That old pal COVID really pulled back the curtain on a few things. I mean, first off, it’s like we all collectively woke up one day and realized, “Hey, do we really need to cram ourselves into these office buildings like sardines in a can, just to tap on keyboards and gab on the phone?”
I mean, think about it. One day you’re spending two hours of your day just commuting back and forth, squeezing into a suit like a sausage in casing, and the next day you’re sitting at home in your jammies, sipping on coffee that doesn’t taste like burnt motor oil, and you’re still getting the job done!
And that’s when the penny dropped for a lot of folks. We started scratching our heads, wondering, “Why on earth have we been subjecting ourselves to this madness? Was it just so we could share donuts in the break room and listen to Karen from HR drone on about her collection of ceramic cats?”
Suddenly, these big, shiny office buildings started to look less like symbols of corporate power and more like relics of a bygone era. Like a rotary phone or a fax machine.
And then, of course, came the furloughs and the layoffs. Companies trimming the fat, they said. And a funny thing happened. The world kept spinning. The sun kept rising and setting. And a lot of folks started to wonder: “Were these jobs even necessary to begin with?”
I mean, it’s a little unsettling, right? One day you’re a vital cog in the corporate machine, and the next you’re sitting at home in your underwear, eating cereal out of the box, and the machine seems to be humming along just fine without you. It’s enough to give a fella a bit of an existential crisis!
The theory that many people feel the work they do is pointless because their jobs are “bullshit” has been confirmed by a new study.https://phys.org/news/2023-08-people-pointless-meaningless-jobs.html
And here’s the real kicker: Once you’ve seen these truths, you can’t unsee them. It’s like when you realize that the little piggy who went to market probably wasn’t going shopping. It’s a real game-changer.
We’ve realized that a lot of our jobs might just be about as necessary as a chocolate teapot. And it’s a strange feeling. Kind of like when you realize that you’ve been singing the wrong lyrics to a song for years. But you know, maybe it’s not such a bad thing. I mean, who knows? Maybe now we’ll start focusing on doing things that actually matter.
I mean, there are people out there spending 40, 50, even 60 hours a week, every week, just shuffling papers around, right? It’s like a never-ending game of musical chairs with pointless memos, reports, and spreadsheets. You take one document from this pile, put it in that pile. And the next day, what happens? The piles are back! Like some kind of crazy paper zombie apocalypse! I mean, who’s eating all these reports anyway?
Now, they tell us that this stuff is important, right? Vital to the workings of the modern world. But you look at it and think, “Hey, if I wasn’t here, would anyone even notice? If I didn’t move this paper from that pile to this one, would the world end?” I don’t think the sun’s gonna stop rising because Johnson in accounting didn’t get his TPS report.
But it’s not just the paper pushers feeling the pinch of pointlessness, oh no. Even folks who are supposedly doing “important” work are starting to question the value of their labor. I mean, look at the doctors, saving lives, right? But then they go home, turn on the news and it’s all about how people are just dying from eating too much fast food or not wearing their seatbelts. I mean, it’s enough to make you think, “Maybe I should have just been a fry cook or a seatbelt installer!”
And don’t even get me started on these tech guys, you know, the ones in Silicon Valley making all these apps. I mean, how many apps do we really need? There’s an app to help you find your phone when you lose it. But you need the phone to use the app! There’s an app to help you remember to drink water. Water! The thing that’s been keeping people alive since the dawn of time! I mean, what’s next? An app to remind you to breathe?
Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting about a meeting, watching the clock tick by slower than a turtle doing a marathon, and thought to yourself, “What on earth am I doing with my life?” Well, you’re not alone. There’s a whole boatload of people out there who feel like they’re just spinning their wheels, doing jobs that are about as necessary as a screen door on a submarine.
Now, don’t get me wrong. These aren’t folks sitting on their couch, eating potato chips, and binge-watching daytime television. No, sir! These are folks getting up early in the morning, putting on their fancy pants, and going to a nice, shiny office where they sit in a cubicle and push buttons on a keyboard all day. They send emails, they shuffle papers, they attend meetings. They’re as busy as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest, but at the end of the day, they feel like they’ve accomplished about as much as a dog chasing its own tail.
I mean, let’s talk about these meetings, huh? They say there’s no such thing as a dumb question, but boy, I tell ya, some of these meetings could give that theory a run for its money. You’re sitting there, listening to Bob from Sales drone on about synergistic paradigms and tactical efficiencies, and all you can think is, “Didn’t we cover this same topic last week? And the week before? And the week before that?”
And then there’s the emails. Oh, the emails! It’s like the Hydra of the modern workplace – every time you delete one, two more pop up in its place. Half of them are just people hitting ‘Reply All’ to say “Thanks!” or “Noted!” And the other half? Well, they’re probably just someone like Bob sending another PowerPoint presentation.
But don’t worry, they tell us, it’s all important work. Vital to the functioning of the organization. You’re a cog in the machine, they say. But sometimes, you can’t help but feel like that cog might be a little redundant. Like maybe the machine wouldn’t even hiccup if your cog were to suddenly disappear. Heck, maybe the machine would even run a little smoother!
And so, these folks, they trudge home at the end of the day, bone-tired from a day of shuffling papers and sending emails and sitting in meetings. And they can’t help but wonder: Is this it? Is this what I’m doing with my precious time on this earth? Sending emails and shuffling papers and listening to Bob talk about synergistic paradigms?
Adding to the madness, it seems like these big corporations have found themselves in quite the pickle. They’ve got these big, shiny office buildings with leases longer than a CVS receipt and suddenly, no one to fill ’em! It’s like throwing a party and realizing that not only did no one show up, they’re all at another party and having a blast without you!
And so, these bosses start calling up their employees, asking them to come back to the office. And they’re trying to sell it like it’s a privilege. “You’ll have structure!” they say. “You’ll be more productive!” But what they really mean is, “We need to justify the astronomical rent on this concrete monstrosity, and we’re not convinced you’re not spending your workday watching reruns of ‘The Office’ instead of doing your job.”
I mean, it’s kind of hilarious when you think about it. These bosses are worried their employees are sitting at home, watching Netflix when they’re supposed to be working. And to prevent that, they want them to come sit in an office…where they used to spend half their time talking about the latest show on Netflix!
But here’s the thing folks, once you’ve tasted freedom, it’s tough to go back to the cage. A lot of folks have had a glimpse of a life where work doesn’t involve battling rush hour traffic or sharing a fridge with a guy who thinks fish is an acceptable lunch to microwave. And they like it. It’s like they’ve been eating stale bread all their lives and someone just handed them a fresh baguette.
And so, the people who end up going back to these office buildings? Well, they’re likely to be the folks who are comfortable with the status quo. The ones who nod along when the boss spouts off corporate jargon, and believe that a 9-to-5 in a grey cubicle is the pinnacle of professional achievement. Now, I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly sound like a hotbed of innovation and creativity to me.
We’ve suddenly found ourselves in a world where the humble office building is about as popular as a skunk at a garden party. I mean, who’d have thought? These hallowed halls of cubicles and conference rooms, once the epicenter of hustle and bustle, now stand as giant monuments to a time that already feels as antiquated as a VHS tape.
You see, for a long time, the office was the undisputed king of the workplace. It was where the magic happened, where deals were made and careers were built. It was the battlefield, the stage, the arena of the professional world. But now? It’s starting to look more like a relic from a bygone era, desperately clinging to its former glory.
I mean, think about it. We’ve got these big, shiny buildings with desks and chairs and coffee machines, all sitting empty while folks are at home, tapping away at their keyboards in their pajamas. It’s like having a state-of-the-art kitchen and choosing to cook over a campfire in the backyard. It just doesn’t make a lick of sense!
And the really funny thing? The office isn’t just seen as undesirable anymore. No, it’s actually started to look downright ridiculous. I mean, we’ve been carrying around these little rectangles in our pockets that can access the entirety of human knowledge, and yet, for some reason, we thought we still needed to pack ourselves into a giant box with fluorescent lighting to get work done!
It’s like we’ve been clinging onto these remnants of the past, like a kid holding onto a security blanket. Sure, it was comforting for a while. It gave us a sense of order, a sense of routine. But now? Now it’s starting to feel more like a straitjacket than a security blanket.
And let me tell ya, nothing screams “desperation” quite like trying to lure folks back to the office with promises of free donuts and casual Fridays. It’s like trying to get a kid to go to the dentist by promising them a lollipop. It might work once, but eventually, they’re gonna catch on!
So here we are, folks, staring at these towering monuments of glass and steel and starting to see them for what they really are: a relic from a time when work was a place you went, not a thing you did.
But hey, in the meantime until it’s settled, enjoy the freedom to work in your underwear, folks. Because let’s be honest, those suits were never that comfortable anyway!