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What’s wrong with having fun at work?

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This letter is for business owners, bosses and managers:

The first job I had was at the hospital. Back in the 1970s you could punch in no more than 20 minutes early and no more than 20 minutes late and not be in trouble. The rule was obviously more for people who came in to "milk" hours — 8 a.m. was 8 a.m. no matter if it was 7:40 or 8:40.

There would be fewer traffic accidents and fatalities if people could be more relaxed about lateness. I would be much more impressed with a business if the employees were able to say whatever they want like sympathizing with a disgruntled customer like, "I know this place sucks; I hate working here and you should see my boss who is having an affair."

You get my point, just honestly. People look so oppressed and miserable at their jobs. I enjoy seeing a place that has no dress code and optional uniforms. Where staff are goofing off and having a good time. Where staff are allowed to joke around. I would love to see places near the end of the day who have their friends hanging out and munching down snacks. People do no need to look busy constantly.

At one business the staff had hackey sacks and balls they threw around if it was not busy. I hate seeing phony stiff overly serious employees who are only allowed to speak in rehearsed monotonous diatribes. People are so miserable at their jobs. Let them have some great level of freedom of dress, actions, words and deeds.

I like businesses where the employees are allowed to make snap decisions without checking with some other bozo first. Sometimes they should be able to turn off the muzak and crank some lively tunes and goof off and dance around. By sometimes I mean daily. This professional behavior crap is so dehumanizing and impersonal. Why do we force people to be who they aren’t? This goes for the teachers and educators, too. Loosen up and let workers be free to do their jobs as they want to.

I bought a lawn swing, and the lady helping me sent someone to ask if I could buy the assembled one. While we waited I patted on the swing beside me and said to her, "Sit down." She looked around totally nervous and said, "I can’t."

Sandy Bean

Bemidji

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