Euan Semple – If it’s not unpleasant it’s not work

You know, for me the idea of retirement sort of doesn’t mean anything. I just do, I like doing in the work that I get paid for, the idea of stopping doing is bizarre. I would equally… talking to my daughter again the idea of putting up with something that you don’t enjoy, for 40 years, to gain stability and then enjoy yourself after that… and so if that… And yet so many people still have real lines between work and no work, and… Work is a burden. You know, work is something that… if it’s not unpleasant and difficult it’s not work, and I don’t mean by this that everybody has to do fine jobs.

I mean, I used to work when I was a student as a laborer for a groundsman in this farm, cutting grass and doing just physical labor, basically nothing I think fancy, and… You could just see the guys who focused and got pleasure out of it. And things like cutting a lawn, you know, you could make the edges look neat and then you drop. You cut a line in the middle, and then the lines out from that so that you can get… and you see the guys who knew this and you could just see them enjoying it. It gave them satisfaction. And then you get someone who just like zig-zag with the lawn mower, and then I have to go back and do the little bits that they’ve missed, and it was grumpy and wound up and frustrating.

And it’s funny because it sort of relates to the blogging thing, or social media, because work with some companies, like I worked with a brick company in Denmark, we were seeing nobody interested in bricks. What would we blog about? And I said, well, I’m in the process of building an extension of my house and I really want to find some brick nerds. I want to find guys who really know about bricks and care about bricks, because I had enough of surfing aspirational brick websites. They’re all the same. So I think it is possible to see work as something more purposeful something, it doesn’t really matter what you do. Even being a manager, actually, frankly, seriously, I think is possible to be a very capable, effective, motivated manager, and be curious about what it takes to do that, but you don’t see many of them.

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