Monday, 18 February 2013


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Feeling okay about your “working week”? “Like” the people you share an “office” or a “site” with? Get home with a small sense of satisfaction that you’ve “put in a good day”? Well stop it. You’re a loser. You’re ruining yourself and putting your children at risk.

Work. It’s a pretty major part of the human existence. Throughout history, working has been something that men and women have done in order to build things, keep themselves fed and sheltered, and advance society. Even today, work is relatively common. I myself know several people with jobs, and if you asked around in your circle of friends, you might be surprised at how many of them occasionally do work. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures estimate that close to fifty percent of Australian residents have worked at some point during their adult lives, and that’s not even counting the Australian Bureau of Statistics employees who had to work compiling the statistics. Unofficial estimates run as high as sixty-five percent.

So work is pretty common, and a lot of everyday life revolves around it. People have to work to build your house, or fix your car, or make your lunch, or perform surgery on your cysts. But in all this whirlwind of relentless work, I’m afraid sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. To put it bluntly, I feel that not enough attention is being paid to what should be a fairly obvious and transparent fact, and that fact is this:

Work is stupid.

Now, before you rush to judgment and start telling me about things this country was built on and things that give you dignity and what does or does not come before what in the dictionary, please apply a little of your so-called “brainpower” to this proposition. Think about it. Mull it over. Don’t you find that, the more you think about it, all those hours you’ve spent “working for a living” have been utterly wasted? Don’t you see how futile your entire working life has been? Don’t you feel like a complete moron? Good, that’s quite natural.

Cast your mind to the last time you were “at work”. Perhaps you work in an office. Perhaps you have to sit at a desk, tapping away mindlessly at a computer. Perhaps you have to “answer emails” from a “supervisor” who calls you in for “meetings” to discuss your “performance” before going to the “kitchen” for a coffee “break”. 

Wasn’t that awful? How do you stand it? The tedium, the repetitiveness, the endless quotation marks? Every day you sit at that desk and refrain from punching a co-worker in the stomach is a day that you betray your essential humanity and let us all down.

Or maybe you are a physical labourer. Perhaps you lay bricks or make things out of wood. In which case, all you’re doing is destroying yourself. Shredding your muscles, violating the bodily temple granted you by the Creator all for the sake of dirty, dirty work. What if a brick fell on your head? What if someone accidentally fired their staple gun directly into your neck? Who would hug your little ones then? That’s right – abusive foster parents. You get my point: every time you head out to work with your hands, you are actually abusing your own children. Proud of yourself, big man?

Or maybe you’re one of those executives who run around giving orders and writing reports and formulating strategies like some kind of giant tick burrowing into the soft, tender neck of the goat of humanity. In which case you are truly the worst scum on earth, a moral reprobate of a monstrousness comparable to the upper echelons of the Papa Doc regime. Because when you’re an executive, a manager, a boss of any kind, not only are YOU working, you are causing OTHERS to work. You are a work-creator, a sort of malevolent goblin feeding on the dark side of human nature. Hang your head in shame. You would belong in prison, if it weren’t for the fact that people would have to work there to keep you locked up.

Isn’t it time we ended this farce? Can we not stop talking of the “work ethic”, as if it’s an admirable thing, when it’s actually nothing more than the self-destructive urge of the mentally derelict. The impulse to work is about as “admirable” as the impulse to petrol-bomb a tyre dealership, and will in the long run have similar results. Especially if you work in a tyre dealership. Which a lot of people do. And those people’s violent compulsions are growing by the day, mark my words.

Let’s face the facts: work never got anyone anywhere. All our most-admired people received their wealth from inheritance or luck: heiress Gina Rinehart; people’s prince, Prince William; Powerball jackpot winner Bill Gates. A person who gets their money through pure chance has the opportunity to do something constructive with it, like buy vintage cars or eat at Pizza Hut every day. But someone who works for their money becomes a slave to the grind, and just keeps working and working and working until finally they give themselves a pulmonary embolism or get stabbed to death by their jealous children. Was that worth it, you hard-working idiots?

Surely we can go back to the way things used to be. We didn’t always work our noses to the bone like this. We used to have a much more productively relaxing lifestyle. We lived off the land, and not in that stupid “let’s have a farm and plough fields and raise corn and train horses to do tricks” way. No, we lived off the land properly, by lying around under trees waiting for stuff to fall out of them. And thus we had time to enjoy our lives and contemplate the beauty of the universe. And we never got carpal tunnel syndrome or pulled thigh muscles or accidentally sexually harassed our workmates. That was the way people were supposed to live.

And we can again. Stop working. Down tools now, and go outside and breathe the fresh air of freedom. Let us once again revel in the bounty of sloth which was gifted to us, and rebuild anew the heaven on earth that God intended. Stop work, my people, and start LIVING.

Ben  Pobjie

Ben has not one but TWO hilarious books out now. Surveying the Wreckage and Superchef.

Follow him on twitter @benpobjie