, climate change and education reform––aka, the things that matter––we're burning calories on issues that shouldn't be issues. Instead of spending millions of dollars telling gay people why their love isn't legal, why don't we put the money towards telling all people why commitment matters, regardless of whom you commit to and how? Inspired by an overtime rant on Bill Maher.

"Take this chaos and use it to create a world." I'm too busy. I'm too stressed out. I'm too overwhelmed with emotion. Those are the reasons I can't make art. Bullshit. Those experiences are the greatest raw material, the very iron ore from which our brightest steel is made. Harry Potter wouldn't exist if JK Rowling decided that being a single mother was too chaotic to find time to write. Make good art on bad days. Complain by making things. Thanks for the inspiration, Eric.

"A whole series of light fancies which have been mistaken for love." When I look back on the history of my heart, I wasn’t in love as many times as I thought. Once I was in love with the convenience of having her around. Once I was in love with the way people looked at me when I was with her. Once I was in love with the stories I could tell my friends about her. Once I was in love with trying to make her just like me. And once I was in love with the version of me that she reflected. Fortunately, now I’m in love with the right person for the right reasons. Whew. Finally.

"Your culture will kill you softly with its song, and you won’t even notice. This article  about startup culture is scary accurate. It's a bit of a Hamlet moment, if you ask me. When a company starts waxing poetic about how hip and innovative their culture is, I start to wonder what they're compensating for. Personally, I work at company with amazing culture. Employees know it. Vendors know it. Partners know it. Clients know it. Not because we've written a book about it, but because it's inescapable when you work with us.