Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Doin' it wrong with the purchase of goods and services

I'm reflecting on the futility of work lately.

My boss made a comment one recent Saturday (our busiest day of the week!) that work was getting in the way of his not-working.  I disagreed, and said:
"If not for work, I'd never get anything done."
He looked at me like I was making a stupid joke or something, so I clarified:
"No, no. I mean, often on my actual days off I get relatively little accomplished.  But if I also see clients on a given day, I'll probably get a load of laundry done and the floor mopped, in addition to making dinner and helping Hannah with her homework and piano lesson.  If I'm just home all day, I'll probably play Solitaire on the computer or watch Dr. Who."

I do like my job.  And I have several clients who believe they would not function without seeing me regularly.  We're working on that, incidentally.  But I also notice that I, along with everyone else, expend a lot of effort to earn money in order to NOT do work.  You know, the hard stuff.

Today I have scheduled some people to come remove a metric boat-load of leaves from my yard, and am pricing service providers to have my trees trimmed.  There are seven of them; that's gonna be steep.  I also scheduled an appointment to have my dog bathed and groomed, and a second one for his vaccinations.  Then I went to two different stores to buy ingredients for stuff I want to cook, most of which is extravagant, and some of which is chocolate.  That stuff's totally critical.  But seriously.  Gruyere is twice as expensive as Swiss cheese, and no one in my family will notice besides me.  And still I shell out.  Can they see me coming or what?

I've recently been reading some Charles Dickens, and I've read Terry Pratchett's new historical novel that utilizes both Dickens and Henry Mayhew as characters.  I got on the internet to find out whether I could find a copy of Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor.  I uncharacteristically read some folk stories and poems edited by W.B. Yeats, with lovely depictions of rural subsistence farmers.  Then I put some dirty laundry in a magic box that washes it, and subsequently into a different magic box that dries it, and try to make room for all of this sparkly clean clothing in our overflowing dresser drawers.  My life is so full of ease and excess; but I often forget, because my luxury is a Ford instead of a Jaguar.

I own property, but I'd never be able to make a living off if if suddenly Publix Supermarket ceased to exist.  So I'll keep showing up for work at a job where I feel like I can do something useful for others, and where my boss just keeps signing my check to verify that he values what I'm doing.  

On the other hand, I did feel pretty good about turning over some of the maintenance of said property, at least for this month, to a couple of guys just trying to make their own living. 

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