So who’s happy at his job?

What do you say to someone who confesses he has run out of enthusiasm for his job?

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Published: Fri 22 Oct 2010, 9:55 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 10:30 AM

Just can’t get excited about it, he says, it is dreary getting up each morning and going to work, the week stretches like glue and Friday evenings have him in deep depression because it means getting the new week under way.

It is driving him crazy, things are so bad he has to quit or go nuts.

Do you tell him he should resign and be happy? Hang in there; things have to get better since they can’t get worse.

Perhaps advise him that if his get-up and-go has got up and gone he might as well follow it. Try something new. Go for broke.

All this is fine for free advice but there is no guarantee that it gets better anywhere else. The grass out there needn’t necessarily be green, it could be brown and choked with weeds. And then, if one has to be really blunt, where is it written that enthusiasm has anything to do with doing a job. It isn’t part of the contract. No one says, you have to display enthusiasm or zeal or even enjoyment. These are extra baggage, stuff we tote along to work because we think that’s the way to be.

Read the contract. It says you do your job and you do it well and you get money for it every month. Period. You do your my lips, no more, no less. Mutually exclusive conditions is what they are. Imagine if all of us believed that enthusiasm was a prerequisite for keeping a job and kept measuring how much of it we had.

You are not falling in love, my friend, you are delivering a bill of goods eight hours a day and if you do not let yourself be deflected by these irrelevancies you’ll automatically be a lot happier. Include them in your equations and its dollars to doughnuts you will be miserable.

Like this person who is getting all mixed up in his priorities. Seen too many movies, read too many books about job satisfaction!

That commodity is a myth. Fairy tale stuff, a figment of the imagination, some immature, undergrad concept of life gliding down the sunny side of the street.

How many of us whistle Dixie when we leave for work? Do you bound out of bed all bushy tailed and bright eyed and full of zest? Is your job some 3D movie with surround sound?

Oh please, spare me…You go to work because you have to pay the bills. You keep going to work because you are responsible for the family. You stick at the job because every thirty days the job allows you to say hello to your two ends...even if they do not meet.

Off and on you walk out on your job because you have been sidetracked, overlooked, bypassed, cut to size or simply been dealt with sans dignity.

These are good reasons for walking away. Solid and justifiable. And yet, thousands of us take the slurs and accept the demotions and swallow the insults and keep doing our best because we can’t get off the treadmill. We can’t afford to get off it.

Compare the grandeur of such departures based on principles to the trivial self-indulgent surrender because you have run out of enthusiasm.

Next thing you know, if you allow this eagerness nonsense to run rampant in the offices people will be looking for meaning to their jobs or suddenly getting up and wanting to find themselves, who they truly are or worse, spending office time calculating their levels of disaffection.

Isn’t that what office is all about? Being cheerfully miserable, grumbling about things, wishing you were elsewhere, any job is better than this, that’s the fun of it, that’s what makes it tolerable.

I shudder to imagine what sort of job a person has if he is happy with it. For me, a job is thing you do at which you are only happy when you are miserable.

So, stop with this enthusiasm business, it is very dangerous. Get up in the morning, get dressed, grit your teeth and get to work...before the boss finds out he can do without you. That’ll really be a turn for the books...not to mention your enthusiasm. Remember, enthusiasm doesn’t pay bills.

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