This is an attempt to summarize an interesting article in Psychology Today entitled “A Field Guide to the Workaholic” (Goodman, 2006). Brenda Goodman has discussed Brain E. Robinson’s and Gayle Porter’s analyses of those who are almost always busy with their work. They seldom find time for any other aspect of their life. For them, work is life and vice versa. They treat work as worship. Such persons often feel uneasy at social places. Why they feel so? It is because they are over obsessed with their work. They keep imagining their work and office all the while. They are akin to function like this even at the cost of their family, health and a good night’s sleep! Any place other than their place of work does not augur well with them.Such wild workers are labeled as ‘workaholics’ and ‘workophiles’. They live in their own wilderness of their work castles. Work becomes their only source of fortitude, security and identity. Their place of solace is work and work alone. Work also helps them escape from the world. Work emerges as a shield for them. There is only one track of life for them. To paraphrase Bible, “Live thy life by the sweat of thy work” – evolves as the most fundamental principle for them.“Workaholics are out of balance” for, as hard worker, they “…will be at …[their] desk, thinking about the ski slopes….workaholic[s] will be on the ski slopes thinking about …[their] desk" (Goodman, 2006). This ‘workaholic’ pattern is coming up as a potential disease in United States where some institutions tend to work nearly 24 hours a day for seven days a week! Here, primary concerns are efficiency, customer satisfaction, and the wide spread principle and belief that stresses for “time is money”. This trend is eating on the nerves of almost every modern United States (US) citizen.About four types of workaholics are there in US today. First, there are those who do their work quite near to perfection. Secondly, those who just remain at work place without doing much of their work. Thirdly, there are those who keep on making careless mistakes for they have not learnt to say “no”. They will not stop even for a while. They will just go on doing their work relentlessly. The fourth types are those who are always busy with finding deepest details of their work even if such details are not required. The result is endless surging ahead of diversified individual and social stresses, tensions and uncalled for socially harmful tendencies like recurring personality complexes and likely suicidal possibilities leading to personality imbalances and social disharmony. For Gayle Porter, workaholics quite incapable of institutional team work and leadership. They try to concentrate all work in their hands only. They start considering work as their source of power apparently. They thus become highly emotional and possessive and obsessive about their work. As such, varied crises emerge. The workaholic tries to utilize this situation to his own advantage without much of an achievement and accomplishment levels.
Workaholics suffer a lot due to their idiosyncrasies and esoteric whims. Instead of workaholics’ obsession, those workers are able to do much better work in terms of quality and quantity who go for normal off days and permissible holidays for relaxation and enjoyment. Any type of obsession does not serve a positive purpose. Normal performance and steady progress of work leads to productive results. Opinion about the ArticleThis article is an analytical piece of work. It serves its purpose of highlighting pejorative effects of obsessive patterns of behavior and working trends. Its emphasis on the need to function in a balanced way is also appropriate. The overall style and tenor of this piece is highly edifying for it warns against work and administrative excesses. This article also points to human questions of work ethics when it states, “When a child comes home with a drawing of her family that doesn't include her father, he may fially alter his schedule” (Goodman, 2006).Brenda Goodman indicates a trend. A process of prolonged alienation of the obsessive worker is brought forward very powerfully. However, quite a few related aspects are not touched in this article. Why this obsessive behavior is coming up? Why this alienation is their? It is not their just due to whims of a workaholic. Other reasons are also there. Modern world and its rat race for acquiring ever new gadgets and ever widening network of acquisitive instincts also contribute to threaten normal behavior of human beings. This type of modernity can also be one of the important causes of increasing extra-normal behavior amongst individuals today.Psychology of modernity leading to different types of obsessions in the minds of modern men must also be considered. This article has great implications and meanings. Various modern tensions by themselves can push any normal human being to a corner where there could be no other option but to go for obsessive behavior in many directions of life. Contemporary unbridled pursuits of power and wants are leading the world to numerous types of decay threatening extinction of human species. Workaholic aspect is just one dimension from among the many. ReferencesGoodman, Brenda (2006). “A Field Guide to the Workaholic”, Psychology Today. May/June, Volume 39, No.3 Sussex Publishers Inc. pp. 40-41.