Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What? Me Work?

One of the motivational quotes I've kept on my desk for the past 15 years came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Martha:
"Determine never to be idle. It is amazing how much can be accomplished when one is always doing."
On many mornings, that quote worked to light a fire under my butt. Recently, though, I've been cleaning out clutter (material and psychological) and leisure time has taken on a glorious luster. Given any opportunity, I savor a trashy novel, revisit a well-worn chick flick, or sink into a nap. Aaaaahhhh...

But as slothful as I aspire to be, author Tom Hodgkinson has made an art of idleness and he celebrates it in his new book, How to Be Idle. Written in 24 chapters, he offers tributes and ideas to while away every hour of the day. You can find even more on his web site, idler.co.uk.

I thought my increased loathing of alarm clocks was a result of my age, but as it turns out, twentysomething workers are giving their employers fits because their ideas of work don't necessarily match up with those of the boss. Imagine allowing restaurant cooks to have body piercings! Or let them to listen to music on the job! Whaaaaahh?

Twentysomethings have employers by the short and curlies: they feel entitled to flexibility and perks at the same time the employment pool is shrinking. I suggest we meet their demands. Somebody has to make Social Security contributions for the rest of us.

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