The Art of Work

I enjoy creative nonfiction that explores the work we choose to do and the various conflicts therein.
Scott Partee works for the U.N. in Vienna. Here’s how he describes it:

I just finished crawling around in a rat hole while wearing a suit to lay down some network infrastructure for some highly confidential nuclear nonproliferation air-gapped ta-do da whooptiewhitz.

Now, that’s making geekery sound fine. No easy task, I imagine.
Here’s Partee looking back at his time spent on top of the communications heirarchy in Atlanta:

At Bellsouth (the NEW NEW AT&T!), I had become so nearly end-user that I’d forgotten a lot of my tech skills. I was paid handsomely to sit around and read/think about technology all day without ever doing. This was Fortune 100, and we certainly had plenty of people to turn the screws, program the thermostats, trouble-shoot the elevators. We had thousands of coders at the end of fibre optic lines to various “best shore” companies. Resources were never scarce, for the most part; only decisions were rare.

I’d like to read more material of this sort.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.