Does It Have To Mean Something?

My high school buddy Jim had the right idea about jobs. He was a U. S. Postal Service letter carrier for more than twenty years. He did care about doing the job well but he didn't particularly care about the job itself. He didn't take it home at night, he didn't think about it much during his off hours. It was just a job, merely a way to earn money to fund the other parts of his interesting life. He had no identity wrapped up in it and he hasn't missed it at all during the five years since he retired from it.

I have poured my heart and soul into my jobs for four decades. It's a career and I take pride in my work. My industry is 24/7 and I do think about work when I'm not at work.

To a large degree what I do is a big part of who I am. I care deeply about what I do. Some parts of my job have great meaning to me. So when management messes with parts of my job, effectively diminishing the importance of certain parts of it, I get pissed. When I don't even know about some changes till after they've already happened, I get pissed.

That happened this week. I can't really get into any detail, other than to say it's one relatively small part of my job and I wish I didn't care. If this stuff didn't matter to me, I could just go on my merry way. I could just 'deliver my letters', cash my paycheck and live my interesting life. However, this particular part of my job means a lot to me and to say I'm disappointed is a diplomatic understatement.

So, I'll do what I always do: I'll suck it up and move on. And if I don't get reprimanded or fired for the email I shouldn't have sent but sent anyway, I'll just suck it up and move on. The grudge I'll hold indefinitely will live in the background and this post might be the last time I verbalized my disappointment. Maybe.

Does your job have to mean something? That's entirely your choice. For me, the answer is always yes.