US Textiles Imports: Where Does Pakistan Stand?
January 19, 2011
Random thoughts on time management
February 13, 2011

As the book Synopsis puts it at Reeves’ website – “Work has had centuries of bad press, being blamed for everything from unhappiness to lack of sex. It’s time to give work a break. This is a book for people who love what they do - or wish they could - and shows how to get the best return for your love as well as your labor. For centuries people viewed ‘work’ as something to be endured. They worked in order to live. The 9 to 5 grind, done purely for the money. Some people still endure work today - if they don’t enjoy their job. But a new era is dawning. We are in the midst of a revolution in the role of work in our lives. Work is now important - more than ever before. Work is who you are. And a growing number of people actually love to work.” By Fareeha Qayoom

By Fareeha Qayoom

As usual I was browsing Readings looking for an interesting book to read (Jan 2011) when I came across Richard Reeves’ Happy Mondays in the business/management section. What attracted me was the title of the book obviously – the next thing that struck me was the design and format of the entire book (Momentum Books doesn’t have a typical management packaging!) and the next big thing was the price – it was only for PKR 50. Hmmm.

Book cover Happy mondays

Not that I decided to buy it immediately – I was still planning to go through it before I would buy over a cup of tea (or coffee – depends on the mood) at the café…I like to take my time and I usually at least read the first chapter to see if it’s worth it.

happy mondays

Happy Mondays Book Cover at Amazon.com

I read more than one chapter sitting at the Readings café – it was definitely “buy,” (at the moment I have started about twenty books the same way that I have yet to finish – a very high stress situation I tell you!). This one was quite easy to finish. It’s short. It’s to-the-point. It’s easy to read. It’s also unpretentious – meaning it doesn’t pretend to be a ‘management-guru’ type of book giving you the key of the (management) universe! 🙂 It’s just a series of observations collated together taken from the current workplace (Year 2000 mostly) as its 2001 edition.

As the book Synopsis puts it at Reeves’ website – “Work has had centuries of bad press, being blamed for everything from unhappiness to lack of sex. It’s time to give work a break. This is a book for people who love what they do – or wish they could – and shows how to get the best return for your love as well as your labor. For centuries people viewed ‘work’ as something to be endured. They worked in order to live. The 9 to 5 grind, done purely for the money. Some people still endure work today – if they don’t enjoy their job. But a new era is dawning. We are in the midst of a revolution in the role of work in our lives. Work is now important – more than ever before. Work is who you are. And a growing number of people actually love to work.”

Hmmm. I could relate to that. I have been looking for work like that my entire working life (probably the reason why I can’t stick it out more than three years at single workplace!). Work that you can enjoy for hours; a virtual labor of love (my hobbies fall in that category but work at the actual workplace – please!) Even if you enjoy the actual work, your co-workers might not which is unfortunate because at most workplaces you have to work with people – there is no such thing as a ‘solo’ project.

Most people in Pakistan actually still endure the workplace and go home for the simple pleasure of being alive! 🙂 We still have a long way to go – people in Pakistan work for the money – period. They get educated for the money too. Long steady paycheck at the end of the day is more important than your ability or your passion for doing something you are actually good at. I remember, I wanted to change “Economics” in my Bachelor’s program back in the so-called good ol’ (student/youth) days but I just didn’t quite dare even though I knew it was doing nothing for me intellectually – yes, peer pressure. I wasn’t strong enough in those days to rise above it. So yeah…this book talks sense but has this attitude arrived in Pakistan? – No, not yet, not by a long shot.

Most employers also consider work ‘should be endured’ in Pakistan – “you are not there to enjoy yourself or really contribute – you are there to do what you are told. No backchat, thank you very much.” Most workplaces in Pakistan are dictatorships, not a democracy or a collaboration to innovate or create. Furthermore, they don’t put you first – they put you last. So, if you need a particular ‘tool’ to do your job – too bad, they will get you that when you they can spare the cash, until than; make do – come up with creative ways in the meantime. Put up, shut up. Endure.

I am glad somewhere in the world; ‘staff’ is now allowed to work for pleasure too, not just for money and the employers are putting them in their first five priorities. I wish we could have that in Pakistan too though! ■

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

3 Comments

  1. More reading?

    The ideas interview: Richard Reeves
    John Sutherland meets the economist who believes the true path to happiness lies in data collection

    John Sutherland, May 30th, 2006
    The Guardian

    Richard Reeves is a business analyst and co-founder of Intelligence Agency, an ideas consultancy. One of his biggest-selling ideas is happiness – or, as some would put it, “joyology”. Reeves was a member of the team that recently set itself the heroic task of bringing happiness to Slough, as a BBC2 experiment. Whether or not he and his colleagues raised the town from the depths of its traditional despondency with their recipes (less TV, more exercise, cycle lanes, etc) is debatable. But very watchable. The least dismal of economists, Reeves is the author of Happy Mondays and served as an adviser to New Labour in its happier days.

    Is there, I ask him, a “science” of happiness?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/may/30/health.society

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  2. Interview with Richard Reeves – Author of Happy Mondays

    Richard Reeves talks about the importance of ‘Pleasure in the workplace’, stress, duvet days and the impact of technology.
    http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/tv/player.php?Speed=600&Mode=&PID=4&SEQID=

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  3. Happy Mondays at Amazon.com

    Amazon.co.uk Review
    Do you love your job? In Happy Mondays Richard Reeves suggests that many of us do and all of us can, yet we tend to view jobs as something to be got through rather than something to be enjoyed. This, he claims, is as much about history as about reality. He looks at both the theory of work and real situations, describing how work has changed in recent years and how it can be about more than simply money. “We spend most of our waking lives working”, he writes, “To waste them in bad jobs is nothing less than a crime against humanity.”

    Happy Mondays charts the nature of modern work and what it can become. It looks at the notion of careers, the ways in which modern employers address the leisure, health and spiritual needs of employees and the ways individuals can choose their work and vary their hours to suit. Reeves mixes academic treatise and practical example in a thought-provoking way, the bottom line being that today we should be able to find fulfilment, expression of ourselves and pleasure in any job–whatever it pays–from supermarket checkout to corporate management. The theory is not without flaw: there seems to be little recognition for example of just how many people in the UK are tied to production-line working with no real alternatives or of the wider politics of employment. Nevertheless, Happy Mondays, like Richard Donkin’s Blood, Sweat and Tears is an interesting take on the notion of work in the 21st century: an alluring vision of what it already means for some and could become for many. –Sandra Vogel

    Product Description
    Work has had centuries of bad press, being blamed for everything from unhappiness to lack of sex. It’s time to give work a break. This is a book for people who love what they do – or wish they could – and shows how to get the best return for your love as well as your labour. For centuries people viewed ‘work’ as something to be endured. They worked in order to live. The 9 to 5 grind, done purely for the money. Some people still endure work today – if they don’t enjoy their job. But a new era is dawning. We are in the midst of a revolution in the role of work in our lives. Work is now important – more than ever before. Work is who you are. And a growing number of people actually love to work. Work is becoming more central to all our lives. It is now a provider of friends, gossip, networks, fun, creativity, purpose, comfort, belonging, identity – and even love. In short, the things that the ‘home’ has traditionally supplied. Work is getting homely. This stimulating and provocative book will:

    * Present a ground-breaking challenge to anti-work rhetoric. Addressing issues such as ‘is it stupid to work hard if you love it?’ and ‘what can I expect from my employer in return?’
    * Kick-start a more honest debate about our relationship with work.
    * Take a whole new perspective on work as being a positive, life-enhancing part of your life.
    * Provides a current analysis of what companies are offering in return for employees time and emotional input.
    * Gives practical guidance as to what you can (or should) expect from your employer

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Happy-Mondays-Putting-Pleasure-Back/dp/1843040050

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