The accountant and the artist by Sach Catts

An old song by Randy Dougherty outlines the conditions for the good life; “Lucky, lucky, lucky me, I’m a lucky son of a gun/I work eight hours, sleep eight hours, that leaves eight hours of fun.” The simple division of one’s time into these segments provides the standard model for our existence. For most sons and daughters of guns these three states of action are easily distinguished. If one sleeps for eight hours there remains sixteen hours of potentially productive time in one’s day. Randy is lucky and therefore half of his productive time can be devoted to fun. For the less fortunate anything other than work is potentially fun. There is an important structural distinction that can be applied to demarcate our hours of work and fun however. Work can be defined as the time during which one’s productive output undergoes a ‘value adding’. For the majority, workers employed in a traditional workplace, from the time one arrives at work to the time they leave their productivity is financially remunerated at a market-determined rate. Thus, work = production + remuneration. In this sense, when the receptionist sits down at the counter their productivity undergoes a paradigm shift and enters the market.