When Work Means Meaning

A Gmail web clip ad was shown to me moments ago that shocked me a bit.

Does its content-reading algorithms really understand me based on data from my emails, my pages cached by Google Web Accelerator, and my searches? Or is the ad a mere coincidence? As much as I know it is the latter, it is fun to imagine otherwise.

What did this ad say?

Existential perspectives – www.akademia.co.uk – on Human Resource Management – HRM e- /book: “When Work Means Meaning”

It directed me to a Book by a Danish corporate shrink: When Work Means Meaning – Existential Dimensions. Organizations and Leadership.

Nice pic of Sisyphus, but I had enough of existential philosophy. However, can be interesting when you see people put it to good use, because it can be quite a downer depending on how you look at it…

So why did the scary Google ad speak to me?

As I approached the end of my undergrad degree, I dreaded the thought of contributing to society in a supportive, indirect way.

I didn’t want to work for some shit ChinamanCompany (even if its Bumi-led) whose sole purpose of existence is WEALTH ACCUMULATION.

I hate the word WEALTH. Because many people use it interchangeably with MONEY.

I decided I didn’t want my life to be based on my own consumption.

I was occupied by the idea of Social Entrepreneurship… I still am. It marries my interests and my values, making me feel better growing into a “working adult”.

Naturally, a book titled “When Work Means Meaning” did get my attention.

I am suprised, however, that it is the first book to look at working life with an existentialist view (according to its claims).

To quote a line from Anything Else (a Woody Allen film I REALLY like…)

What does it all add up to if I die? Freud says sex and work. Dobel says work gives the illusion of meaning, and sex gives the illusion of continuity.

If you visit the link, here. You can take a peep into the actual book. I recommend it.

But I won’t buy the book now. It will be on my BlinkList though. I also imagine only very few corporate-types adding this to the company library, in the same way Sartre isn’t the top recommended reading to boost employee morale.


The book, and creepy Google aside, shouldn’t everyone think critically about what they truly want to accomplish with their ‘work’, considering they will be doing it for the rest of their active lives?

One comment on “When Work Means Meaning

  1. khailee April 28, 2006 12:39 am

    heya dorte, thats really cool! you must have interesting conversations with your mother. How is the book selling?

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