The Real Work

by Dwayne Phillips

Busy at work? But are we doing the real work?

Consider for a moment the “fast food industry” in America. I think we Americans invented this endeavor. What are the key words? I believe #1 is “industry” and #2 is “fast.” The concept of “food” is … well, not so important.

This is an industry. The main component is logistics. Move the things to the right place at the right time with a minimum of space devoted to holding inventory. The average food distribution location (we used to call these “restaurants”) has surprisingly little storage capacity. No trucks arrive, no food in a day or two.

This is fast. In and out. We complain if in and out are not less than two minutes.

Food? Preparing and serving food with love? Are you kidding?

The real work of preparing and serving food with love is gone. The actual work is industrial-grade logistics and precision timing.

Now consider your workplace. What is the real work? Caring for the sick? Securing the nation? What is the actual work? Staying awake in meetings and writing reports that are redundant with everyone else’s reports.

Are we doing the real work or something else and pretending? That is up to us.


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Dwayne Phillips

Engineer, computing, consulting, writing, teaching, and a few other things in an effort to make us all better and smarter.