Sunday, 15 September 2013

'Feeling the process of work'

I will probably never meet the person who wrote this, but I saw this when I was in Gloucester a few weeks ago. It was bizarre in some ways. I had not long returned to work after a period of unemployment and was having a lovely holiday but knew I'd have to go back to work next week. I was gradually becoming more aware of how insane the whole English work culture is. Questioning something is an important step - many people go through life waiting for retirement and a pension to keep them going. Why would anyone want to live like that? And anyone who seriously thinks that we'll be able to rely on pensions forever .. well wake up is all I can say. However, I am hoping that things will change for the better, and awareness amongst the people of how stupid the whole system is and how badly it really does affect people, really is, I feel, going to be key.

So back to this 'Feel The Process of Work' phrase - I know I could be accused of being airy fairy and stuff, but perhaps it wasn't a coincidence that I saw this. I didn't really know what it meant at first, and it could possibly be interpreted in a number of ways. I thought about it again yesterday, and have come to the conclusion that I really need to 'feel the feelings' of what it is like to be working in an office environment full time, and also be aware of how the work structure is affecting people around the globe.



THE WORK OF TODAY

Yes, it's true that some countries have it worse than us, and probably true that work has been harder in the past. However, all I can really comment on is how things are now. And, to be honest, it's hard to believe that in this day and age, we still have an old fashioned work system. The government has had us under control for so long and now, more and more people are realising what the governmental agenda really is. As the elite are hopefully starting to lose control, they are frantically making one last effort to keep the people under control, and that is why things are tough right now. It is funny how this thing called 'money' has such a grip.

Big corporations, including Amazon who I am frankly disgusted with, are treating their employees like shit. Just recently, a friend of mine went for an induction in Boots and said that they carry out routine inspections of staff to make sure that they haven't stolen anything, to the extent that you may have to remove shoes and socks and unbutton shirts. Thankfully, another company had made him a job offer so he understandably took that. Then we have Tesco who have supposedly introduced systems which record what their employees are doing 24/7. Surely the government are buddies with some of the fat cats of these corporations, not to mention the bankers.

And there are plenty of smaller companies that treat their employees badly. As you may know, I had recent experience of one. Working there brought the terms 'overworked, underpaid and underappreciated' to a whole new level. No doubt, this has made me more cynical of businesses and business people in general. Unfortunately, with the country in a double dip recession, it is easier for employers to get away with murder at the moment. People have always been scared of losing their jobs but it would previously have been easier to find another job if the work environment was oppressive. It really is time that employees started standing up for their rights against egotistical and tyrannic management.

Then there is the whole corporate sector, made up of many jobs that are pointless and wouldn't exist if people knew how to live naturally. When you think about it, surely one of the reasons why so many work environments are so hectic, despite the massive increase in technology, is because we are out of harmony with nature and with the way work and life should be.

DISHONESTY AND BULLSHIT


Photo by Marcello
However, whilst all the above may be true, it is all too easy to blame the government and the system without taking any responsibilities for ourselves. Employees have been far to submissive and slaves to the system. The fear of being without enough money has held us captive for so long. Whilst things are not going to change overnight, there are some things that employees could do to help and empower themselves. One of the biggest issues, I feel, in the workplace, is the lack of transparency about how people really feel.

Most employees would not do the jobs they do if money wasn't an issue. That's an absolute given. I wouldn't. It's frankly insane that people often spend more time at work than they do with their families. Beyond insane, in fact. People bitch and moan about work to their mates. What is that going to solve? Mondays are a day that a lot of people hate. However, once we get to our place of work, we mustn't say anything negative about our job. The boss would sack us otherwise. And don't even get me started about job ads. They really are the pinnacle of bullshit.

Listen, most bosses surely know that employees do not necessarily love their jobs. If someone is doing a good job and is a good worker (which should always be the case, and you definitely need to find another job if you are unable to fulfil this criteria) then they should be able to approach their boss and say that they are having difficulties or not enjoying certain aspects of their job. I believe that if people were more open with how they feel about work, then the workplace would be a better place, and possibly a more enjoyable place.

STRESS AND PRESSURE

Unfortunately, of course, this is easier said than done. Many people are being put under too much pressure nowadays to the detriment of the health. This is particularly true for jobs in the caring profession. How or why the word 'targets' ever came to be mentioned in hospitals should be seriously investigated. There are a lot of nasty bosses about who are not interested in the wellbeing of their employees. Oh and whilst I'm at it, can I get one thing off my chest? This nonsense about being able to work well and thrive under pressure really should be addressed. No-one thrives under pressure. Yes, it's true that pressure can produce adrenaline or something within the human system that can help you get the job done. Maybe sometimes it's good to work under tight deadlines. But not on a regular basis. It may give a temporary buzz - I remember in the last job that sometimes I'd feel this way on a busy Friday - but Friday nights were virtually without exception the worst night of the week as the stress accumulated during the day kicked in.

It is not natural to work in a pressurised environment. I personally believe that work stress is far higher than most of us might think. If anyone reads this who is a doctor, maybe they could confirm this. However, there are probably plenty of people who are under enormous strain who are trying to 'hold it all in' and not tell anyone. This is one of the most unhealthy things anyone could do, and I would imagine that work is far more of a health risk nowadays than smoking. Just saying.

Work may help people to pay the bills and have one or two nice holidays, but then people should have the right to own a house and live a reasonable lifestyle anyway. Our work culture has caused and continues to cause so much damage. It can be summed up in that it causes people to live in a way that is not in alignment with who they really are. There is no way in a million years that we were created to work the way many of us do. It is also not true that we were created to sit around and do nothing.

I really do want to be able to escape the ratrace, but for now, I guess it is right for me to work. At least now I am working for a better company. But now, perhaps, it is time to really be brutally honest about things and allow how I feel about work to be expressed in some way.

Let's all hang in there. Things will change ....

3 comments:

  1. Okay Andy LOL I thought you had an 'aha' moment on the statement 'feel the process of work'.. I personally (I could be wrong) feel it meant feel the process fully, not with the mind, not with the judgements, but feel the feelings fully when there.

    I know you struggle with the office and corporate environment but ponder this message more is my advice. Of course you can tell me to bog off, I am open to that haha!

    Feel with compassion, your feelings, when you are there, feel with compassion. Let yourself hold those feelings, without attaching to the thoughts about them.

    When you are there and something irks you, stop, pause, breathe, feel. Watch the feelings as if you were watching a clock tick, just watch. And when the thoughts come up cussing about it... label them 'critical mind - welcome', 'judging mind - welcome', 'frustrated mind - welcome'. And yes you may be doing this a lot LOL I know I do.. but over time it becomes easier and the thoughts are less strong and we are less attached to them.

    You could argue the dramatics of the working set up in this country and the world - forever.. Seriously it could keep you going for an eternity but ask yourself is questioning with your mind the 'dramatics' aiding you? Can you feel the process of work. Truly feel. Not think it?

    Hugs and as I said tell me to bog off if I have been too honest and misunderstood.

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    Replies
    1. A good point about feeling the feelings with compassion. You may have said this to me but if you did, I didn't really take it in. It is hard though when you're actually there because there is so little opportunity in the fast paced environment of today. How do you get the balance? I'm not asking you this question personally. Maybe I'm scared of truly feeling rather than thinking. Wish me luck x

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    2. Wishing you all the luck in the world. I am sure in time you will feel the feelings. Even if it means going to the bathroom and sitting with them out of the hectic of the busy environment.

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