November 10, 2017
Author: Bianca Yang
Lately, I’ve been dreading going to the office. I’m not sure why I’m so upset about having to go to the office, especially since I’ve really enjoyed the recent couple of days of work. I have too strong an attachment to sitting in my room and listening to music which I idly work on a Sketchup diagram or watch television or read books. I enjoy the comfort of being isolated too much, I fear.
Remote work sounded vaguely interesting to me at some point, but I don’t think I could survive in a remote work environment. I think living at the office could be fun, but it goes against the entire work-life balance mentality. Yet, with the mega-campuses that Google and Facebook and Apple are building, living at the office may not end up being too bad. It certainly beats having to find distinct and suitable places to satisfy my hunger, need for exercise, need for a productive work environment, need for social interaction, etc. And yet I think it’s valuable to have somewhere to go home to that is separate from the hustle and bustle of the world. We each need our own space to reflect, relax, and recharge.
I think I’m only now starting to appreciate college life. I’ve finally found a group of friends and work buddies that I genuinely enjoy hanging out with. I used to dream of escaping society because I didn’t have a group of people I enjoyed hanging out with. But now that I’m surrounded by good friends and reasonable living resources, I am less inclined to leave. I almost want to stay a college student forever and shirk my responsibilities to produce value for society.
This kind of desire for irresponsibility makes me dread a future of being an adult. I don’t think I care about being respected professionally. I certainly want people to treat me with decency and respect, but I don’t think I need other people to validate my abilities. So I don’t really care if everyone else moves into management positions and takes on more responsibilities because I can be happy alone, studying in my room. I just need to occasionally go out to see my friends, go out to a new place, eat somewhere new, do something fun, and be radical. But otherwise, I can live a fairly simple lifestyle.
Contentment is dangerous in the sense that people have less patience for bringing each other up to speed. You’re expected to be able to produce at a certain level from day one, not to learn on the job. Besides, who has the time to learn on the job? With time now regarded as such a precious yet not precious commodity, people are scrambling to maximize efficiency without burning out. It’s not precious in the sense that there are companies that don’t value their employees’ time and ask them to work ridiculous hours. Productivity falls off after a certain point, and only so many people can handle the stress. But those who can are superstars, I suppose.
I’m not sure if this maddening, breakneck pace is good for society. I feel like Darwin and Thoreau and other great thinkers did not have such urgency. Perhaps Edison did. Perhaps Bell did. Perhaps I’m just being naive and should buckle up for an intense ride into the future. But I just want to sit back and enjoy life. I think there is more to life and brute force progress measured through output. There are too many intangible variables that cannot be bought or quantified but can be fully appreciated and felt. We must acknowledge the beauty of our environment, of human creativity, of human ingenuity, of the present. So let us all have a relaxing, reflective weekend.
Ping me if you want to chat: ipacifics [at] gmail [dot] com. You should mention where you found my info so I don’t delete your message.