so, it's Infinite Summer, which means some of your more internet-y friends (and CSD blogmigos) might be reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. As a representative of the caucus of previous readers, I say a hearty thank you. because now we can talk about the book in public without seeming like pretentious dicks (or maybe just slightly less pretentious dicks). but that's not what I come to talk about. I come to talk about new phrases.
IJ contains the concept of Total Worry. It is described "as a reverse-Buddhism, a state of Total Worry" and conveys the inner life of Charles Tavis, and Enfield adminstrator. I believe that this phrase may itself be an allusion to Clauswitz's "Total War" but I prefer to keep the phrase in its new, urban-neurotic context.
I propose "Total Work."
Certain subsets of my peers and colleagues seem to work literally all the time. Every weekend, every evening until 9. They seem not to exist socially, or if they do, they never totally turn their work brain off--doctors, lawyers, many consultants, bankers. We have long-understood these demands as a society but have lacked a crisp term for this kind of job. We frequently have only the language of our mothers about "careers" and "success". I think Total Work can bring a clear, succinct phrase to the life of such persons.
I also like the whimsy of the term's bellicose origins--as if the Total Worker is waging unconditional work against the world with no regard for impacts on civilians or children.
I myself have been shading ever closer to Total Work, much to my displeasure (due to undercompensation compared to many Total Workers)