We’re Only In It For The Money

Everybody works.  We all have a job of some sort in order to finance our lifestyle, however we define that. Are most people working their dream job and making a good living doing it, or are most people working just to make a living?  The truth is most of us are just trying to make a living: pay our bills, save a little money, and squander far more.

What baffles me is when people say things like “he’s only in it for the paycheck.”  I had to deal with this quite a bit at my last job, which I stuck with longer than I should have.  The first part that bothers me about this is the statement makes it sound like I was making good money.  I wasn’t.  Honestly, it wasn’t even a livable wage for the area where I live.  The second thing, and the part which is even more annoying, is I was having this said about me by people who were hardly working as my managers because it was their desired profession.  I worked for miserable people (I emphasize for and not with, I love the people I worked with).  Truth be told they were doing their jobs for the paycheck as well.  They had mortgages, kids, car payments, alimony, child support and all of the expenses that come with being an adult in modern times.

So why was it a somehow viable to call me out for working at this job for money?  The simple answer is I’m a musician, and the job was not music related at all.  Regardless of what I ever do for money, I am a musician.  It will always be part of my identity, regardless of whether or not I’m making a living being one.

As I said, the statement itself seems hypocritical, which is where my problem lies.  People do all sorts of things for money: landscaping, selling, driving, repairing, and having sex in front of cameras.  Everyone makes a living doing something other than what they love at some time in their life.  We all love our gadgets, toys and shiny trinkets, so it seems extraneous to make a comment about someone doing something for money.  How will we get those things without earning money?  We won’t.  Time to earn!

Regardless of whether or not I’m working at my dream job, I believe the emphasis should be put on the quality of work I do while I’m getting paid as opposed to what I do outside of that job.  I’m paid to work, not to live my job day in and day out.  My bosses seemed more preoccupied with the fact I wasn’t looking to do that job for a lifetime and made it seem like I just phoned in the work on a daily basis, when I clearly cared about the work I did and the people who relied on me.  As a result, the great work I did was never recognized but there was always a ready comment when I had a less-than-stellar day: he’s only here for the paycheck.

In the end, we do what we must to earn money to pay for our needs and wants.  It may not always be what we’d love to be doing but we all do it, and to make snide remarks about someone trying to earn a living and pay their bills when you’re not happy doing what you’re doing just makes you a jackass.  Be grateful to your employees and thank them for the work they do for you.  If you aren’t, you’ll end up replacing them soon enough.  I wonder how those replacements will work out…