Monday, June 11, 2012

all work and no play

You may as well be a donkey if it’s all work and no play.

As I said a couple of posts ago, there doesn’t have to be a war between professionalism and playfulness.

When I was 19, I worked for a company who had recently seen some redundancies.  The atmosphere was demoralising for everyone left behind and as the friendly, office administrator, I felt it my duty to lift the spirits.  I sent an email around the office saying:  "Due to the mass exodus, I think we should hang in there together.  Who's keen for Ten Pin Bowling followed by drinks next week?"  

My manager promptly gave me a lecture about professionalism.  Apparently, I shouldn’t have drawn attention to the fact many of their colleagues had disappeared.  It put a “negative connotation” on the whole “redundancies” thing.

Because apparently no one had noticed their colleagues had left.

Because apparently no one grumbled about how their colleagues had left.

Because apparently no one was worried about how maybe they were next.

Nevermind that the email acknowledged the situation, didn't insult anyone's intelligence & portrayed a bit of team spirit.

All of a sudden I felt on edge because I thought “Oh no, what if I say something that isn’t professional????”

I love how experience opens your eyes as you get older.  It was in my next corporate job (which was way more corporate) that I started to realise my playful personality was an asset rather than something to be concerned about. 

Embracing my playfulness and wearing my heart on my sleeve enabled me to blossom professionally and gain more credibility amongst colleagues, businessmen & women.  And now, I realise it's possibly my greatest asset.

I'm in a situation now where I can harness my playful spirit & creativity as much as I want.  Might not be your cup of tea, but it's mine.

Be human.  Have emotions.

Is it all work and no play for you?


  1. A bit more context, at this workplace I was probably the only person where the word "fuck" wasn't in every sentence and I didn't get involved in office gossip. Helps explain a little more why I was taken aback!

  2. And the photo I chose for this post looks more and more random every time I look at it... ah well!


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