Hooked on work

Why are senior staff at McDonald’s checkouts always young. They always look like they came straight from school and got quickly promoted. They now have a slightly smarter dress than their colleagues. Usually a shirt and tie for males and long skirt and shirt for females.

Whether they get paid a whole lot more than junior staff is irrelevant. It’s the satisfaction of a better title and better rank and clearly made to look senior that can be attractive. This usually in turn will have them working much harder and be more appreciative of their position.

Quick promotion seems to be a common business practice, a way of giving out more responsibility without paying too much more.

Why do people go along with it?

I don’t know, maybe it’s the same part of our brain that has us hooked to games like candy crush. Maybe these games that mastered the art of instant gratification weren’t pioneering at all. May be they took this idea from the already existing practices of the business world.

When you play games like candy crush you’re constantly rewarded. Everything you do gives you points. Instant and constant satisfaction is quite addictive to us.

In the working world, maybe constantly rewarding people for minimal efforts is the way to get them hooked. Addicted to their work. Why do we work late? what drives us to turn up early to work? What makes us think about work outside of it?

Didn’t we work so that we could earn money to do things we actually want? Those of us who deem our selves successful at work are living to work. We’re hooked, we love it.

I don’t know if it’s healthy or not. But it’s perfect for the business.

I thought not being able to switch off was a good thing, a sign that I’m a lucky person, that I enjoy my job more than others. But who is lucky? Me or the employer? I don’t really know.

All I know is that, the deeper I delve in to understanding gamification of products, to help them grow. The manipulation of users to do what I want them to. The more I understand that the reason I’m so motivated to do this is that I myself am in a gamified work environment, which I guess is part of a bigger gamified life.

I’m so hooked I don’t want to stop playing the game. Maybe one day I’ll unplug myself.