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I worked hard for no pay — and I dug it

We all know people who like to work. They are squares or money addicts, people who can’t think of any worthier way to spend their time. They are mean dads in movies and your brother’s boring girlfriend. They wear work clothes and go to after-work happy hours where they gossip about work with their work friends. Some of the most interesting people I know seem not to do any work at all. They are busy doing other things, like art and drugs.

And so I have long been ashamed to admit that, well, I love working. I love working! I love the transcendent pleasure of creating something that didn’t exist before, the tidy accumulation of hours, the inflating sense of having Done A Good Job. Completed tasks! Schedules! Productivity! My favorite courtship is the dairy farm workplace romance in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. How dreamy to be wooed, as Tess is, “in undertones like that of the purling milk—at the cow’s side, at skimmings, at butter-makings, at cheese-makings, among broody poultry, and among farrowing pigs”?

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