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As Time Goes by with Rich O'Brian: Work

By Rich O'Brian

August 16, 2023

Now, please don’t allow the title of this column keep you from at least giving it a shot before you shoot it down.

You’ll admit, I’m sure, “work” is a most interesting word. It’s a word that may be applied to a piece of equipment that is not operating properly. “This thingamajig’ just doesn’t work.” Of course, the same expression may be applied to a person as well. “That guy is so lazy. He just won’t work. And as a result, he will not work out.”

I don’t overlook, “I’m going to the gym to work out.”

Thinking I had just about run the gamut on the practical uses of the term “work,” I decided to check my dictionary before traveling onto the word “work” as it pertains to labor. That, it happens, was a lack of sensible judgment on my part. My little hand-held paperback dictionary puts forth a dozen definitions for the word work, and then goes on to add such terms as work sheet and work place.

At about this time I’m asking myself, “why did I choose this topic?” Providence. That’s what it is. There’s a reason behind my making the word work my “choice of the week.” Therefore, I thought, I’m going to make this thing work. Pun intended.

So, this is where I was headed when I veered away from my original goal.

I happen to be among those who like to work. But I will say I like to work, but not without certain provisions. I’ll put it this way; work can be enjoyable especially if I see a goal from the beginning. As an example, I have a minimal task that must be undertaken monthly. In one sense I dread getting into it because it requires repetitious steps from start to finish. On the other hand, I enjoy getting it done. It is the work I enjoy.

There is another kind of work that I thoroughly enjoy. This sort of work requires some writing. But the writing part of the work comes only after a lot of research. That is the kind of work that I really do enjoy. Then there’s this, a few years ago, I built with the help of one of my friends, a work-bench. I will admit that I don’t take on heavy duty jobs utilizing my workbench. My wife, Dianne, will likely insist that my workbench should be tabbed a play bench.

Work! How should work be rightly defined? Would it be stretching the point to say that work is what one makes of it? How about the cliché “Whatever works for you.”?

Or, should I say, whatever works for you here in the lovely Garden of Eads or wherever you’re working?

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