The tyranny of work

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The tyranny of work

I am not against work.  In fact, in all the 25 years when I held a full-time job, I was a pretty happy worker.  I was always in the office early in the morning, before most people were in, and I was never in too much of a hurry to leave work.  I enjoyed my work!  I got on very well with my bosses, immediate and further up the chain.  I liked my team and I would like to think that they liked me too.

When I eventually left my full-time occupation for the peripatetic existence of a network marketer, I often thought about my work life fondly.  While many others would talk about how their jobs choked and chained them, I would remember episodes at work nostalgically.  In particular, I never cease to talk about how well my bosses treated me and cared about my personal and family life.

So what is it about work that is tyrannical?

Firstly, I think my work experience is not a typical one.  I hear so many stories of uncaring bosses, unrelenting workloads, unyielding deadlines, unearthly hours and unexciting pay packages.

All these are well understood but I think even if one were a happy worker like I was, there are other aspects which are not to our benefit.  The tyranny of work is that we are called to spend hours and hours in the office and away from our young and old ones at home, likely during the times when they need us most.

If I was still working full time, I would not be able to spend those hours with my dad waiting in line to consult the doctor in the hospital.  When he had to go for a small procedure last week, I could stop most of my activities for three days and be there for him and my very worried mum.  My brother, although well-meaning and concerned, was away on a work assignment in Beijing.

I just spoke with a friend whose mum is getting on in years and unwell.  She applied to work part time and her boss is unhappy with her request and not likely to approve it.  So what choice does this friend have?  No choice, have to go to work to make a living.  Meanwhile the old folks at home are lonely and waiting for our company.

The tyranny of work is that the hours are not negotiable.  We don’t really have a choice as to when, where and how much we work.  The best hours of our lives are given to work and when we are finally off work, we are flat out, with not much energy left for our family and to pursue our own interests.

The tyranny of work is that it usually keeps people away from doing the things that they want to do or need to do.  Like exercise.  Like creative pursuits and learning and reading or just chilling out.  It keeps them from being fulfilled as a human being, not just a production unit.

I have a great deal now.  I have a business where I can choose who I work with, how long I work for, when I work and where I work.   This is one kind of freedom, freedom from the shackles of a regular job and all that it demands of me.  I never dreamt of leaving my job when I started MLM on a part-time basis.  Looking back on my decision to leave, I feel so blessed.

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