- work is a way, a tool, a means to an end: to make money.
- If work becomes more (a way to meet people, a way to have a higher status, a way to fill time) then it should be culled, cut off, put back in its proper corner.
- work should not be enjoyed too much. Lest you come into temptation to do more of it than necessary.
- work should also not be too boring. A little challenge now and again is fine.
- work should be done diligently (you should do the required tasks, and recommend improvements). Any time your suggestions for improvements are sworded down, you should NOT worry. After all, you only work for money, not for your ego.
- work should be done honestly (no lying, stealing or cheating).
- Do not take shit from colleagues. Talk to them about their behavior. No change? Talk to the manager. Still no change? Transfer or quit this job.
- Do not take shit from managers or your boss. Be open about this and direct: the buck stops here. Period.
- It helps to have F-you money. I suggest 2-3 years salary is a nice stash.
- work should not be done too much (working 2 to 4 days per week seems ideal. I've worked for 3 days a week for years and can highly recommend it).
- You do not work overtime, not even when paid, unless there is an emergency. If there are more than 1 emergencies per year, then the company's definition of an emergency is wrong. Look for a less toxic company.
- You do not do any unpaid overtime. Work is for money. No money means no working. It's really that simple. But would you really want to abandon your colleagues/coworkers? No, but it's the task of the shareholders or company owners to chip in, not yours.
- When fired, give yourself a year sabbatical.
- In case of being fired, do not take it personally. Were you really under-performing, or was your new manager just not able to appreciate your work? Hint: he was too short-sighted to see your work's true value.
- But what if the manager was right? Maybe you do suck at this. It is better to think about such soul-searching things after the sabbatical. When you still agree: look for a whole new kind of work. A different position with fresh perspectives.
I write this to my fellow covid-19 long haulers whose tissues have healed. I have recovered. I did this by listening to people that have recovered from CFS/ME, not people that are still unwell; and by understanding that our unconscious normal thoughts and feelings influence the symptoms we experience.
Paul Garner, Professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He is Director of the Centre for Evidence Synthesis in Global Health and Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group.