It’s me, Work. I understand everyone has been having a tough time with me lately. It’s okay. I’m used to getting bashed here and there, but I thought it was a good time to speak up and say, “HEY. I’m not all bad.” I take the blame for a lot of things: burnout, boredom, disillusionment. I’m here to remind you that it takes two to tango, so let’s revisit what you should – and shouldn’t – expect from me.
I am not your religion. Sorry. No matter what you subscribe to, I am neither a belief system nor a mantra. I might have values, but I am not asking you to abide by them or dedicate your life to them. I am most likely thinking about 1’s and 0’s or that our COGS went up 10% last quarter. I won’t be contemplating your place in the universe.
I am not your champion. I like you, don’t get me wrong; after all, we spend a lot of time together. I am, however, not always acting with your best interest in mind. I’m just doing the things that get me towards the end of the day. Thinking about your best interests is your job.
I am not your significant other. I know a lot of times we spend a lot of late nights together drinking coffee and putting together presentations, but that’s not really “quality time.” It’s work time. I’ve seen you get upset with me when I fire you or when I make unrealistic demands. Sorry about that, but perhaps you misunderstood our relationship.
I am not your Uber driver. I’ve seen many of you jump into work and take your hands off the wheel. I’d love to drive you around for 30+ years until I kick you out of the car, but many of you get so mad when I do that. Well, I just want to say this: keep your hands on the wheel and pay attention to where we are going. I’ll gladly ride shotgun.
I am not your community. I like hanging out and going to happy hours, but I’m probably not going to be there when your kid gets sick and you need someone to pick them up. I’m not collecting your mail when you’re out of town or asking how your mother is doing. I have more of the “what’s in it for me” mindset.
I am not your comfy blanket. I can’t always make you happy and comfy. There will be a lot of days when you will be angry and uncomfy. That’s okay. I have bad days just like you. Don’t toss me out on those days; just give me some space.
I am not your mission or purpose. I’m Work. My purpose is to get stuff done. I know you want to be part of a greater something. I think that’s great. Sometimes what we’re doing will align with that, and sometimes it won’t. Sometimes my purpose is just making socks.
I am not your family. Your family is at home, heating up lasagna. Think of me less and them more, and go join them for that lasagna.