This is the second guest post from Andrew Jordan. I will shut up and get out of the way 🙂
“I’m interested why people work. No, not the money. I take that as a given. I mean why people choose to do what they do. Why they end up being brain surgeons, elephant chiropodists, cheese couriers, asphalt rollers, hot air balloon designers, curling tongue [surely tong? Anthony] testers etc. Why do people do what they do ?
I ask this question largely because Anthony talks so much about the inefficiencies and frustrations of the workplace. But one thing I’ve never heard him talk about is actually why people are there in the first place. I know why I worked there, but why does everyone of the 55,000 other people work there ? What do they get from their work ?
There’s clearly not a simple or single answer to this. People do what they do for a whole host of different reasons. Human interaction, a sense of fulfilment, delivering something meaningful to a grateful audience, a corporate goal of some sort, they’re all something I’ve seen in people who turn up to work.
But here’s a theory. Most people don’t want to be there. They put up with work. They imbibe the monotony and allow themselves to be frustrated and bored because there is either no other option (in their view), or else they do not have the inclination to find something better or different. I worry about this. It’s not healthy. In fact, it ends up being extremely damaging to both the individual and the employer who has them sitting in their office.
I wonder what would happen if you took money out of the picture. If people could really do what they really want to do. How different society would be if you just allowed people to be who they are? Would we have a lot more writers ? More sportsmen and women ? More cheesemakers ? How would society look and how would it interact if you couldn’t find people who wanted to work in Sainsburys ? And, most disturbingly, how many people would do NOTHING ? Of course, we’ll never know.
What would you do ?”
I have some strong views on why I work and how I do what I do. It has sod all to do with my job title. I will doubtless rabbit on later in the comment stream.
When considering Andrew’s question, I also asked, what makes me human?