Sunday, January 25, 2009

I See... Work Allergies

Work has been around a long time, ever since Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden and live by the sweat of their brow. I'm convinced that allergies have been around just as long. Apparently God has designed our bodies to be allergic to a myriad of substances. Just about everyone I know is allergic to something; if you have no allergies, you are either 1) a perfected, resurrected being, 2) one of a few lucky earthlings, or 3) have not yet met the substance your body was specifically created to react to.

Hence, I was surprised to discover that I have been cursed with probably the most common allergy of all that is, for some unknowable reason, rarely discussed in public or private. It must one of those hidden, taboo, or just plain embarrassing maladies like premature hair loss, IBS, or one of many sexually transmitted diseases. I know many fine upstanding men and women who suffer quietly as I do. Now, however, I'm exposing this sinister, dehabilitating allergy to the harsh light of public discourse, and harnessing the power of the Internet to seek a soothing, permanent solution. You see, at some reckless point of time in my distant youth, I made a terrible mistake and became allergic to... work.

It may have started with an immortal pre-teen struggle between an afternoon paper route and cartoons, or maybe it was the bitter jealousy born of pulling weeds by the pound in our front lawn on a Saturday morning while all my little buddies rode their stingray bikes down to the creek to catch pollywogs. All I know is that ever since I can remember, whenever I work, I quickly come down with definite medical symptoms. My mind starts to wander, my bones start to wear and ache; I suffer some temporary discomfort and sadness, and I become quickly run down and tired. Sometimes, when in a temporary fit of insanity I work incredibly long hours, I develop killer headaches and extreme drowsiness, even to the point of falling asleep during American Idol or Fox News. Do you suffer similar symptoms when you work?

For the sake of saving future waves of humanity through conducting daring medical research on myself, I have discovered remedies that promise relief, but a cure still seems to be elusive. My hope is that by sharing my bitter story, others may benefit and be saved from the cruel tax imposed on the bodies plagued by work allergies.

By years of sacrificing my body for science, I have confirmed that the only sure relief from work allergies is frequent recreation and relaxation. Such a regimen would include doing anything you consider to be fun and/or relaxing, whether it be playing basketball with your kids or priesthood quorum, dancing with that special someone, or just crashing on the big couch in the basement and watching a mindless movie on the projector screen. According to independent expert testimony of an orthopaedic surgeon who owes me money, helio-therapy, known by us laymen as suntanning, can produce similar results. The key is to stop working whenever you start to feel some discomfort, and turn to something you enjoy doing.

The truly terrible contradiction that complicates the diagnosis and treatment of work allergies is that some people actually enjoy work, which cleverly masks the symptoms. I know that on a personal note, when I served a mission, or when I do something for someone else, it is easier to ignore the symptoms and be happy. Experts are still conducting research to unravel this mystery, but it seems to be connected somehow to selflessness.

I sense that there some people in many workplaces across the country who have it much worse than me; they suffer terribly from work allergies. They spend most of their day conversing and cavorting about sports, movies, and their personal lives... anything to avoid productive work that risks inviting the onset of the symptoms listed above. My heart goes out to them. I hope they find some relief..

Do you suffer from work allergies too? I have heard that for some people, procrastination and blatant laziness is their only hope. Can you imagine a world cured of work allergies? We could work 24 hours a day, with no need for rest, fun, or diversions.

I hope they never find a cure for work allergies.

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