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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 2 months ago

Should we really put our full effort into our jobs?

I had an epiphany at work the other day.  I was down in the archives of the Government department I work for.  I was supposed to identify items that should be sent off to be disposed of.  

I found this huge cabinet dating back to the late 60s to early 80s with a complete filing system for documents all written out by hand by a single person.  Each card was practically a work of art, and there were thousands and thousands of them, all in the same delicate handwriting and perfectly indexed and cross-referenced.  

It represented years and years of painstaking, intensive labor.  Of course, it's now obsolete and has been replaced by computer files, but the sight of it depressed me.  I could not bear to send it to be trashed and I pushed it away out of sight so it would be spared for at least a few more years.

This was some person's dedicated life's work that they spent decades of hard work on by hand.  It was almost a work of art,  and now it's unused, getting all dusty and waiting to be destroyed.

Why put your full effort into your work?  It's going to be trash in a few years anyway.  Just do the minimum so the boss won't get on your case.

7 Answers

  • snafu
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    The ephemeral nature of life.  However industrial heritage is worth keeping.  It reminds us of how things were done, how they worked before the age of the computer.  The devil really is in the detail.  Do you think it’s worth asking your boss to archive or donate them to a suitable museum?

  • Rita
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Investing 100% of yourself in any given task can form a habit within you that spills over into your personal life as well. By putting full effort into everything in your life, you could reduce your stress levels by completing tasks correctly the first time and keeping organized.

  • Herve
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Depends on the job and the employer.

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Working from fear is deficit-cognition.  Being somewhat free of the materialism of commercialism, as a govt. civil servant you may be somewhat more freed to learn a healthier work style:'s_hierarchy_o...  Some of your opportunities might be simply being more kind ("The Kindness Challenge").  Also, govt. employment provides a more subsidized health and benefits/retirement system.  By depositing to the max re matching govt. deposits, and choosing a modest mix of e.g. bonds and guaranteed safe interest, you can grow your retirement, enabling you to choose a natural, relaxed retirement location.  Would note that stocks are becoming more unstable, and that investing in gold, silver, or other precious metals (about 10%) is a stable hedge.

    Another correlated path is investing some of your time and energy into charity, a hobby, gardening, and the like. 

    Related:  "Understanding Yourself" by Mark Prophet

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  • 2 months ago

    A government worker slacking off...what a surprise

  • 2 months ago

    At the time those cards were written, I'm sure that person had numerous co-workers who thought as you do today....

    What legacy have you found of them?  What mark did they leave on the world?

    You say all the effort is "obsolete" now but here you are reflecting upon it in a way that makes you evaluate the entire notion of "hard work."

    As the old adage goes, what we get from life is often a product of how much effort we put into it.  Many people want more than just "the minimum" from life and their efforts are a reflection of their desires.

  • 2 months ago

    Well, perhaps so, but if you had never done that, the younger generation wouldn't have as much to build on.   So it wasn't a waste.   Plus, I see you admiring their work.   So it's not lost, because here you are looking at it and being impressed by it.

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