I was working in Argos again, a job I left 11 years ago. I was working on the collection counter. As I served customers I realised that this wasn’t my actual job. It was working here for research purposes. I was, or was trying to be, Alain de Botton.
In real-life I read de Botton’s brilliant book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work a few months ago. And yesterday I listened to a couple of podcasts that he hosted.
As I served people in the dream, all types of de Bottony thoughts kept coming to mind about how much more pleasurable this work was when I didn’t have to rely on it. Thoughts along the lines of “While we want in life to take our work seriously, the levity I am granted with my temporary role makes these tasks all the more pleasurable” and “We derive satisfaction from being given agency in our work. Yet here I am, responsible for nothing, author of nought, and all the happier for it”.
De Botton’s voice is still in my head, and my mind’s crude interpretation of his cadence is all over this post.
I’ll release my book, Pish About Work, in 2014.