Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Pride in your work

My dad worked for most of his life as a print-buyer for a publisher. There’s a long standing family joke that when as a kid in primary school we had to tell the class what our parents did for work I said that mine was a bookmaker - because he made books.

Of course kids have a great knack of cutting through bullshit. So mine are not brought off by some grandiose job title when they ask me about my work. 'But what do you actually DO dad ?

And of course the truth is that I actually do the same as millions of us – I write emails and go to meetings.

I think a pretty good acid test of the worth of any job is ‘can a child understand it ?’ Things like fireman, doctor, mechanic, teacher, builder, carpenter. If the job title takes up several words and needs a sentence to explain it - then it’s probably bollocks.

But it was never meant to be this way: I made a conscious decision not to ‘use’ my education – I did a vocational course after I graduated – got my union card – and entered a traditional world of craftsmen. But somehow over the years I floated upwards into management and ‘progress’ transformed craft skills into technology.

So now - yes I mainly write emails and go to meetings, and occasionally bullshit for a living.

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