Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Like most things, as people, we do - from running to singing to fucking to knitting to inventing to falling in love - there are a few people (the 1% perhaps) who do work like it's no thing, who do it effortlessly, beautifully, maddeningly well. Like it's not work at all, just something they felt like doing, while the rest of us struggle on. Trying to get paid. Trying not to get fired. Trying to work it out.

    Of course, there's money involved, which makes it different. And the most annoying people are those who get paid for doing the things we do for free. For fun. The stuff we do when we're not working, you know, to blow off steam, to relax. Imagine getting paid for that.

    You can't really pin working down. Just like fighting and loving and eating, we all do it, but it takes so many forms and what is one person's work is someone else's all expenses paid photo-shoot in the Caribbean, so that trying to define what makes work work and not play or slavery, is a full-time job.

    What we do know: working occupies a strange paradox state. We bitch about working - the hours, the tasks, the co-workers, the low pay - and we bitch about not working, so that the happy worker (unlike the disgruntled worker and the angry non-worker) is a rare breed.

    I've worked more than I ever intended to. And work has simultaneously stopped me from doing many things I imagined I'd spend my life doing, while giving me experiences, friends and knowledge that I wouldn't have found on my own.

    But I grew up in the early nineties when the idea of having a job seemed absurd, out of reach.

    When I was thirteen, my biggest fear was being taken out by a dramatic and fatal accident, which meant I would die a virgin. At college, by the end, after the protests, the denials and the half-hearted toying around with more fucking education, my fear was about being unemployable.

    As with most things we worry about, neither state came to pass, and I think there was a similar desperation in losing my virginity and getting my first *proper* job.

    I often wished, especially in the first few underpaid, over patronized years, that I hadn't been so keen to get hired, that I'd been more selective, taken my time, like everything after would have been different. But I also wished I hadn't been fucked by an older girl before it was strictly legal on the carpet in her parent's front room.

    But that's not working, or fucking. That's just the way we do. A few of us do certain things really well. Without regrets. But most of us are still working it out.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.