From the time I was four years old, I understood that you WENT to work. My father, and later my mother, would get up in the morning, get dressed, have breakfast, and GO to work. My father at a newspaper and my mother at school.
As I got older, and got part time jobs, I WENT to work. In college, I WENT to work in the dispatch department of a local newspaper, behind the front desk at the residence hall, and various other jobs.
Then for the next 40 years I WENT to work. In factories, offices, in the military, I went somewhere to do my job. It never occurred to me to “Work from home.”
The Covid hit and we were required to “Work from home.” The internet made it possible to communicate instantly. Zoom calls became de rigueur. Life was so much easier. I would go days in my pajamas. No need to trek to the office, meet people face to face, and let’s face it, how many of us actually put in eight hours ‘on the job.’ How many books got read, how many dogs got walked, how many naps got taken because we weren’t “at the office.” Life was so much easier.
Now, with the pandemic in the rear view mirror, we have developed a ‘new normal.’ Work from home. Some of us can’t because of the nature of our jobs (airline pilot, for instance) but let’s face it, does a doctor resent it that he or she can’t ‘work from home.’ Is there a subliminal thought in our minds that we deserve to ‘work from home.’ After all, some do, and its easier.
Jobs are unfilled, millions of them, some critical. Airlines can’t fill pilot and flight attendants positions no matter how much they pay. Flights are cancelled because a flight attendant who flew in from Salt Lake City was too tired to work an outgoing flight. Thousands are inconvenienced because people who normally would jump at a chance to work as a pilot or flight attendant would rather ‘work from home.’
But I wonder. Is it ‘work from home.” Or not work at all. If we are supported either by our parents, or by the government, why get up in the morning. Why work at all?
In olden times, six decades ago, or so, there was this thing, call the ‘work ethic.’ Folks worked because it was a part of life. At the end of a work day, you felt like you had accomplished something. Maybe you fixed a broken sink, or put 10 cars on the road, or wrote a summary for the boss, or helped a sick person.
You worked because it was what you did. It was the ethic. It led to the “American Dream.” If you worked hard enough, you could buy a car, or a house, your bit of land. Something that was only yours. You could set your own schedule, go where and whenever you wanted. You were master of your own destiny.
During Covid we were told that we were to stay at home. We weren’t masters of our own destinies. We got used to it.
So even though there are plenty of people to fill the jobs, and ‘now hiring’ signs on virtually every building, we have been taught that its better to ‘work from home.’ We have been taught that work itself is anathema. It’s better to sit in front of the TV and cash checks from the government. Why not.
There is a feeling of accomplishment that only comes from a job well done. Whether it’s a well dug ditch, mail delivered on time, or a well crafted blog. If you haven’t experienced that feeling, get out there and give it a try.
Do you want to spend your ‘golden years’ thinking back on all those TV shows you watched, or all the video games you played? I think not.