I don’t care if you’re having fun at work.
Wouldn’t it be stellar if we went to fun Monday through Friday? Weekends kind of a letdown, families and friends such a drag – better just to go back to those giddy office good times. Now is where I’m supposed to huff and crassly say that they call it “work” for a reason. Except I think that’s cynical and a bit thick. It is not called work because the effort is to drag yourself through it, day on day. It is work because a job worth being paid to do requires your concerted effort. Work is an endeavor, specifically one with an appreciable external value.
While I find no compelling reason for work to inherently be fun, I brook no issue with work serendipitously being fun. Sometimes I have a blast doing work. It’s fun to test a design hypothesis and more fun still to defend it to a skeptical client or team. It’s hugely fun to help factions come together in unanticipated agreement. Insinuating narrative theory into negotiation may as well be ecstatically enjoyable to me. My favorite work-related anecdotes are stories about the stories I helped people tell [it’s also the fastest hook to sucker me to gossip]. If I can immerse my work in that source, then it’s almost all fun all the time. Thankfully, it’s also exhausting, so there is no temptation to make that my whole life.
So many places to which I can diverge from here. What is an executive’s work (and why should you essentially shoulder the cost of that work)? How can work be made fun and should that be the ideal? Why do we spend time at work as though it were spending time at fun, sacrificing time with family and non-work? Since I opened with an attack, I suppose I should redirect that thrust to close with what I do care about respective¹ to work/fun.
I don’t care if you’re having fun at work: I care that you enjoy your work; that you find it stimulating personally; that you see it as valuable or rewarding; that you feel you are getting a fair exchange; that you are satisfying an elemental need to make a mark on the world. I do want you to have fun. At the very least outside of work you should have amply fun, if not directly or providentially at work. But I am not concerned whether your work is fun chiefly because fun hasn’t got anything to do with work. Ultimately, it is enough that you want to be doing it [and that I am able to play a part in you wanting to do your work] for more than just a check.
¹ Specificity is sexy.