WorkPain: A New Vision for the New Age

Remember the dawn of the new Millennium?  Remember that innocent time, years and years ago at the turn of the century when a new world dawned and new possibilities for new enterprises seemed possible? Back then, Pat Kambitsch was reinventing herself all over again, and so emerged her website and a business designed to connect ordinary people with participation in the arts. (You can still see the archives from that distant time.)

Kambitsch thought too many people put in too many hours working at  tedious tasks that resulted in little good. She figured we’d all be happier (and maybe even more effective) if we just played around every now and then. And so, Pat Kambitsch conceived and gave birth to a Bill of Rights for Players and Thinkers.

Bill of Rights


Players and Thinkers

1. You have the right to play–participate, recreate, fool around, dabble, doodle, explore, perform, have fun, show off.

2. You have the right to think– imagine, ruminate, muse, dream, conjure, tinker, invent, pretend, reflect.

3. You have the right to take risks.

4. Playing and thinking take time. You shall feel no guilt or shame for taking time for this important work.

5. The elite shall not exclude you. Art is active, participatory, inclusive. You have the right to join in.

6. Tortoises, late bloomers, and ugly ducklings take heart. The best learning is often slow:  begin any time and take as much time as you need.

7. You have the right to play around, to explore playgrounds near and far, and to share your toys with many different playmates.

8. Your freedom to show outrage and to make noise shall not be infringed.  You have something to say.  Be loud and be heard. Be bold and be seen.

9. You have the right to make mistakes.

10. You may play with toys of others. Mix up media, blend and bend genres, transplant ideas, and cross-pollinate inspiration.

11. You have the right to play with yourself, to spend time alone, to explore your own gifts. No one can play with you like you can.

12. You have the right to assemble peacefully with other players and thinkers and to thrive within the support of a nurturing and challenging community.

Pretty groovy, huh? Lots of people at the time thought so.

Kambitsch and others soon learned, however, that those in possession of money do not value play any more than they value work without pay. Unless, of course, that play hurts a little. Successful people, it appears, like to participate in fluffy extracurriculars as long as they offer a bit of conspicuous suffering along the way.
Now, years later, armed with the wisdom only hindsight can afford, Kambitsch set out to recreate a new vision and mission for her work. So in order to create something that might be worth her while, Kambitsch is now considering a new paradigm for a new enterprise: WORKPAIN.

And so here are WorkPain’s  Thirteen Commandments for Work and Suffering (or the Bill of Wrongs)

  1. Thou shalt work every moment every day of your life as hard as you can as long as you can. No need to worry about the availability of work, for there is always work to do. With enough mindfulness training, breathing itself becomes a laborious task.
  2. Thou shalt spend money. Spending money feeds the virtuous cycle.  The more money you spend the more you must work to pay for your spending and the more money you will make.
  3. Thou shalt multitask as much as is humanly possible.  Your place in heaven depends on how much you get done here on earth. Just remember to focus while you’re at it.
  4. Thou shalt not work for free. Thou shalt make money at thy toils.  The quality of your work shall be measured by the amount of money you make. As the Beatles once sang, “And in the end, the love you make, is equal to the money you take.”
  5. Thou shalt not make creative playthings of your office supplies.
  6. Thou shalt not make anything that you might otherwise buy at the store, lest you fall prey to the treacherous trap of sloppy creativity which leads to scientific discovery and artistic exploration which never pays off in the end.
  7. Thou shalt suffer while thou works. Work is difficult and painful, long periods of boredom punctuataed by bursts of terror. If you’re not suffering, then you’re not working.
  8. Thou shalt look like thou is working even when thou is not. Take a clipboard into the bathroom if you must, but never ever ever stop working.
  9. Thou shalt remain lucid while dreaming so that thou might work while you sleep.
  10. Thou shalt not be spontaneous. Thou shalt plan every moment of every day and use checklists and with little boxes and such.
  11. Thou shalt not be curious. Thou shalt focus. Think freely and you won’t get paid.
  12. Thou shalt become expert in one thing and one thing only. Work is a jealous God that doesn’t like it when your imagination wanders.
  13. Thou shalt practice WorkPain commandments while working with children so that the next generation will continue to suffer as you have suffered and so that as a race of human beings we might achieve all that we might possibly achieve.

3 thoughts on “WorkPain: A New Vision for the New Age

  1. holy shit, what a healthy dose of perspective. i often forget the play part in my attempts to be a responsible adult. and, in the quest to be a self-supporting adult, i can easily overlook the feelings of other people. because i’m too busy working…

    i used to play all the time. i played at being an artist. it felt so easy back then. nothing was riding on it. and yet, i’m told that being an adult means you must accept more and more responsibility…. maybe i need to smoke more dope.

    i remember reading your “players and thinkers” bill of rights for the first time at an opening of yours in dayton. it brought me closer to you

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