“How come you’re not working?” asks Bill Hicks’ boss. “There’s nothing to do,” replies Bill. “Well,” says the boss, “pretend like you’re working.”
Some now talk of the “great resignation”, that an exodus of professionals is looming. Is it a “first-world problem”, perhaps due to automation or loss of confidence in our way of life that means − having eliminated physical and then intellectual labour − much of what we now do is emotional, psychological labour? Why do we absorb stress and humiliation in rituals of make-work administration invented to justify hourly pay?