They say one of the biggest killers in job satisfaction in our corporate world is that where one’s passion for something is slowly squashed and destroyed by people who either are not the best bosses, or where a culture that somehow attempts to try to be static in a constantly evolving dynamic world. How many jobs have you had where you were doing something or with co-workers that just were not fun and you dreaded going to work?
How many have tasted what it is like to have a great work environment and projects that challenged and allowed one to grow and get that odd sense of feeling guilty in that you are getting paid to do what you would do for free?
If you haven’t had this experience, seek it out, you will forever change the way you think of work and what "work" entails.
Saturday I was on a train to work a Switzerland vs. Lithuania football game when I heard native English being spoken by two co-workers heading somewhere on the train. Usually I don’t eavesdrop, but a) it was english - i could understand, and b) in the last week I was trying to write ideas about innovation, brainstorming and a basic clash between the normal closed thinking world and the need to try to blind open thinking into some balance. In a sense, it is akin to what might be the fallacy that was force fed to American women in the past 25 years that they could be CEO, successfully raise a family, love and adore their husband and excel at all things without having to give up anything of themselves.
Nice ideal, but what it has led to is the application of more media make up in this ideal, instead of the one that provides more joy and happiness and costs a great deal less – to realize you really are pretty amazing just the way you already are. Sure, appearing do superhuman feats seems wonderful. All you need is a team of stylists following you around, your personal fitness guru, a bit of help from chemical companies and drugs, a few nannies to take care of the kids and team of digital documentation consultants to follow you around and correct any flaw in post production before anything is broadcast to the word.
I guess this is why the woman on the train’s words resonated to well with me. It appears not too much has changed in the corporate world. At the bottom rung, many times you are treated like a number or cog in the machine. As you go up the ladder, you do make quite a bit more and the work gets to be more interesting, up at the top – it is a lot perks and benefits of power and money.
A funny thing can happen in the journey. It is very easy to loose your soul and who you are.
If you work in marketing, you learn to hone and craft words, campaigns and in our case, study human emotion for ways to enhance a mood or get a certain reaction in people.
As I type, I have to laugh about some of the VIP’s this weekend. If you are a child of a VIP, the odds your life is like most kids on the planet are slim.
My very special VIP was a television cameraman that almost won a free VIP colonoscopy with his own camera. I shudder to think of that visual being projected on the stadium big screen. I digress, i don't make the rules, we have these big signs, with arrows, colors and all sorts of cute anti-counterfitting credential doo-dads explaining what someone needs posted on all the doors that allow access.
I guess i witnessed the miracle of a deaf and blind cameraman shooting a nationally televised sporting event. why do some people think there is no god today?
Another group that fascinated me had two college looking kids that had me wondering, "What are they doing?" One carried a decent little video camera who kept his light on all the time shooting images of the floor tiles as he walked. The other young man had about 30 grand of Nikon cameras around his neck, - yet didn't raise either one to click the shutter. I simply really want to know the purpose of said entourage element was for and/or did?
Do you really need to document every second of ones life?
Do we really need the google glass syndrome?
No, we don’t. But we sure are getting sucked in. future technologies will only make it easier. I watched yesterday as someone took a selfie for their own phone background image. Yes, my brains stopped for a few nano-seconds. Why would anyone want to look at a picture of themselves? is it because they have short memories and might forget who they are? what is the purpose?
I digress, yet again, my apologies - the young lady on the train got my attention when I heard the word brainstorm and her co-worker asked about it. She lamented it went about as well as she expected and it was simply frustrating to have no direction from above.
Perhaps it was how she said it? Her intonation? The 1,000-yard stare of too many days inside the corporate world because the paycheck allows for the purchase of nice creature comforts? I don’t know.
When I got up, I handed her my card, apologized for butting in, but mentioned I spent that last week pondering the same questions she was asking with her co-worker and the steps I had to take to allow for change to happen, but working outside of the normal box.
With it, I found the passion again. It doesn’t matter if I make or loose each day. I am happy inside.
I remember when I was younger and dumber. I thought I would have “made it” when I could afford a nice wardrobe of custom made clothes. It was nice for a while; I guess I looked really pretty, like an overgrown peacock.
Truth is, I am happy in jeans, a t-shirt or button down and a nice sport coat and shoes. When I am in the lab…. anything I don’t mind destroying, as each day you never really know what to except with the reality behind, “I wonder what will happen if we try this?”
When we get back to Colorado, I will make up some cool Mechanic shirts for our formal work wear while on the mountain top growing everything I we need for an exceptionally healthy and nutritious diet while working on how to allow technology to make better humans in the coming world of transhumanism and the internet of things. My trip to the city will be for supplies and picking up the fresh roasted coffees from around the planet.
For now, I go do whatever in Switzerland. I spent my time getting laughed at and feeling very dumb while trying to get a grasp of German. Ties ok, it isn’t the first time in my life I was laughed at. I doubt it will be my last.
“Beware that man that can’t laugh at himself. He always runs the risk of looking the fool. “
I think it was Walden or through that wrote that. To the couple on the train, I hope you have a great workweek – enjoy Switzerland, take some time to look around you, see the masks we all wear – ask yourself, “Why do i feel i need to wear any at all?”
Enjoy the perks and benefits of simply being “you.” Life is different when you leave all the "stuff" of business behind, but your passion levels rise back to where they once were....joy!