Friday, March 2, 2012

Living for work

Assuming it was really necessary, this evening, as I was travelling back home by train, I got a reminder of how constantly and irreversibly the latest years' technology has changed our way of perceiving reality and interacting with it.

  I was sitting in a compartment close to many other -let me call them- individuals, sitting on their own, casting their sight on something emitting bright light from a flat screen and apparently interacting with them. All those necks bent down. I wished for a while to have a camera with me. I could have shot as many pictures as I wanted without being noticed.
  Unfortunately, the ambient light wasn't that good to take a picture with my phone and, in some extent, the idea to use this aberration of the human voice communication tool was in contraddiction with what was passing in my head about latest technology effects on our capability to sew line-of-sight social relations.
  Then I heard the sound of a laptop PC suddenly shut and turned my sight to the woman sitting right in front of me. Looking like many of those who have a good position somewhere in the financial district of Milan downtown, she had everything a ramping up professional could show off. She pulled her smartphone out of her bag and started whispering close to the microphone, not to be heard.
  I casted my eyes back on the magazine in my hands but, few seconds later, I noticed with the corner of my eye that her face had changed. She was imploring the person on the other end, presumably a man, not to hang up, to wait for her return, to let her clarify. I coudl even understand from her lips that she was asking pardon for being so distracted by work in recent times.
  Then, as our train passed through a long tunnel, she lost the connection and started desperately calling at him again. Upon the third or fourth failing attempt she started, I'd say with some dignity and elegance, crying and looking for some shelter turning to the corner on the side and looking out of the window, as if she was feeling ashamed of her rimmel dropping down her face.
  This let me thinking about myself and how close to her situation I had been more or less one year ago. I was no longer able to distinguish work time from that I should have dedicated to my family. I happened to work more than twelve hours a day, never stopping my brain, sleeping more or less four hours per night. And my connection to my family, my kids was fainting. I was tunring to a mere cash cow, a revenue generator: nothing more. My kid were getting used to ask me what I would have taken them upon my next travel return, not when I would have been back. Luckily - I think I've written this somewhere - I had a real person, not an hyperlink, at my side that woke me up again.

  We no longer work for life. We live for working. The economical downturn we're living these years is not helping us to divert from this trend. The fear of loosing a job is pushing us to do every day more, without stopping, without unplugging ourself from the mental framework that encapsulate us for five days a week, or even more.

That is not good.

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