Why Work? An Ironic Investigation into Humanity’s Oldest Pastime

Why do people have to work?

Let’s talk about work. That bizarre, endearing tradition that humans have so tenderly clung to for millennia. Why do people have to work? The answer is simple: Because if we didn’t, who would stop our marathon Netflix sessions at 2 in the morning?

Why, indeed, should we spend a third of our day sweating away at tasks we generally despise, when we could instead bask in the sheer joy of unlimited leisure time? But alas, society, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that we must “earn our keep,” that we must toil and labor and put our nose to the grindstone. A big round of applause for society, folks! Truly, a masterstroke.

To understand this puzzling concept better, let’s look into the mechanisms behind this bizarre custom called “work.”

Firstly, work exists because society has an uncanny knack for inventing things that need to be done. Someone needs to cook our food, someone else needs to build our houses, someone has to ensure we get Internet 24/7 for our all-important cat video streams. And the list goes on. The number of tasks humanity has invented to keep itself occupied is nothing short of miraculous. The fact that we get paid for it? Purely a coincidence.

Now, you may argue that we could just as well let machines do all these tasks. But hold your horses, my friend! Where’s the fun in that? Who would we blame for our soggy fries if not the teenager at the fast-food joint? How would we exercise our god-given right to yell at someone if a computer built our house wrong? Let’s be realistic here. We need humans for these tasks, if only to maintain our sanity.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that work gives us that sweet feeling of being utterly, devastatingly tired. Nothing compares to the euphoria of coming home after a long day of work, falling onto the couch, and immediately passing out. This sensation is something leisure time simply cannot provide. You have to earn your exhaustion, not just laze into it!

Let’s also not forget the charming social aspect of work. How would we fill our days without the drama and intrigue of office politics? How could we survive without those enigmatic beings known as “colleagues,” who range from the mildly tolerable to the face-palmingly annoying? Work is a social minefield, and navigating it gives us all a reason to rise in the morning.

Moreover, work keeps us away from our families for a substantial portion of the day, which, let’s be honest, is a necessity for preserving domestic harmony. You think you love your spouse and kids, but try spending 24/7 with them. Suddenly, the idea of doing taxes for eight hours a day doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Now, the most substantial reason for work’s existence, of course, is money. Ah, money, that lovely paper (or digital numbers) we exchange for goods and services. In theory, we could abandon this concept, turn to bartering, and live like early agrarian societies. But just imagine trying to pay your Netflix subscription with three chickens and a goat. The logistics alone would be a nightmare!

Sure, work may seem like a dreadful, soul-sucking obligation. But have you ever thought about what the alternative would mean?

A world without deadlines is a world without that sweet relief of hitting “submit” at 11:59 PM.

A world without meetings is a world without the joy of doodling aimlessly while pretending to listen.

A world without work-related stress is a world without the ecstasy of weekend relaxation.

Truly, a dystopian vision if there ever was one!

In addition to these philosophical musings, let’s consider the practical side. Without work, what would become of our cherished pastimes, like complaining about our jobs? The utter despair of Monday mornings and the unbridled joy of Friday afternoons would be wiped from our emotional palette. I shudder at the thought.

And spare a thought for the humble work clothes, the poorly tailored suits and uncomfortable footwear that we reluctantly adorn ourselves with every morning. Without work, these garments would fade away in the backs of closets, forgotten and unloved. The fashion industry would crumble, and with it, the spirit of couture.

Let’s also take a moment to consider our precious daily commute. Who would want to miss the opportunity to spend hours stuck in traffic or crammed into public transportation with the sweaty masses? Without work, when would we find time to listen to those enlightening podcasts or curse under our breath at the drivers around us? We must think of these things before we dream of a world without work!

Moreover, without the ‘workday,’ we would lose our sense of time. The weekdays and weekends would meld into a monotonous blob of existence. We would lose track of days, dates, even months! Society would descend into anarchy, with no line separating Sunday night dread from Monday morning blues, or the midweek slump from the joyous eve of the weekend. Who could bear such a life?

Lastly, and most importantly, work gives us a sense of purpose. Without that daily grind, what would we do?

Binge-watch TV shows?

Travel the world?

Spend time with loved ones?

Pursue hobbies?

Sounds like a horrible, horrible existence, doesn’t it? No, it’s far better to squander our time performing tasks we mildly despise, to earn money we spend on things to distract us from the work we do.

So let’s all take a moment to express our gratitude for this strange and bewildering construct called ‘work.’ It has given us so much — stress, anxiety, colleagues we didn’t choose, a reason to look forward to retirement, and an unending source of comedic material.

To think, some say work is a necessary evil. But in reality, it’s the lesser-known eighth wonder of the world. Who would want to live without it? Not I, said the fly. Long live work! After all, what else are we going to do with our time? Live?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting to pretend to care about.