9/8/15 - Wall to Wall Shoes
I’ll never forget working one summer in the back of a shoe factory for my dad. I needed extra cash and this was the current best way to do it. My job was pretty simple. I was to build cardboard boxes, pack them with regular shoe boxes, scan, and seal the box.
It was just me in this “department” and the factory was wall-to-wall with shoes.
On my fourth day (or so) of work, I was in the middle of a blistering pace. I had a system down. Even how you held the box and hit the tape machine could increase the rate at which you could build boxes. My accuracy with the laser gun to scan the shoes into the system became military-like standard.
Finally, one of my co-workers came by and cut it to me straight. “Slow down,” he said. “No matter what, there’s going to be shoes.” He was right. No matter what, there’d still be shoes. Overtime, handwork, easy work… it didn’t matter.
I remember being blown away. This is a job that punishes efficiency and reprimands hard work. I was thankful for the chance to earn some money that summer, but I was most thankful that I knew I never wanted to work for the sake of work. My work there didn’t matter. It didn’t matter (really) how I did it or who did it, either.
I’m not here to tell you what your career should be or that punching in at work to earn a living at a boring job is wrong, but if you know that you could do something else better, longer, faster, you probably should. Furthermore, you can!
As someone who’s worked for the sake of work (even if but for a moment), I’ve got to recommend creating something that wouldn’t be there without your effort. It’s plenty of work and it’s a gift to the world!
Complete the following for time: