I remember the Looney Tunes episodes where the sheepdog and the wolf would try to out smart each other. The incoming sheepdog shows up at “work” with his lunch box and greets the outgoing sheepdog, “Hello Fred”, “Hello Ralph”. And off to his “shift” he goes. (They even punch in:)

Is that what life is?

Are we just cogs in a machine?

I now work in a pretty large factory. On a production line. I kind of like it. It is challenging work.

But what am I doing?

Am I making a meaningful contribution to society?

Does this even matter?

I mean it is the largest tire manufacturer in the world. The economy “needs” people to buy stuff.

Or does it?

What would happen if no one bought anything for a day? Would the world explode? No really, I want to know!

I like the interaction with my coworkers. The jokes and carrying on.

But are we just drones?

Why do we work? Money I guess. Satisfaction that we are contributing… something.

How many people bitch about their job? I taught school and I certainly bitched about that!

But what was I complaining about? Hmmm. I need to examine that.

I owned a successful business with my ex wife. I bitched about that. The business, not the ex wife!

Gosh this isn’t looking too good is it??

Is it human nature to NOT be happy with working? I hear lots of complaining from the other people I work with about a wide variety of issues.

I am so fortunate to have a job. A fairly well paying job at that. And there is room for advancement if one is so inclined.

And it is close to me. I can walk there in 20 minutes! No polluting and exercise!

But back to the question at hand? Are we just cogs in the machine?

So many other people who have minimalist lifestyle blogs seem to want to travel(which is VERY cool) and have some kind of lifehacking, location independent passive income lifestyle. I am certainly not against that.

But how?

Do they not have children? Or do the kids go too?

There are more thoughts rolling around in my head but I got off work at 8 this morning and I am a wee bit tired.

Are YOU a cog in a machine?

Are you working at your dream job?

Please share this on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network.


“Live Simply


7 thoughts on “Cogs In The Machine

  1. I’m totally a cog, and I hate it. Early in my current position I realized that I am – quite literally – a paper pusher. I take paper from one person and ship it to another, in the form of documentation. I cannot tell you how many thousands of trees I’ve killed, and though it is do to regulations I still feel a little guilty about it.

    I’ve only had three “real” jobs in my adult life – the first was more flexible as far as hours and what I actually did. There was a level of stress involved but it was nothing like my current occupation. I got to spend some time on the road and that felt great to me, working outside of an office. I also worked at a gas station and while I was constantly busy and doing some physical labor I found it to be most enjoyable. There were bad days but all in all I enjoyed interacting with the public and I enjoyed knocking out a long list of tasks that needed done each day.

    I have always had the goal in mind that ideally I’d like to do creative work. I am a painter and if I can utilize that to bring in enough for living expenses I will wave goodbye to the corporate world and run as far away as I can get. I have no problem with doing work – so long as it is work that I enjoy. I think that everyone is good at something, everything from making art to delivery to building furniture.

    A lot of the “handmade” jobs are gone overseas and that is probably accounting for more and more discontent with “working” in the last couple of centuries. In the past most things were domestically made so that provided mostly jobs in making things (which for most people is satisfying work, myself included) but now we’ve shipped the production aspect overseas and more and more jobs here are involved in purchasing, selling, customer service, logistics and transportation, or finance. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I look at those job categories I feel completely dissatisfied with the idea of a career in any of those areas. Humans seem to have a basic need to have something of value come from their work – tilling fields, building things, cooking, creating art and music, writing, all seem to make for happier employees.

    Disliking work probably has more to do with it than pay that isn’t good enough and long hours spent away from home. A vast portion of Americans are doing work that doesn’t produce anything tangible and worthwhile, and that can leave one with a huge feeling of wasted time.

    1. You make some excellent points. I look at the various jobs both in government and the admin jobs at my current workplace. Jesus, could there be any more redundancy?? All these people seem to do is go to meetings. I don’t see any tangible decisions being made that positively impact the average worker.
      Actually being productive and creating something of value is some much more beneficial than being a drone in an office.

      Thanks so much for the excellent comment!


    1. Not having kids is a great advantage to not being a cog, because you are only respondsible for your own life. So I dont know what I would do if I had them, but otherwise the key is, No Fear. What is the worst thing that could happen if I quit this job, took this leap of faith. You might die? you are going to die at some piont, it is best to live before that happens.

      1. You are so right on. Kids are an incredible joy and so amazingly rewarding. My son is the most important thing in my life(along with my girlfriend, but different). That being said, having children is a challenge. Things change drastically.

        I LOVE your outlook.

        It is best to LIVE!!

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