“It’s Friday, and I’m having a good day because I won’t have to come in here for two.”

“Maybe they’ll send us home because of the storm.”

Two comments I overheard from two colleagues on Friday and it wasn’t even noon. I get it, work is work. If we didn’t have it we might miss the structure it imposes on our lives. We might get lonely without co-workers who are rarely our closest friends, but whom we confide in
due to their physical proximity and distance from our personal lives. Regardless of what we may miss about work (if we were gone long enough to miss it) we typically think we’d rather be someplace else. Though while we’re at work, aren’t we supposed to pretend we like it?

It’s one thing to say, “I’m glad it’s Friday, this has been a long week. Wrapping up that contract was intense,” and much another to say, “It’s Friday, I’m having a good day because I won’t have to come in here for two.”

Most of us average workers work for money. We don’t run empires for the joy of it, regardless of great wealth, and we don’t seek low-wage public sector jobs, regardless of the benefit we feel it would bring to society. We balance our need for fulfillment with our need for income and hope for the best. We accept work as a necessity we chose.

So what if we catch ourselves saying things like, “It’s Friday, I’m having a good day because I won’t have to come in here for two?” What if we no longer publicly pretend to tolerate work? How should we interpret this message for ourselves, and what message are we giving others?