Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A new perspective on work

I invited Eric to work with me one day last month, but it wasn't until last night did I discover what he thought about the visit.

We were talking about what he's currently doing, going to school for a degree in art. He says that after working for a day in a cube he began to question his current course.

He said: "Is this what I'm going to school for? Is this all there is? Just working in a cube in a tall building? I need to rethink my options."

"Yep, that's it. It's just a means to an end." I told him.

Now here is the depressing point. When I think back through the 25 years of computer development I've done, it's been in cubes, in big buildings. All of us like little rats, scurry through mazes of cubes. Zipping here and there. Here for a meeting, there for another. Sometimes when I look up I swear I can see a guy in a white coat with a clipboard, noting my every move. (Must be some lab technician.)

I'm not proud when I admit, I've arrived at some meetings and didn't have a clue what it was about. How can you blame me? Often I get invites to meeting without any agenda or list attached. Even the subject line is blank. How am I supposed to prepare for that?

It's all rather rediculous when I stop to think about it. If I were suspended above the building watching, I'd see people scrambling from meeting room to meeting room with quick pauses at their desk for an email read. We may look busy but where are we all going? We are like ants to a picnic. (Only sometimes I don't eat lunch.)

But that is life in Cubeville.

Don't sacrifice your life to work and ideals. The most important things in life are human relations. I found that out too late. - Katharinde Susannah Prichard Australian Author