Individuality.

March 1, 2007

I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes find it difficult to have a life. I think about this topic frequently; I love my work, but I long for the days where I had that bit more freedom. I suppose most of us do when we enter full-time work. Lots of people don’t want to be at work because they don’t like their job. I love my job. I don’t want to be at work because I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all my work and achieve everything I want to in my personal life. It’s good to see that I’m not the only person to sometimes feel this way.

Most people do put on their work-persona when they walk through the door to their office in the morning. In the office-mode, you rarely see the true personality behind the person you’re talking to. It’s a shame. Why do people feel the need to hide away the very things that define them? Outside-interests are often kept firmly out of the office. It seems odd. It’s almost like a time-controlled mild form of dissociative identity disorder. “Between 9-5 I’m person A, and otherwise, I’m person B.” And yet we all sometimes play into this mindset.

I assume that the extent to which personal interests are kept out of the office varies from country to country, institution to institution, and person to person. Non-work chat between many colleagues here is rare. I hate this. I like to be passionate about what I’m passionate about. I can’t always force myself to be passionate about work at the correct moments. The quote “a thought comes when it wills, not when I will it,” (attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche?) springs to mind.

Office work does seem to force most people to leave a large part of their individuality at the door. Perhaps in academia the line between interests and work becomes so blurred that there isn’t any individuality to lose.

The most disgusting side-effect of office work that I often see is when colleagues socialise with each other frequently. When colleagues become hobby-mates, is it healthy? Is this why my workmates are so bland?

I’m quite glad to maintain my individuality. I don’t compose all my mails in “professional speak.” I often wear the oldest, scaffiest t-shirts I own to work.

I enjoy my various pass-times, but I never seem to have quite enough time to pass. I’d love to be able to claw back those 7 hours a night devoted to sleeping…

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One Response to “Individuality.”

  1. […] people in academia, and presumably some other professions, aren’t like this. In professional circles, people don’t dare allow real life in. And you know what? The conversation in these environments is often pointless, staid, and fucking […]

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