Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Do You Do?

I actually hate this question. It always makes me a little uncomfortable, and I tend to answer it as “I’m a computer guy.” I’m a little shy about my success in business, and in many social situations, I’m not sure I want to talk about work. Usually I’m enjoying a break from it.

L. Z. Granderson wrote a great piece today, and how perhaps this question is a problem in our US society. I like his view, and while it’s not a truth, I think it applies more often than I’d like.

We should enjoy our lives, and be proud of working hard. Not that it matters what we do, or how much money we make, but who we are. Especially in social situations. All too often we seem to equate more value, or more status on people that make more money.

That’s crazy, since it means nothing. There are plenty of people that make lots of money who aren’t good people. Many are, but plenty are finding loopholes, exploiting situations or people, or flat out being dishonest and immoral to make a bit more money. I’ll loop in many CEOs here as well, who I think take compensation well in excess of the shareholder value they create each year.

We are all people, and while money is used to make it easy for us to compare the work that we each do, the amount of money we pay has gotten way out of line with the actual work we do. Bankers and finance people do not do millions of times more work than teachers. Arguably they aren’t even creating millions of times more value with so much of the finance markets becoming a gamble to earn more money, not fund companies.

It’s a crazy world, and it feels unbalanced.

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