Thursday, December 12, 2013

Work Should Not Be Fun, But Grim

Fun-gineering turns the office space into Forced Smiling Zones where people are pressured into submitting to the "Work Is Fun" regime. Turning work assignments into games is bad for productivity, not to mention personal dignity.

I like work to be grim, serious, intense, concentrated, professional, pursuing excellence and not happiness. Don't get me wrong. I love what I do to put food on the table. I enjoy using my expertise to solve problems. But I don't want to hear kazoos and watch clowns waltz around quoting "inspirational motivation quotes" all day long.

I'm not comfortable with Company As Family cultures. There is much potential for dysfunctional family junk. You have to pretend you care about every personal thing going on with your co-workers. It would depend on the job and the company I guess, but I dislike One Big Happy Family type environments.

I prefer to be unknown, just hunker down and get the work done. I work on websites, all alone, in my home office, and I love it. I am burnt out on working in corporate settings. I need to concentrate in silence, not go running off for birthday party cupcakes in the break room every day.

If you want to have fun, go volunteer at a face-painting booth at a local kiddie carnival, or try to eat a pizza at Chucky Cheese. Work is work. If it becomes too playful, goofing off will be the ticket to Employee of the Month.

When I answer the phone and say "Hello?" and nobody answers, I start singing to them.

"Work should not be fun, but grim. It's quicksand in which we swim" is today's little acapella Str8 Sounds tune that I croon wretchedly, somewhat to the tune of The Real McCoys or the Beverly Hillbillies theme song.

Read more about FUNgineering at the New York Times:

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