Monday, July 18, 2016

Work advice

Roger Rosenblatt:

You are likely to work for some company or other, but keep a safe distance. There is no contempt as bitter as that felt by compromised minds for the independent ones that have joined them. Grin broadly at the water cooler, and go home to where you live.

“Speech for a High School Graduate,” Time (June 9, 1997).
Years ago I clipped these sentences and pasted them into a commonplace book. I think they offer good advice for any worker, despite the scornful tone (“compromised minds”), despite the possible absence of a water cooler. It’s necessary to have a life apart.

It just occurred to me that the economy of television storytelling often makes co-workers and social circle just about identical. Think, for instance, of The Mary Tyler Moore Show . You work all day, and who comes over to your house? Mr. Grant, or Ted. Life should be larger than television.

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