Monday, March 17, 2008

Worker vs. Workaholic?

I was very bored as I waited in the LaGuardia airport in NYC to come from spring break. I had finished my book and I had nothing else to do so I started people watching. I noticed a similarity between the majority of people sitting in the gate with me. They were all concerned about their jobs.

The woman sitting next to me had her laptop out writing e-mails while talking on the phone about getting different phone numbers to contact other business people. Her husband and son were sitting next to her in complete silence receiving no attention from the woman. While talking, she told a story about how she had her son write an e-mail for her while they were on a road trip together. I think this is ridiculous. There is no reason for a mother to make her son write a business e-mail for her while they are on vacation together.

Shortly after this, a woman walked around frantically trying to find a seat at the gate while she talked on the phone making sure she had her facts correct before she presented her idea to her bosses. She spoke loudly and violently rolled her suitcase behind her, running into people as she passed by. This woman had no consideration for the people around her.

Next, I noticed a man standing against a wall clicking away at his blackberry. Not long after he stopped typing, he received a phone call. One of the first things he said was “Yes, I just sent the e-mail. Let me know in the office on Monday what you think.”

Honestly, I couldn’t and still can’t believe what I had seen. I don’t understand why people only focus on their jobs. I think it is wrong to ignore a family, run into people, or be glued to a phone all because of work. Society centers on working and money that people become caught up in it and don’t leave room for anything else in their lives. People should be able to enjoy their families, vacations, or alone time without thinking about work. So why do people only think and breathe work? How does this bring happiness in life?


Anonymous said...

When I see people like these, I just feel sorry for them. I couldn't live like these "road warriors," traveling all the time on business, always "on." It tires me out just to look at them. I wonder if they burn out or if this kind of life is stimulating. I wonder if they are in the flow state or if they are merely stressed and anxious that they won't make the sale or get the client. Or could it be they want to show others how hard they are working, as some kind of validation of their worth? All I know is, there sure are a lot of people out there who live like this. Actually, I do know more--just remembered, a book called American Mania, written by a psychiatrist (MD) named Peter Whybrow. He interviewed people like this over a period of years, and what he found is that they do burn out. they have to check into clinics for rehab. A lot of them change jobs before the life kills them.

smustang said...

I think this blog is written very well because it is realistic and personable. It seems that the scenerio to have presented is all to familiar. Overall, I think this is a great post because it is really easy to understand and it poses a prevelent issue in society.