It is fairly commonplace in American popular culture to complain about work. A sampling of the top grossing television and film offerings between the mid-20th century and today will result in thousands of examples (maybe more?) of disgruntled co-workers and work-aversion characters. The music industry thrives on people hating their jobs. There are songs and playlists about hating your job, songs about wishing it was the weekend, and even songs to quit your job to. I'm sure you can think of at least five or six off the top of your head right now without using the Google Machine. And I bet you can think of just as many friends or family members who are notorious for the same thing.
I would say about two-thirds of the people in my life hate their jobs, are unhappy with the career they're in, or are unsatisfied by the work they do for a living.
Which brings us to the very overused phrase TGIF.
This phrase used to annoy me for a number of reasons - mostly because I used to work at a restaurant that had a name based on this phrase - but recently the notion that so many people are literally thanking God that the work week is over has just made me sad. On Instagram alone, there are over 33 million posts tagged with the hashtag tgif. That doesn't include the tens of millions of posts on other social networks. Maybe I'm reading too much into this trope. But are you unsatisfied with your job? How many of the people in your life are unhappy with their career?
I want to start the trend of people enjoying what they do for a living. I want people to look forward to the work week. I am not saying we need to be a culture of mindless worker bees; we just need to start doing things that make us happy. Americans who are full-time employees spend 40 hours a week at their job. If they receive two weeks of vacation and sick-time (one could hope!) a year, that means they spend 50 weeks a year at work. If someone works for 40 years of their life, they spend 80,000 hours of their life at work. For a person who started working full-time when they turned 20 and lives to be 80 years old, they've spent three-quarters of their life at work. (Did I do the math right?)
Wouldn't it be nice if all that time was spent doing something enjoyable?
That's easier said than done, doc.
Yes, I know. And the first step is to figure out if a TGIF culture is the fault of the workers or the employers' fault.
Sometimes I feel guilty because I kinda love my job. Yes it is work and yes there are meetings that could definitely have been covered in an email and yes there are overly chatty coworkers and yes I spend lots of my life on campus, but all of that is outweighed by a comment by a student or by being part of a really great class or by collaborating with a colleague.
But I know that my situation is not the norm. And that makes me sad.
How can we turn from a TGIF culture into a Can't Wait For Monday culture?
How do we get #CWFM to start trending on Twitter?