Letter of the Day

Balance a fine line

One truth about the pandemic may be that it has engendered “a new breed of worker” as Gary Martin asserts (“Caring less about work may do you more good”, Opinion, 1/1).

Nevertheless, I contend people whose “identity is exclusively linked to (their) job title” is not a pandemic phenomenon, but a traditional social ethos with many people, if not most, making assumptions, judgements and decisions about who they want to know based on job titles. Indeed, meeting someone for the first time, a typical conversation catalyst is to ask “What do you do?”, with the response often fostering myriad thoughts and beliefs about that person, often inadvertent.

Living through one’s job title has long been a social reality irrespective of the pandemic, with people feeling empowered by the prestige and privilege some titles seemingly confer on them. Contrarily, unemployment can be tragically disempowering.

While Martin suggests “an obsession” with work can negatively affect personal relationships, it seems ironic that hard work is usually perceived as a positive quality, greatly valued in the workplace. Perhaps there’s a fine line between them.

Clearly, one’s physical, emotional and mental wellness should transcend the “hard slog” of work, but not all employers entertain that perspective.