Sunday, August 15, 2021

That works for me!

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

OK, let's get to work!

There are some words that have so many different meanings, so many different definitions that we can get lost. 

Work is one of those words.

We can go to work, get to work, work hard, work fast, work slow. You can work a corner, work your way through college, work your way up the company. You can work alone, work on a team, or work on improving your teamwork. 

You can do police work, camera work, or give someone the works. A book can be the work of many hands, or it can be an early work by a major writer. 

A horse can be put to work, and then they are a workhorse. And clothes can become work clothes, if you only wear them at work. I am old enough to remember changing in to play clothes after coming home from school. After all, my parents worked hard for those school clothes! 

If you are still reading this blog, I may have just worked a miracle. If my plan worked, you are working very hard right now, trying to guess where this all going.

Sportscasters can work a game, politicians can work a crowd, and comedians can work a room.

It is nice when your boss "works it" so that you can take your vacation. Otherwise, you might work yourself into a rage, and then find yourself out of work. 

Ah yes, work can be a verb, a noun, or an adjective. 

The BIG topic in the USA today is this: are we going BACK? Back to work? Or, back to SCHOOL, for our schoolwork? As in, are we going back to a location where WORK was historically done. And the debate now rages on how location impacts the quality of work (or the quality of anything). 

Ah, did schoolwork become homework when we did not do it while physically AT school? Yeah, the schoolhouse just became "a house" during COVID. And schoolwork can be done anywhere, with or without a classroom, or a lecture hall or even in many cases, a laboratory. Hmmm, labor-a-tory. I feel a blog on "labor" is in my future. 

I feel that saying "at work" means busy, engaged in working. Like, when you are AT WORK you are engaged in one's regular occupation. 

When you meet someone for the first time, the conversation usually goes "Hello, I'm Tom. Who are you and what do you do?" We identify by our career, our occupation. We identify by our BODY OF WORK. 

An actor, writer or musician is judged by their body of work - not the location where said body of work was actually created. 

NYC became "The Big Apple" over the years, first, because it had a natural deep water port. Shipping and The Maritime Industry made New York. Wall Street, Broadway, were all are result of the location (proximity to the city) being mandatory. The more people who HAD to live in (or very near) the city grew and grew. You had to physically go to the office - that is where the files were, the corporate phone system was located, the typewriters, the fax machines, the copy machines, and of course, eventually the computers. Meetings were held in conference rooms, where "the work" of managing "the workers" was accomplished. If you missed a meeting, there was no recording of the meeting to catch up. 

The LOCATION of the work, historically defined... the work. 

Today, not so much. Humans crave touch, yes. Go to any airport, and see people hugging hello, and hugging good-bye. Handshakes and hugs are very important to the human condition. Physical touch, we miss it when we can't have it. A pat on the back, a "high five" after a good sales meeting, a fist-bump in the hallway. Yeah, those are the things that trigger the good brain chemistry, right? 

But we should not confuse physical location with the quality of work, or with the final quality or value of any work product. Especially when the "work product" we are producing might be teaching, training, coaching or mentoring. Humans are social creatures, and we crave connection and physical touch. It's in our DNA. Is this not why the Meetings & Events business is actually - a business?

"Work is not a place that you go to, it's what you do" is a phrase that we have all heard many times. Due to COVID, that has never been more true - for work, for school, for just about everything. Sorry, I just had to work that phrase into my blog. 

Sometimes, work sucks. But you know what rarely sucks?


Who does not love pizza? Most of the time, we order pizza for home delivery, as least as often as physically going to, and eating in a pizzeria, right? Pizza is pretty great, regardless of location. And everyone has a favorite topping, yes? Or, do you order your Pizza with the works?

Pizza With The Works (Except Anchovies)

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