The Problem Of Work OversharingAs I type this, I'm not in a cubicle; I'm chilling in a coffee shop of my choice. I'm wearing shorts and sneakers, not a "monkey suit" like some of you people. I could totally run outside right now and do some parkour and practice karate before coming back in to do my next post at my leisure! Isn't that awesome? Doesn't it make you jealous of the way I maintain my free, breezy lifestyle while still being an incredibly driven entrepreneur? No. It makes you want to slam my hands in a car door repeatedly until I can never type another thing. This, I'm afraid, is the point being missed by many "professionals" addicted to the internet. Job oversharing is now just as rampant as personal life oversharing. Christ, you business people are all turning into Emily Brill. We laughed at useless rich girl Brill for her dramatic(-ally blogged) declaration that "even my weekend in bedford wasn't entirely restful because i still felt ‘on duty' because i knew i'd be writing about it." Ha! But! Consider this from taser-loving, reporter-helping, cult-like-following-inspiring professional PR man Peter Shankman's long new blog post about how much he hates hearing the phrase "Why Don't You Do Some Work?":
Was having a conversation the other day with someone via IM. She asked me where I was, and I told her I was talking from the lobby of the W hotel in Times Square, waiting to have a drink with someone who runs a marketing firm. "The W Hotel?! What a tough life! Will you please do some work?!" she IM'd back. It was around 3pm. She didn't know I'd closed two deals, brought three new advertisers to HARO, and gotten one client onto CNN. Not bad for someone who, according to my friend, had to be nagged to "do some work."
Shit. Do we really want to open this floodgate? Can you already see where Shankman is prepared to go (at incredible length) with this? That's right, into an exposition of the awesomeness of Peter Shankman and his awesome work-play life balance!
I've heard virtually identical comments resulting from Facebook or Twitter updates that have included "Driving from LA to SF, stopped to get gas outside some wind farm," "Sitting in the lounge at Gatwick, munching on a bagel," "Singapore–>EWR flight delayed, hitting Duty Free, anyone want anything?" "Sitting on the hood of my rental car, watching the sunset from the desert outside of Eloy, Arizona," and of course, "working from the Ranch, waiting for them to fuel the plane," which of course, is code for "handling a client issue via conference call, with my skydiving rig on my back, hoping I'll finish the call before the next load goes up in the air."
Just in case you didn't catch his Twitter updates: he goes skydiving! Have you ever been? No? Well some people just aren't born adventurers, don't feel bad.
So Let's translate "why don't you do some work" into what it really is: "How come your job lets you fly all over the place, and have meetings in really cool places, and why can't mine? Your job certainly doesn't seem like work, why does mine?" My answer to them? Because you don't want it badly enough. If you really did, you'd have it. You'd take the risk, and play the game. (In actuality, that's all it ever is - one giant game.) Face it - Having a job where you're not the boss is, well, safe.
Peter Shankman thinks you're a pussy, no disrespect intended. Like to read thousands more words about how Shankman can close client deals on his cellphone immediately before parachuting out of a plane and Twittering about it on the way down and, upon landing, running a road race that ends in a TV studio where he is doing an on-air interview? Read all you want! "An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind." -Walter Bagehot "Everybody's talking trash these days, so why not keep quiet?" -Dennis Rodman