The Book of Guy: Work
By Guy Shepherd
PlannedMan

What makes work fun is putting your shoulder behind things that are worthy.  

Highlights


Businesses are unable to re-open because the lights are on, but the staff is home, watching daytime TV.

The problem is short versus long-term interests.

A rising tide lifts all boats, but you have to be in the water.

It is in the long-term interests of men to always be of the hustling kind.

Work: it’s called work for a reason. Those who love their work can’t deny the grind, the ground-hog repetition. Work—it’s not fun. What makes work fun is putting your shoulder behind things that are worthy.

We’re finding one of the side effects of the Covid pandemic is after getting trillions in government support to help us through lockdowns and layoffs, nobody wants to get up and go to work. Businesses are unable to re-open because the lights are on—manager’s on-duty—but the staff is at home, watching daytime TV.

Our attitude towards being on the dole have come a long way. Once upon a time, a guy—even when the economic world around him collapsed at no fault of his—found it difficult to accept assistance. This was captured beautifully by Russel Crowe in Cinderella Man—based on the real life of Irish-longshoreman-turned-boxer James Braddock, whose rags-to-riches story lifted not only his family’s spirits but those of people living through the Depression. The moment Braddock’s fortunes changed in the ring, he was back at the assistance window, paying back what he had been given. How many Americans would do the same today?

It’s a great moment to show up and be the guy who makes things happen.

Braddock is a representative of a bygone era—American character has changed. Sadly, I understand, sympathize with and would not put it past myself to yield to the temptation for free shit. I know intellectually that rent control is neither good economics nor valid social policy. That said: if ever I were offered a rent-controlled apartment in a Manhattan, luxury building like the Dakota, I would take it in a NY minute.

The problem is short- versus long-term interests. I think it is in the long-term interests of men to always be of the hustling kind. Work is like the lottery—you have to be in it to win it.

My instinct in this circumstance:

If I were a young man: my thinking would go like this: this cash carnival is going to run out soon—I don’t want to join the forgotten generation of Italian and French men who are living with their parents—so I’d get into the economy now. It’s a great moment to show up and be the guy who makes things happen. I’m sure there are many industrious men who are working off the books—cashing government checks at the same time. (Good for you.) I can understand double-dipping. But sitting at home, collecting a check—not expecting it to run out—is Darwin Awards material. Get in now. Go to a guy who needs a guy like you—figure it out together—and make a deal.

If I were a middle-aged guy with a family: I would be hunting aggressively for a job better than handouts from Uncle Sam. And when I wasn’t hustling for better, I would be driving an Uber registered under my kid in college—and working as a day laborer. The labor market is presently tight. This is good for everyone. A rising tide lifts all boats, but you have to be in the water. So when we run out of ink for the printing presses—the last man to return will be returning to a new normal where all jobs are taken. My answer to them: “You suck.”

If I were an old guy: I’d grab my walker and pounce. I think this a great time for the silverbacks who were passed over in the favor of young, cheaper and woke workers. If I were doing a start-up, I would be looking for the experienced mastermind forced by circumstances to grab a job to get by. Your turn is coming. I meet too many guys who are driving Ubers, with skill sets who could be building companies—something no lay-about can do. There is a gray unicorn of a business here.

In short, get to work.

—Guy

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