RAB Source Entry # 2 – Richard G. Bordes (Updated)

PART 1: MLA Citation

Malesic, Jonathan. “The Future of Work Should Mean Working Less.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Sept. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/09/23/opinion/covid-return-to-work-rto.html. 


Graphic Organizer

Main Idea: The pandemic has made the author realize that there’s more to us than just our work. That we exist to do more than just bury ourselves in our careers.

Supporting Detail 1: The author starts off with a personal testimony about a close friend, Patricia Nordeen, and how she deals with having to adjust to a new career as a result of health complications. This establishes a personal investment in his topic of writing.Supporting Detail 2: The conventional approach to work — from the sanctity of the 40-hour week to the ideal of upward mobility — led us to widespread dissatisfaction and seemingly ubiquitous burnout even before the pandemic.Supporting Detail 3: As it is, work sits at the heart of Americans’ vision of human flourishing. It’s much more than how we earn a living. It’s how we earn dignity: the right to count in society and enjoy its benefits. It’s how we prove our moral character. And it’s where we seek meaning and purpose, which many of us interpret in spiritual terms…We ought to begin with the idea that each one of us has dignity whether we work or not. Your job, or lack of one, doesn’t define your human worth.


In the article, “The Future of Work Should Mean Working Less”, Jonathan Malesic makes it known that he believes that we are more than our careers and that there needs to be change to “working” as a whole. He starts off talking about his friend, Patricia Nordeen, who was an academic teacher that suffered an illness that caused her to make a career shift. He describes her as someone who was wholly devoted to her teaching career to the point that it became her entire life. But due to her Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, she had to quit teaching and find a career that wouldn’t be limited by her health. Thankfully, she found meaning in her new art career, finding a sense of validation and community that Malesic believes we should all strive for instead of letting our careers consume us. One of his arguments for this is how the current approach to work, which is 40-hour workweeks, has caused widespread dissatisfaction and burnout amongst the working class. And this is only before the pandemic started, leaving the reader to guess how things have turned out during the pandemic. Another point he makes for this idea is about how society has painted work as a way for us as individuals to gain dignity. He argues that this is false, stating that we all should believe we have dignity regardless of whether we work or not. And that having a job or not doesn’t define your worth as a human being.

Part 3A Reflection

I must say that I agree with Malesic’s stance on our personal “values” outside of work. Especially with his quote, “we ought to begin with the idea that each one of us has dignity whether we work or not. Your job, or lack of one, doesn’t define your human worth.” I really resonate with this quote, since I have my own experience with being devalued and mocked since I wasn’t working. My father put great importance on making money, so when I, as a college student, didn’t have a job for a good majority of my beginning college years, he saw it fit to mock me and call me “lazy”, “stupid”, “burden” and many other phrases to hammer home his dislike of me not working and helping with the bills. So reading Malesic’s article really pulled a weight off my shoulders and this singular quote almost brought me to tears. If I could say one thing about Malesic, I’d say that he’s quite devoted to his cause. I researched that he wrote a book, “The End of Burnout”, which talks about how draining work can be and how to fix that. So it seems that this is a constant topic for him. Thanks to his article, I have an answer to the “how the Covid pandemic has affected working and non-working citizens” part of my research question. I can see that people’s mindsets are changing thanks to the live quotes present in the article.

Part 3B Rhetorical Analysis

The genre of this article is an Op-Ed report and is targeted toward the remote-working and unemployed New Yorkers whose jobs have been affected by this pandemic. This article’s purpose is to motivate and show them that there’s more to themselves than just working. The writing style is opinionated and the tone is passionate. It’s a reliable source because the NYT has a worldwide readership and is staffed by award-winning writers. They’ve also won over 150 awards, further supporting their reliability.


“I am never going back to angry commute podcast listening and mid-drive meditation to deal with the frustration of traffic. I just can’t stomach the meaningless drive anymore. Work happens wherever.” (JOSHUA CROW, 28; PRODUCT DESIGNER, RICHMOND, VA.)

“I am never going back to frantically trying to get it all done on artificial timelines by working more rather than being honest about my own mental health needs.” (KRISTAL JONES, 38; SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, BOZEMAN, MONT.)

“I resolve to remember my boundaries. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.” (AMANDA GRIMM, 41; BUSINESS ANALYST, ST. PAUL, MINN.)

“We ought to begin with the idea that each one of us has dignity whether we work or not. Your job, or lack of one, doesn’t define your human worth.” (JOHNATHAN MALESIC; ESSAYIST, DALLAS, TEXAS)

2 thoughts on “RAB Source Entry # 2 – Richard G. Bordes (Updated)”

  1. Wow, I love this piece of work Richard! I can see the attention to detail. but you forgot to label your second paragraph underneath the reflection as the rhetorical genre/ analysis.

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