March 06, 2008

The Secret of My Success

The other day, I was making a hefty donation to O.P.E.C. at a local petrol establishment, and I happened to catch snippets of conversation between a father and his son, a child who looked to be about four years old or so. It was the usual exasperated stuff, with the father doing the rapid-fire question and answer thing while trying to concentrate so he could exactly hit $25 on the fuel pump. It was at about $21 or so when he uttered a classic line:

"Someday, you'll learn the value of an honest day's work."

I'd heard this line before, of course, from parents and teachers and other people who just wanted to say something to shut me up, but I suspect most epople never really think about what a bunch of propagandist bullshit nothingness that statement actually is.

Because, seriously, I've experienced, firsthand, the value of an honest day's work and, quite frankly, it leaves a lot to be desired. Primarily, it leaves me with a desire for a lot more value for my honest day's work.

At some point along the line, having dabbled for years and years attempting to ascertain the value of an honest day's work, I very seriously started to think there was probably something about a dishonest day's work that people weren't telling me. I started to think the benefits and value of a dishonest day's work were so alluring, the people who discovered it wanted to keep it to themselves and invented the phrase "value of an honest day's work" as a diversion, a way to keep us in the dark as to where the real value can be made.

When you really stop and think about it, when you hear the term "value of an honest day's work," it's often followed up with words and terms like "strong work ethic," "integrity," "dependability" and "productivity." Who has time for shit like that?

So, I started to think in terms of a dishonest day's work. I did this by taking the words and terms previously mentioned and acting as opposite of those words as I could. Rather than developing a strong work ethic, I thought in terms of sloth and laziness, striving to achieve the most lax work ethic I could possibly muster.

Then, when I looked up "integrity," I discovered it involved a strict adherence to a moral code, which frankly just sounded to me like it required a lot of work. Why spend all sorts of time and effort trying to adhere to a moral code when I could opt to, you know, NOT adhere to a moral code of any kind? I could be free to wallow in any amoral whim that caught my fancy. So, now I was free to be both lazy AND randomly hedonistic.

My next step was to tackle the whole "dependability" issue. Let's face it, there's a fair amount of responsibility required if you want to strive to be dependable. And for what? Once you become dependable, people start to think they can rely on you. Really, being dependable just means people will feel more apt to use you. You basically become a rube. So, I decided to become wildly inconsistent and unreliable. I wanted people to look at me and say "Holy hell, steer clear of that guy if you want to get anything done with any amount of quality."

Finally, I had to achieve the polar opposite of "productivity" if I really wanted to realize the value of a dishonest day's work. I had to find a field where I could produce a bare minimum of output and still be recognized occasionally for something I produced.

With all my targets and goals for a dishonest day's work in place, my path was crystal clear.

I went into journalism.

Posted by Ryan at March 6, 2008 11:05 PM | TrackBack


joking aside, that old rubric definitely is evidence of a bygone era of industrial workforces that now only exists in developing and depressed parts of the world, like india and detroit. i used to have a hardcore puritan work ethic myself, showing up on time, working focused and efficiently, getting way more done than everyone else. and what did that get me? nothing but more responsibility for the same amount of pay. it's a lie that corporate culture rewards hard workers. it rewards SMART workers. i now get way more value out of my lax slacker work ethic, by far.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at March 7, 2008 01:32 PM

You should have gone to law school!!!

Posted by: Autumn at March 7, 2008 04:27 PM

My problem is that there’s nothing special online anymore. I’m searching for something very interesting and cant find anything!

Posted by: ryan91236 at April 9, 2008 04:20 AM
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