The world of work sure ain’t what it used to be. Even in the “slacker” 90’s we Gen X’ers always did what we had to do in ensuring we had spending money in our pockets let alone paying for our own stuff. But my oh my how things have changed. Did we and the following generations get lazy, apathetic or just over it? That’s what we’ll explore today in the Toy Box with the help of my favorite slacker poster children: Dante and Randall from Clerks and made by Diamond Select.
Thinking about it, Dante and Randall were actually great workers. Despite the whining, foul language and general indifference or disrespect to the customers they served, they still showed up. Even when it was Dante’s day off. That says a lot when you think about it in hindsight.
Also in this vein, is considering the nature of Kevin Smiths own work ethic. You figure he was working at the Quick Stop when he was writing, producing, directing and acting in the movie. It’s that gumption that really attracted me to and be influenced by him as a filmmaker and storyteller.
Funny how looking back helps you see those things.
Also, it’s that work ethic that allowed for him to really thrive as the online world progressed. While I’ve not been enthusiastic about his non Viewaskew efforts, I do applaud his efforts in conquering the new medias as they were rolling out: multi media whore.
Back to the topic at hand, (the world of work) it is certainly interesting to think about all of the changes we’ve seen in it over my 48 years. As a kid, I watched my dad get up every morning, go through his morning routine of coffee and cigarettes (that was breakfast back in those days) and then rollout to get to work on average 30 minutes early, which is a trait that is pretty much frowned on these days. It wasn’t lost on me. To this day I have a tendency to be like Pop in that. Despite those around me thinking I’m nuts. The previous day job however changed that though.
These days I’d been working from home. Doesn’t seem like much of a stretch considering I have been involved in so many freelance projects over the past 10+ years but this was different. I was working for a company, slave to the clock… in my own home. It was weird. Very weird. More than that, uncomfortable and surprisingly stressful and hard on the physiology (more on that later). However, this particular job and company did allow for me to do a lot of fact finding and make some interesting observations from numerous and various businesses. Especially on this topic.
Being business to business sales, it gave me the chance to put a real finger on the pulse of what all is really going on in my state. The general consensus is that they’ve got plenty of business now that things have opened back up and the majority of restrictions and such have lifted but the problem that is consistent among all forms of goods, services and trade industries is the lack of help. They simply can’t find people who are willing to work.
While there’s all kinds of debates that can come from that reality, in the end and the deeper issue in my opinion is that folks today aren’t so much lazy as they are apathetic and indifferent to the dignity of work. In fairness, who can truly blame them?
Over the past couple of decades, society has pushed a college education and degree as a must with the promise of a “better life”. The post March 2020 reality revealed that the degree would do you little good in an environment that was deemed “non essential” let alone a heavy student loan burden. Who would have thought that someone willing to work at a fast food joint could make more money hourly and be in more demand than as a beginner in a skilled trade that was basically shut down due to various restrictions?
This isn’t a bashing of higher education. It’s also not pushing for it. I for one have always been a huge proponent of continued learning and vocational education. Being pragmatic versus philosophical has proven itself to be far more practical to living a “better quality of life”. Now however, some things happened that’s taken what I would think would be a pretty obvious assessment seems to escape people nowadays, no matter what “generation” they’re attached to. Frankly speaking, we need to get that in check before the situation gets worse.
That was a pretty heavy rant but truth itself tends to be like that. Having pledged to myself after disengaging from social media interactions to not offer a rant without a solution, I would like to offer this line of thought with my own intent and dedication to get life back on track as well as a recommendation for continued reading.
What I feel would be in everyone’s best interest is to take the time to be active in improving your mindset and habits as well as pushing yourself to engage in the real world again with everyone else you come in contact with. A smile, a nod and or a friendly; “Howdy!” while looking someone in the eyes goes a long way these days. The opportunity to start a conversation in the real world can help us all connect again on a human level that got bombarded by two years of fear based social distancing. That stops with action and kindness. We can all do that so lets!
This is the point where I’d like to share with you dear reader, my own resolve to get my butt back in gear and do what I was morn to do: tell stories and encourage others to share theirs. Hence this new look and feel of the Toy Box. There’s a ton of stories inside of that story, and we’ll get to those soon enough but I’m rambling so let me focus back in ….
In a nutshell, in 2020, I never contracted Covid but I was diagnosed as being a Type 2 diabetic. I knew I wasn’t feeling great more often than not but didn’t realize the physical reasons why. I was 46, so the body was slowing down and the line of work I went into, retail management (the TV station was flat lining and I was burnt out on chasing down freelance video gigs) that however became “non-essential”. I was not on any prescription medication for the Type 2. I had tried one of the more common drugs and it sucked. The side effects in no way outweighed the benefits that were promised so I gave up on that after a few days and promised myself to be more mindful of my food intake and try to move around and exercise more.
I did okay with that but wasn’t dedicated nearly as much as I should have been. Still, it wasn’t terrible or what one would deem “out of control”. That is until I made the decision to take the “remote” job I mentioned earlier. It required me to sit on my duff for the majority of the 8 hour work day. Then over the span of 90 days, the last 30 found my blood sugar soaring. It was staying at 200 and spiking to 400 and in some cases 500, no matter what I ate or drank. It’s at that point I realized a change was in order… and it needed to happen immediately.
The decision that was made is what you’re reading now… or listening to.. or watching. After so many months and now years of self realization and actualization I’ve come to reconnect with my true purpose and calling: Storyteller. To inform and entertain, there is no higher purpose for me. Even though over these past few years I got that messaged confused in my own mind and intentions. That’s been course corrected now thanks to many things but one in particular I want to point out right now is the following book I was recently introduced to.
“Atomic Habits” by James Clear is a great read full of lessons for those who are feeling scattered and overwhelmed as they attempt to reconnect with their internal drive and ambition, one little habit forming step at a time.
Shout out time.
I learned about “Atomic Habits” from Clark Kegley via one of his many helpful videos on YouTube. The main focus of the video is how author James Clear suggests in “Atomic Habits” the idea of rewriting your script into the 2.0 version of yourself (you should totally watch it ). I had been wrangling with that concept without; 1. Knowing I was and 2. Getting no where fast in those pursuits. Thanks to Clark’s video, it shook me and helped me realize that in all my efforts of trying to get back at what I was meant to do, I was digging myself into a deeper rut instead of actually escaping the old one.
I can’t recommend both the video and the book enough. I also can’t stress how important it is for you to share this blog and those links with everyone you know because you never know who may be suffering from these issues silently. This is how we get back to making forward motion in life and specifically in regards to the topic at hand; reconnecting with, then getting back to and dare I say loving “The World of Work”.
Now, Go Play!
Clicking the links and various ads that are embedded in this post or gracing the site helps out tremendously in my operations and growth. In the event you have an issue with any of those, please let me know immediately. While I take no responsibility for any third parties actions or lack there of, I can and will boot them off the site and say mean but honest things about them. Again, I truly appreciate the support and encouragement as we all work together for a better, more loving, empowered, creative, inquisitive and enlightened world. -Jim
BIG UPDATE: The Jim’s Toy Box Channel is available NOW in the ROKU store! Download to your ROKU device today and join me in exploring some of the most interesting stories that I can cram in my Toy Box!