Work life imbalance


Dear Dissonance,

I am excited to hear that your patient is losing her job. That her company was sold, with virtually no notice to employees and no severance for her and the vast majority of employees, is even better! That is the best kind of shutdown for us as it maximizes fear and uncertainty in our patients. For three years she devoted her life to her company, foolishly thinking of it as her own, and thought of little else save from the occasional men in her life.

During that time you failed to convince her to abandon writing – something she wanted to do since she was five — as it was temporarily too much fun to leave a publication she helped to start. But this opportunity should prove fertile ground for you. No matter how much someone loves a profession she can be convinced to abandon it for the lamest of reasons, including what her father or mother thinks, how much school or work it would take to achieve the desired position, or the old reliable, money. I mean, how many Harvard Business School types do you see launching new businesses? Virtually none. They don’t want risk, they want a Range Rover and two carat engagement ring and a Louis Vuitton handbag. If you can’t make your patient abandon her calling under the near total uncertainty she now faces, I think you should try a different line of work.

As you have probably noticed, the Enemy loves to see people using their talents to their fullest, as it at least indirectly always reflects well on Him and His creation. Such work also has the negative consequence of focusing patients’ minds on things that really matter to them, spend less idle time – where we dominate – enjoy life more fully and even worse, think about how to help others find meaning in their lives.

Our Father loves it when people take jobs for reasons that have nothing to do with their deepest desires. Look back at how many of the best minds have gone into finance in the past few decades because that was where the most money could be made. Not only did all those great minds play pivotal roles in bankrupting so many of their fellow citizens, but they robbed themselves of their own happiness!

Even better, so many people diverted from paths that match their gifts deprived the world of musicians, artists, doctors, engineers, scientists and architects who might otherwise have improved human living standards and exposed His despicable beauty through their work. I awake smiling each morning reveling in the fact that we have all but prevented another Beethoven from existing. But I can’t listen to the Ninth Symphony. It still makes me physically ill after almost two centuries knowing a deaf man would have the temerity to produce something so revealing of the Enemy when he should have at least given up on music, if not life.

Of course, not everyone’s talents align with work. But it is right to make people think that their talents and their work should always be separate. It greatly aids in preventing people from reaching their full potential and delaying key intellectual advancements — and makes it much easier to spread ennui. Our Father would have us spray it on humanity like a cologne so important is that state of mind to generating shoddy work.

In the case of your patient, her total devotion for such a long period of time to her work and deep satisfaction from it will make it much easier for us now to incite anxiety about her future. Since her identity and self-worth were so tied to her job, it is crucial for you to exploit any self-doubt about her calling immediately or else risk losing her forever.

Keep asking her if it is worth it – the long hours, the low pay, the increasingly fewer number of jobs – for the rest of her life. Keep planting the idea that she has paid her dues to society, that she deserves to lead a normal life with regular manicures and pedicures and uninterrupted vacations. She almost left journalism once after being fired from her first job, but ultimately decided against it. It’s up to you to sever her ties permanently. Keep hunting for a great job offer for her in a field where she will have to abandon writing.

And work with tempters of her colleagues to maximize anger and anxiety in the newsroom. The more humans we can pluck from a profession that brings joy to them, the more poisonous the atmosphere we create in multiple homes, relationships and friendships. This might be the rare situation where trusting fellow tempters may pay off handsomely for all – and maybe bring you a promotion!

Whatever you do, cast doubt about her purpose. That will do wonders to undermine her trust in the Enemy.

Your affectionate aunt,


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