Is there still joy in the job?

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Interesting article from the New York Times that takes another look at Studs Turkel’s book, Working, which was published 30 years ago.

Says the article, "When it appeared, "Working" was a revelation, a window on the thoughts of Americans who were rarely heard from: hospital aides, skycaps, gravediggers. Many of the interviews follow a similar, surprising trajectory, beginning with mundane workplace details but quickly moving on to existential thoughts. Even for the lowliest laborers, Mr. Terkel found, work was a search, sometimes successful, sometimes not, ‘for daily meaning as well as daily bread.’"

That was before computers and new management practices changed just about everything, of course. Now we have higher productivity but, the article posits, "job satisfaction has plummeted. It is hard to read "Working" without thinking about what has gone wrong in the workplace."

Are we really working on "digital assembly lines" that discourage creativity and independent thought? I don’t know about you all, but that’s definitely not the case for me in my job. And I’d think that meeting planners, on the front lines of creative thinking, would be among the other professions that are escaping this trend. Or is the trend toward commoditizing meetings changing all that?

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