Wrapping up Bougie WorkTales week, I thought we'd end on a positive note. For all of the things I find wrong and/or irritating with The Paycheck Plantation, there are a few undeniable plusses available. Here are a few:
Working can give you a sense of purpose. For anyone that has ever been laid off or unemployed, nothing beats the feeling of getting that next offer of employment. Putting your skills to the test, solving problems, feeling useful, getting it done. The ability to test your knowledge and ability to execute against the tasks assigned to you, the chance to prove yourself as equal (or better) than others… that's good stuff. It's a reason (in case you need one) to get up in the morning and be about your day.
You are exposed to new things. If you are fortunate, you generally get the opportunity to learn different disciplines, interact with a lot of different kinds of people and basically expand the world you know. If you have the opportunity to travel in and out of the United States, it's an eye-opening realization. While corporate travel is by no means glamorous, you do learn to open yourself to new experiences, people, places and airport security procedures. [Just sayin'] The workplace is a constantly evolving place (hopefully) allowing to you grow along it.
For some it's an escape. Let's face it: Sometimes your home life can be dramatic. On more than one occasion I have had a co-worker say that coming to work was a relief. One said she just needed a break from her kids (especially during the summer months). There's nothing like a huge pile of work to take your mind off of everything else. Sometimes the simplest and most mundane of tasks (for me it was creating reporting spreadsheets) can block out everything else going on in the world and that's just what we need.
The satisfaction of a job well done. I admit it… I love a well-earned atta-girl. When I have work my rear-end off, turned in a quality project and it's acknowledged – one of the best feelings in the world. I recall making a proposal to the board of directors of a global technologoy company. I was requesting $ 4 million for a staffing/training project. I only had 3 days to prepare because my boss had gone crazy trying to put this project together and sent a flame-o-gram email at four in the morning telling everybody in his chain of command (up to the chairman of the board) exactly what was wrong with this company. (Strastospheric FAIL) So you might say I was nervous going in. After I finished speaking, the room was dead silent. One of the members said, "Who are you again?" Did I mention that I was a contractor? I explained that I was basically a hired gun brought in two weeks prior to help out. *AWKWARD* Then they dissolved into laughter, approved the project and gave me a raise. Not only did I get the project going, it was a raging success. There's no better feeling.
Last but not least… The Cheddar, The Mayo, The Diggity-Dollars, The Benjamins. As Wu-Tang Clan said: C.R.E.A.M. – Cash Rules Everything Around Me (dolla dolla bills, ya'll). Very few people would do their jobs for free and very few people would keep doing what they are currently doing if they suddenly became independently wealthy. Money is important. It makes the worlds go around. It provides for your most basic needs and your most outlandish desires. If you're in the right kind of environment, as you progress your paycheck grows with you. If you are in one of those positions with bonuses, incentives, stock options and perks… paydays can bring a huge smile to your face. But at the very basic level, a fair paycheck for an honest day's work is the foundation upon which capitalism is built. Plainly put, paychecks rock.
Anybody else have one to add? Thoughts on my list? Comments, insights, theories? The floor is yours. Thanks for sticking with me this week.