Tag Archives: job

I don’t understand…

A short rant…

I don’t understand America’s obsession with work. Why it’s generally frowned upon to take time off (especially if it’s over a week). For some reason people take it as if you don’t care. That you’re not truly committed to the job. The you’re just creating a burden for your coworkers.

I understand that some people are infatuated with their job. The rare and few that live to work. But – that’s it – they are rare and few. For the rest of us, it is more like we work to live.

We spend a good chunk of our lives working. And while the working looks different for everyone (on  your feet, at a desk, at home, on the phone, etc.), we all deserve time off. And I’m not just talking about the weekend or a work-cation. Actual, bona-fide time off. Like an entire week. Maybe even a month. No calls. No texts. No emails.

But for some reason, this is seen as absurd. A negative light is shown on getting away. You should always be available for your job, no matter what you are doing that day.

That logic is backwards. We need to start shedding this workaholic culture. Time off is vitally important to the employee. It allows for a mental refocus and relaxation. Time to spend on one’s personal well being (both inward and outward). After, you are recharged and thinking more on point than before.

Not only does it help the employee, it helps your employer too. The employee comes back with new energy and a brightness in place of the dull. Profitability increase and new ideas run over.

But that’s not what we get. Instead, we have time off. Loads of it. But we never have any time to actually use it. It’s so sad how common that is. Then there are those that do take some time, but they still check their emails every morning. Even with a sunrise on the beach in front of them.

I realize everyone doesn’t fall into these categories. Maybe your in the middle or far right. Maybe you’re shaking your head and in complete disagreeal, puffing the word millenial. Who knows….

Either way, time off shouldn’t be a luxury. It’s something everyone should have. And, on equal importance, everyone should be able to actually use it.

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Machine

Months flick by
as fast as a turned
calendar page.

Steady progress
to an unseen goal.
Hours clocked in
go slower and grow dull.

I am but one piece
in the machine
of a thousand parts.
My tasks necessary
and if stopped
will all fall apart.

JOY

Something strange happened to me the other day.

I was in the airport bathroom en route to Phoenix when two Latino ladies approached me. One was older with lines of age marking her face and hints of grey about her forehead. She was dressed in some heavy clothing for August and had a work apron on top of it all.

The other was younger, her wide black eyes more pronounced by the smoothness of her skin. A loose patterned sweatshirt hung about her over black leggings.

They spoke quickly in Spanish to one another as they approached me with some hesitation. The young woman said, “She would like for you to leave a comment.”

I scrunched my brow, unsure of what she meant. “You want what?” I asked.

“Senora, Senora, ” the older one said. She raced back over to a janitorial cart and brought back a stack of napkins. On one of them, someone had written some words in Spanish in a lovely, cursive font.

“See, see.” The woman pushed the napkin closer to me, keeping an expectant gaze. I stood dumbfounded, unable to read it. My one year of language class was not paying off.

“She wants you to write a comment,” the younger one spoke again, “of this place.” She held out her hands. “Of her work.”

“Oh, okay,” I said, finally grasping the meaning. The older woman laid down a new napkin eagerly, placing the previous one close by for an example.

“Olga,” she said, pointing to herself. Her smile brightened as I uncapped the pen and started to write.

When I handed it back, she thanked me repeatedly and then went right back to work, wiping all the counters down even though they were already clean.

I’ve thought back on this interaction in several passing moments now. And what I always circle back to is the woman’s sheer joy for the comment. She had no idea whether I would write something good or bad. But yet she seeked it all the same – language barrier or not.

And I could see her dedication to the job, too. Cleaning bathrooms is not a pleasant job – and the ones at the airport are nowhere near the top of the easy list. But here she was, so motivated and happy. Utterly happy.

And then I think about my own job and how a day with an emotion like that is nonexistent. I would never ask for a comment card for the fear of making the day that much worse. But why is it like that? Why shouldn’t I seek the same joy?