All work and no play…

Hard WorkIs it just me, or is Jamie Oliver becoming more sanctimonious and as a consequence, more annoying by the minute? I used to like him in the early days when he was a cockney, cheeky chappy, cooking up a pan of sh*te for the likes of Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay and his other free loader friends. But now he takes himself that seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name come up at the next papal elections.

He started by telling us what our kids should be eating, moved on to say what we should be eating, and now he’s decrying the British workforce for being too lazy to flog themselves to death in one of his minimum-wage labour camps (oops, I mean, restaurants), and prepared to work 100+ hours a week for a take-home pay of £25, after tax (okay, so the last part was a slight exaggeration), so that we may make this mini-mogul even richer than he already is. What is he planning to do next? Take over the world?

Come on workers of Britain… what is wrong with you? I’ll tell you, shall I?

I agree with Jamie, up to a point, that hard work is necessary to achieve anything worthwhile in life. But when it is at the expense of having a life, then it is wrong. What happened to being conscientious and doing a good job in the workplace, then being allowed to enjoy your free time on your days off to spend with your family, friends, or in pursuit of your hobbies? These days if you’re not defined by your work and live and breathe your job, with no regard for a personal life, you’re classed as lazy.

The working week has changed beyond recognition in the last decade or so… employees are now expected to work anytime, any place, anywhere. We are a nation beset by meeting targets… the number of spread sheets updated in an hour, the total number of callers dealt with in ten minutes, the plates of food thrown… sorry, served to customers at one of Jamie’s restaurants in thirty seconds… the list goes on and on.

And what is it all for? To make more money for the shareholders and shore up the already cash-laden bank accounts of the rich, whilst the rest of us collapse into a mire of debt and desolation. Sounds a little like Dante’s Inferno. Are we already in Hell?

Jamie Oliver is to be complimented for his achievements. His hard work has paid off, and he has more money than he could ever spend. But let’s not be under any illusions here: diligence and hard work are not a guarantee of success. They will guarantee a lonely old age (if you manage to live that long) if this is all you do because you haven’t taken the time to form any lasting relationships.

With the emphasis on productivity and competition, workers are ‘encouraged’ to start earlier, finish later and take work home with them, where possible. Family life is becoming a thing of the past, which is odd considering Jamie Oliver’s brood seems to be expanding at an alarming rate. Where’s your concern for the carbon footprint, Jamie? Does he do a head count before he leaves the house in the morning in case Jools has knocked one out before he gets home? If he’s working all the hours he claims, it’s a wonder he can remember all of their names given the little time he spends in their company, let alone find the time to procreate. Maybe, he uses work as a ruse to escape the pressures of looking after several young children, and that demanding baby-breeding machine, aka his wife. (Can’t wait for the Jeremy Kyle episode when Jamie’s kids pop up to berate him for never having been around in their formative years.)

It is important to imbue our children with a good work ethic, but I also want to see them grow up to be happy and fulfilled, not worn out and weary before their time.

My son, Josh, is employed in the hospitality industry, works hard, and has already achieved managerial status and a reputation for implementing and maintaining high standards, despite only being in his mid-twenties. He is always tired, has very little money to spend after his bills are paid, but he continues to strive and hope for better things.

My step-daughter, Charlotte, spent her evenings and weekends working hard to build an independent business, until she reached a point at which she was able to resign her full-time job and devote herself entirely to her own enterprise. This she did through her own volition – no one held a gun to her head!

They are both British – born and bred – Jamie! The European migrant workers are here for one reason only… to find work, and compared to some British employees, no doubt they do shine. But I’m sure those same work-shy fops can be found within the bowels of their own communities back home.

As in all things, life is about balance. It can become tedious and futile if there is a greater emphasis on one area, at the expense of another.

So, Jamie, next time you decide to have a rant and pontificate to the masses, I suggest you remember that old adage: 

All work and no play makes Jack (or in this case, Jamie) a dull boy.

Image credit: 72soul / 123RF Stock Photo

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2 Responses to All work and no play…

  1. Whoa, Julie! You’re making a good point – as always – but the size of Jamie Oliver’s family isn’t it.

    The problem, as I see it, is that we spend too much time listening to celebrities, not just on the things they know about (in Jamie’s case, cooking, food and self-promotion), but EVERYTHING. When will the cult of celebrity fade?

    A relative of mine, who is a chef, works 80 hours a week (12 hour days) and doesn’t earn a mint. Everyone who lives in this country knows very well that we are not a nation of skivers anymore – if we ever were.

    • JWow Admin says:

      Perhaps I did get carried away a bit… but you get the gist, and you’re absolutely right about the celebrity culture and their self-importance (or our we deluded for listening to them?). Just because they’re famous doesn’t make them a moral compass for the rest of society to follow.

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