Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Is It Happy Hour Yet?

I am of the belief that humans were not meant to spend 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, in a small, windowless cubicle doing repetitive tasks. This type of environment kills creativity and in general lessens our will to live. Nevertheless, millions of people all over the world currently find themselves in this energy-sapping situation. Myself included. Stuck in a period of limbo where I'm neither here nor there has led me to take up temporary work. Spending Monday through Friday at a desk doing the same things over and over again is my own personal hell, and yet I can't help but wonder if some of the men and women I work with actually enjoy this type of employment. Are some people content, or maybe even thrilled, to do a job that I find unbearably stifling? My heart says "no," but my head says "well...maybe."

I started thinking that there are beings among us who love repetitive office-drone jobs while trying to think on the bright side of my current situation. First, there are the predictable hours. Most of my co-workers are strictly on the 9 to 5 schedule. They come in, do their work for eight hours, then leave. Nights and weekends are always free, and they don't have to think about the job when they're away from the office. Secondly, repetitive tasks could be comforting to those who don't like surprises or uncertainty, and they might enjoy decorating the cube as well as feeling of belonging to a team of cube-dwellers. To make things even better, the company offers all kinds of little perks to keep you happy on the job. Everything from awesome break rooms, to free bagels on Friday mornings to casual-dress summers make you feel good. Hey! This isn't so bad!

Except that it kind of is. I realize that some people might like this line of work, but I'm just not one of them. I like change, variety and excitement. Little perks like free coffee and tea are not enough to get me to love doing the same tasks over and over and over again. I don't want to "personalize" my cube, and I'm ok with taking my work home (within reason) if it's something I truly love. Which reminds me of another look-on-the-bright-side feature of my current state of employment: it's only temporary.

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