We only work when we need the money II

How good would they make work if you had a choice about doing it?

If you could just decide not to go in because it was a bit shit would the people that ran the business make it less shit?

For some people that is how work works. They are largely wealthy with some sort of ‘skill’ that society values highly. They do intellectually stimulating jobs and get well remunerated for it. They are, by this definition, more valuable to society than the person that gets up at an ungodly hour, struggles to get to their place of work and then spends 8-12 hours making sure that a machine is fed some ingredient or is relieved of it’s produce.

We are told all the time that people would prefer to work, that we are honest, decent, hard-working people. This is how we are, this is who we are, this is what we do, this is what we must do.


I first wrote this some time ago and then left it as a draft, intending to revisit and ‘finish’ it off at a later date. This morning I was reading an article in the Guardian by David Hare, I would urge you all to do the same if you have the time to, and was reminded of this post when I read:

Why do we work? Who are we working for? As Groucho Marx once asked: “If work’s so great, why don’t the rich do it?” People are ready, happy and willing to do things for our common benefit that they are reluctant to do if it is all in the interests of companies such as British Telecom, Virgin Railways, EDF Energy, Talk Talk, HSBC, Kraft Foods and Barclays Bank, outfits that still have little or no interest in balancing out their prosperity in a fair manner between their employees and their shareholders.

Of course the rich do work but they are incentivised by a myriad of benefits and a large quantity of cash (received in the most tax-efficient way legally possible). And this is on top of the job they do being ‘stimulating’, ‘challenging’ and, ultimately, ‘fulfilling’.

Work, it seems, is unavoidable.

What is avoidable is making it shit, but, for the people that have the power to do that, it isn’t so they avoid it.