Tag Archives: work

A Hospital Janitor on Meaningful Work

“When I clean a room after one patient is discharged or transferred and prepare it for the next patient, I treat it as if my own mom or brother is going to stay there. Odds are if you happen to find yourself in one of the areas I’m responsible for, you are already having a bad day. I will not be the reason you notice a stain on your pillow case, an odd hair on your TV remote, or evidence that someone used this shower before you. That’s the last fucking thing someone needs to deal with after hearing the word ‘inoperable’. … Granted, I don’t make it a point to bring up my job’s details or brag about anything when I’m around my friends who have gone on to more respected professions such as accountants or even doctors themselves. Yet, I find pride in my work and I view myself as a person who can hopefully provide a little bit of normalcy and comfort to someone who desperately needs it. Nothing feels better than when everything is clean and organized at home, right? So if I’m the guy that has to do some undesirable task that allows you to have that feeling when you are anywhere but home, so be it. Anything to make someone feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation is worth it to me. Basically, what I’m getting at is… Do what you do, rock it, don’t look down on yourself or your position compared to others. If you end up cleaning toilets, be the best damn toilet cleaner there is. Same thing for any other job that’s not highly regarded. You put yourself in that position based on your many choices in life, so you might as well own it and be great at it. What would be worse than being told you are bad at doing a “bad” job? I see so many people in my department develop a poor attitude and allow it to effect their work and their life as a whole and it bothers me. When I was a young kid I was drawing myself as a firefighter, astronaut, and professional football player like every other boy in class when the teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up….but I ended up a janitor. Fuck it, I save lives by cleaning things. No one needs to go to school for twelve years to understand how great a properly made bed feels, especially when you are sick. Have perspective in life and be proud of what you do. Even if you end up at a job that might not require hard work to obtain, doesn’t mean you can’t work hard once you are there. It is what it is and you are who you are.”

The Most Evil Lie

“The idea that work – that is, doing things that you otherwise wouldn’t do in exchange for money or resources – is intrinsically and morally good is possibly the greatest, most successful, most evil lie ever fashioned by our culture. It is so deeply and fundamentally embedded in the foundations of society that we can’t see it and can’t imagine a world without it. Let me say this: if you ever reach a point in your life where your needs are met, you have some measure of safety, and you have enough extra time and resources to pursue something that you love, for God’s sake stop there. It doesn’t get better after that! It gets more complicated, more presigious, etc, but not better. In fact, if you can get all of those things while working only part time then more power to you! Free up some hours for somebody who needs ’em! It’s great to have fulfilling work, it’s great to have things to do that you love that you think are important and worthwhile. But don’t do more of them than you want to just because you feel like you’re expected to. No good comes of that.”

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