Work and drudgery

I started my professional career at the Indian Space Research Organization. My role was to assemble and coordinate a satellite’s launch. As exciting as that might sound, I do not miss certain parts of it.

One such part involved my going to the office on a Saturday when another team was working on the satellite. From time to time, the team needed to have the satellite’s body rotated in its fixture, which I did by pushing a button. Anybody could have pushed that button – I was required to do it merely because it was my department’s responsibility. I often ended up wasting several hours of a holiday, while effectively working for a mere 10 minutes.

We celebrate work as being virtuous, since it engages the mind, puts food on the table, and keeps us healthy. All ancient religions extoll the virtue of doing one’s duty. Yet, drudgery is to work is sewage is to water. Work polluted by drugery dulls the mind, weakens the body and destroys the soul.

Real progress in the workplace is measured by our ability to strip out drugery from work.

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