work Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes about work
“‘That’s one of the reasons we run this place all nice and busylike. You get lazy, you get sad. Start givin’ up. Plain and simple’”
“Esperanza thought of Mama in the hospital and Abuelita in Mexico and how much depended on her being able to work. If she was lucky enough to have a job in the spring, no one was going to get in her way.”
“She was glad she had kept working and thankful that the camp had voted not to strike, but she knew that under different circumstances, it could have been her on that bus. [...] Some of these people did not deserve their fate today. How was it that the United States could send people to Mexico who had never even lived there?”
″‘Señor, does it not bother you that some of your compadres live better than others?’ yelled one of Marta’s friends. ‘We are going to strike in two weeks. At the peak of the cotton. For higher wages and better housing!‘”
“She wanted to tell them that her mother was sick. That she had to pay the bills. She wanted to explain to them about Abuelita and how she had to find a way to get some money to her so she could travel. Then maybe they’d understand why she needed her job.”
“I don’t know who hired you or what they told you about the job, but it starts to wear on you. It’s not all changing bedsheets and cleaning plates. You have to look without seeing, hear without listening. We’re objects up there, living statues meant to serve….Especially now, with this Scarlet Guard business. It’s never a good time to be a Red, but this is very bad.”
“No one plows the field just by thinking about it.”
“It is not the content of a company’s values that correlates with performance, but the strength of conviction with which it holds those values, whatever they might be. ”
“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”
“Throwing yourself into worthwhile, fruitful hard work that you believe in, as much as you can handle and more, is a kind of luxury not everyone gets to experience.”
“Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.’’
“Do not work primarily for money; do your duty to patients first and let the money follow; our life is short, we don’t live twice; the whirlwind will pick up the leaves and spin them, but then it will drop them and they will form a pile.”
“For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.”
″[Katsa] practiced every day. She learned her own speed and her own explosive force. She learned the angle, position, and intensity of a killing blow versus a maiming blow. She learned how to disarm a man and how to break his leg. She learned to fight with a sword and with knives and daggers. She was so fast and focused, so creative, she could find a way to beat a man senseless with both arms tied to her sides.”
“Coraline shook her head. ‘Why don’t you play with me?’ she asked. ‘Busy,’ he said. ‘Working,’ he added. He still hadn’t turned around to look at her.”
“You don’t know what I have to go through or over or under to do your job for you. I do it my way. I do my best to protect you and I may break a few rules, but I break them in your favor.”
“When I thought about Jakob, I realized that his cold dedication to Find helped me get over my separation from Ethan—there was no time for grieving. I had too much work to do.”
“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life--not someone else’s life--water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. That is the work. The only work.”
“We found that for leaders to make something great, their ambition has to be for the greatness of the work and the company, rather than for themselves.”
“The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline–a problem that largely goes away if you have the right people in the first place.”
“I will continue to work as hard as I can to make this organization proud. Every time I step on the field I will give everything I have and I will leave everything I have on the field every single Sunday.”
“And this I did for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye.”
“If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy. That was what some people thought.”
“It was no dream of the gift of idle hours, Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf . . . ”
“My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.”
“Mr. Bucket was the only person in the family with a job. He worked in a toothpaste factory, where he sat all day long at a bench and screwed the little caps onto the tops of the tubes of toothpaste after the tubes had been filled.”
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
“Working dough. Working, working dough. Nothing better than that to start that day’s serious work of beating back the past.”
“If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”
“Work just as hard for fun moments, vacation moments, and pee-your-pants laughing moments as you do for all the other things.”
“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work.′
“As it chanced, [Jurgis] had been hurt on a Monday, and had just paid for his last week’s board and his room rent, and spent nearly all the balance of his Saturday’s pay. He had less than seventy-five cents in his pockets, and a dollar and a half due him for the day’s work he had done before he was hurt. He might possibly have sued the company, and got some damages for his injuries, but he did not know this, and it was not the company’s business to tell him.”
“Better luck than all this could hardly have been hoped for; there was only one of them left to seek a place. Jurgis was determined that Teta Elzbieta should stay at home to keep house, and that Ona should help her. He would not have Ona working – he was not that sort of a man, he said, and she was not that sort of a woman. It would be a strange thing if a man like him could not support the family, with the help of the board of Jonas and Marija. He would not even hear of letting the children go to work – there were schools here in America for children, Jurgis had heard, to which they could go for nothing. […] Jurgis would have it that Stanislovas should learn to speak English, and grow up to be a skilled man.”
“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”
“Promptly at seven the next morning Jurgis reported for work. He came to the door that had been pointed out to him, and there he waited for nearly two hours. The boss had meant for him to enter, but had not said this, and so it was only when on his way out to hire another man that he came upon Jurgis. He gave him a good cursing, but as Jurgis did not understand a word of it he did not object.”
“Ona might have married and left them, but she would not, for she loved Teta Elzbieta. It was Jonas who suggested that they all go to America, where a friend of his had gotten rich. He would work, for his part, and the women would work, and some of the children, doubtless – they would live somehow. Jurgis, too, had heard of America. That was a country where, they said, a man might earn three rubles a day; and Jurgis figured what three rubles a day would mean, with prices as they were where he lived, and decided forthwith that he would go to America and marry, and be a rich man in the bargain. In that country, rich or poor, a man was free, it was said; he did not have to go into the army, he did not have to pay out his money to rascally officials – he might do as he pleased, and count himself as good as any other man.”
“For every one that Jurgis spoke to assured him that it was a waste of time to seek employment for the old man in Packingtown. Szedvilas told him that the packers did not even keep the men who had grown old in their own service – to say nothing of taking on new ones. And not only was it the rule here, it was the rule everywhere in America, so far as he knew.”
“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.”
“So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”
“If I have a handful of silver it is because I work and my wife works, and we do not, as some do, sit idling over a gambling table or gossiping on doorsteps never swept, letting the fields grow to weeds and our children go half-fed!”
“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”
“In his work itself, especially in his examinations, he very soon acquired a method of eliminating all considerations irrelevant to the legal aspect of the case, and reducing even the most complicated case to a form in which it would be presented on paper only in its externals, completely excluding his personal opinion of the matter, while above all observing every prescribed formality.”
“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.”
“It’s folly to measure your success in money or fame. Success is measured only by your ability to say yes to these two questions: Did I do the work I needed to do? Did I give it everything I had?”
“Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.”
“I will decide how long you must work for each of the items you stole, and it will be up to me to decide when you have earned back your notebook, if it still exists.”
“Work and I are very good friends; I never was afraid of work yet.”
″‘Oh, better I like to work out-of-doors than in a house!’ she used to sing joyfully. ‘I not care that your grandmother say it makes me like a man. I like to be like a man.‘”
“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.”
“In future feminist movement we need to work harder to show parents the ways ending sexism positively changes family life. Feminist movement is pro-family. ”
“Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare. Begin.”
″ If you and I want to do great stuff, we can’t let ourselves work small.”
“It’s natural he should be disappointed at not having any children: every man likes to have somebody to work for and lay by for, and he always counted so on making a fuss with ‘em when they were little.”
“I bought the toy booth, where I’ve been trapped ever since, listening to the sounds of shoe heels clicking against the floor… the sound of my films disappearing forever in the dust. I was haunted by those ghosts for so many years.”
“He ought to tell Crowley. No, he didn’t. He wanted to tell Crowley. He ought to tell Heaven.”
“Every man’s work ... tends ... to become an end in itself ... to bridge over the loveless chasms of his life.”
“That none may have the impudence to irk Or hinder me in Christ’s most holy work.”
“Don’t be addicted to money. Work to learn, don’t work for money. Work for knowledge.”
“So now do not worry, take what you have, and do your work and you will have a long life and a very merry one.”
“Providing for the ones he loves and cares about, whether it’s monetarily or with sweat equity, is a part of a man’s DNA, and if he loves and cares for you, this man will provide for you all these things with no limits.”
“The pleasures connected with his work were pleasures of ambition; his social pleasures were those of vanity; but Ivan Ilych’s greatest pleasure was playing bridge.”
“Men are driven by who they are, what they do, and how much they make.”
“So call a big meeting. Get everyone out. Make every *Who* holler! Make every *Who* shout! Make every *Who* scream! If you don’t, every *Who* is going to end up in a Beezle-Nut stew!”
“Our greatest fear is fear of success.”
“Research can become resistance. We want to work, not prepare for work.”
“Do. The. Work. Every day, you have to do something you don’t want to do. Every day.”
“I’m not telling you to love it. I’m telling you to crave the result so intensely that the work is irrelevant.”
″ The only items you get to keep are love for the work, will to finish, and passion to serve the ethical, creative Muse.”
“I just work. I’m black. I work and I don’t bother nobody.”
“Guess we better get started, get this over with, so we can go back to work.”
“Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee, And for thy maintenance; commits his body To painful labor, both by sea and land; To watch the night in storms, the day in cold.”
“So, surrender to sleep at last. What a misery, keeping watch through the night, wide awake -- you’ll soon come up from under all your troubles.”
“Thinking about work as a day job has made a big difference in the way I approach what I do. It also helped me not to confuse who I am with what I do.”
“So once again I’m Ti Jean the Child, playing, sewing patches, cooking suppers, washing dishes (always kept the kettle boiling on the fire and anytime dishes needed to be washed I just pour hot hot water into pan with Tide soap and soak them good and then wipe them clean after scouring with little 5-&-10 wire scourer).”
“From then on, I took an even greater pride in my work. I’d bring the most difficult locks home and time myself. Then I’d cut the time in half and practice until I got there. I’d keep at it until I couldn’t feel my fingers.”
“Much of the work of midlife is to tell the difference between those who are dealing with their issues through you and those who are really dealing with you.”
“She had a bottomless well of love for me. Her only flaw was that she didn’t make me work for it.”
“They used to be buddies, I thought, they used to be friends, and now they hate each other because one has to work for a living and the other comes from the West Side.”
“It was wonderful to walk down the long flights of stairs knowing that I’d had good luck working. I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.”
“Joy is what God gives, not what we work up. Laughter is the delight that things are working together for good to those who love God, not the giggles that betray the nervousness of a precarious defense system.”
“Our work goes wrong when we lose touch with the God who works “his salvation in the midst of the earth.” It goes wrong both when we work anxiously and when we don’t work at all, when we become frantic and compulsive in our work (Babel) and when we become indolent and lethargic in our work.”
“The fruit of labours, in the lives to come, Is threefold for all men,--Desirable, And Undesirable, and mixed of both; But no fruit is at all where no work was.”
“The foundational truth is that work is good. If God does it, it must be all right. Work has dignity: there can be nothing degrading about work if God works. Work has purpose: there can be nothing futile about work if God works.”
“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”
“‘I know what it’s like to be distracted. To seek out distractions. To exhaust yourself doing every other little thing rather than face a blank page.’”
“Working with him was sort of like trying to defuse a bomb with somebody standing behind you and every now and then clashing a pair of cymbals together. In a word, upsetting.”
His answer to every problem, every setback was “I will work harder!” —which he had adopted as his personal motto.
“For the past few years, all her childhood friends has begun to work in the quarry, and Miri had grown used to solitude in her house and on the hilltop with the goats.”
“I have a very simple rule when it comes to management: hire the best people from your competitors, pay them more than they were earning, and give them bonuses and incentives based on their performance. That’s how you build a first-class operation.”
“The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want to about theirs?”
“The old dreams were good dreams; they didn’t work out but I’m glad I had them.”
“Without the assurance of food, clothing and shelter, unless you’re prepared to die, there’s no other way but to work.”
“We see this workplace as a community, and every person who works here is part of that community. And to make it all work it requires a certain level of participation.”
“Stress and anxiety at work have less to do with the work we do and more to do with weak management and leadership.”
“Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.”
“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”
“Go on with your work as usual, for work is a blessed solace.”
“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”
“A man is worked upon by what he works on. He may carve out his circumstances, but his circumstances will carve him out as well.”
“Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.”
“Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little.”
“You shouldn’t lie till ten. There’s the very prime of the morning gone long before that time. A person who has not done one-half his day’s work by ten o’clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.”
If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain’t enough!
“The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create . . . ”
“Even we, who were boys but a short while ago, cannot escape the inexorable progress of time. So the generations pass, and soon it will be our turn to send our children out into the land to do the work that needs to be done.”
“Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they’re capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits, and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.”
“I worked out what would make me happy, and I worked out what I wanted to do, and I trained myself to do the job that would make those two things happen.”
“But just because you love something, I added to myself, doesn’t mean you’ll ever be great. Not if you don’t work. Most people stink at the things they love.”
“Never complain or make excuses. If something seems unfair, just prove yourself by working twice as hard and being twice as good.”
“When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while.”
“Our contract is an old one. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so, until, in good season, we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry. You are changed. When it was made, you were another man.”
“I don’t like work--no man does--but I like what is in the work--the chance to find yourself. Your own reality--for yourself not for others--what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.”
“Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady. Would ‘twere done.”
“I then told them that God, to compensate for the weakness of man, had bestowed on him reason, invention, and skill in workmanship.”
“He lay down upon a sumptuous divan, and proceeded to instruct himself with honest zeal.”
“Is it true, the world works hard and we play? Is that why we’re hated so much?”
“Well, I guess I learned one thing: if I’m ever feeling down about my work, I can always talk to a neurosurgeon to cheer myself up.”
“Being with patients in these moments certainly had its emotional cost, but it also had its rewards. I don’t think I ever spent a minute of any day wondering why I did this work, or whether it was worth it.”
Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.
“Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!”
“So that is how Her Serene and Royal Highness, Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne, Princess of Phantasmorania, became an ordinary kitchen maid in the royal castle of Amber. She was soon to find out that a great deal of work was expected in return for two pfennigs a week and her keep.”
“Not knowing where such obsessive thoughts were coming from, I simply drowned myself in my work. ”
“Be careful that your devotion to ME does not become another form of works.”
“Just now I was looking out the window of the train and thinking. What can be higher than peace in the family and work? The rest isn’t in our power.”
When Miri was eight years old, all the other children her age had started to work in the quarry - carrying water, fetching tools, and performing other basic tasks. When she had asked her Pa why she could not, he had taken her in his arms, kissed the top of her head ... he had said, ‘You are never to set foot in the quarry, my flower.‘”
″‘I try really hard, actually.‘”
“This change in him as Fred was an economy of the passions. Firemen and doctors and morticians did the same trip in their work.”
“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.”
“Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
″‘Why, how now? What next?’ exclaimed I, ‘do no more writing?’ ‘No more.’ ‘And what is the reason?’ ‘Do you not see the reason for yourself?’ he indifferently replied.”
“Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.”
″‘Did you write today?’ ‘A little.’ ‘Was it good?’ ‘You never know until 18 days later.‘”
“I don’t want my idea of you. That’s too easy, and it isn’t real. I want you, faults and all. And I want you to want me, faults and all, not any ideas you have about love relationships-love-is not fantasy, it is bricks and mortar.”
“That’s all I seem to do now. I have to work to keep you alive, to feed you. I haven’t smiled once since you were born. Go to sleep.”
“Never bring your personal problems to work.... The customers have enough problems of their own without having to worry about yours.”
“A dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”
“The fortunate people in the world--the only real fortunate people in the world, in my mind, -- are those whose work is also their pleasure.”
“We are uncomfortable because everything in our life keeps changing -- our inner moods, our bodies, our work, the people we love, the world we live in.”
“I think this is some of my best work.”
“Let them plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. Let them enjoy the work of their hands.”
“He knew, of course, that he would work again: he had to believe it. Every actor did. Acting was a form of grifting, and once you stopped believing you could, so did everyone else.”
“You can get a lot of work done if you stay with it and are excited and its play instead of work.”
“All work and no play makes Matthias a dull mouse.”
“It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about - war, work, marriage, democracy, love, it all fails because everybody gives up trying after a while, we can’t help ourselves.”
″‘It’s work, son,’ Father said. ‘That’s what money is; it’s hard work.‘”
“She was very angry. She opened her mouth. Mrs. Rogers meant to tell Amelia Bedelia she was fired. But before she could get the words out, Mr. Rogers out something in her mouth. ”
“Such a grand house. These must be rich folks. But I must get to work. Here I stand just looking. And me with a whole list of things to do. I think I’ll make a surprise for them. I’ll make lemon-meringue pie. I do make good pies.”
“Oh, Amelia Bedelia, your first day of work, and I can’t be here. But I made alist for you. You do just what the list says,”
“Mrs. Rogers learned to say undust the furniture, unlight the lights, and close the drapes, and things like that. ”
“Cat! You get out! There is work to be done. I have no time for tricks. I must go back and dig. I can’t have you here eating cake like a pig! You get out of this house! We don’t want you about!”
“I just want to go in to get out of the snow. Keep your mind on your work. You just stay there, you two. I will go in the house and find something to do.”
″ ‘Amelia Bedelia, the sun will fade the furniture I asked you to draw the drapes, ’ said Mrs. Rodgers. ‘I did! I did! See,’ said Amelia Bedelia. She held up her picture. ”
“Put the lights out when you finish in the living room. Amelia Bedelia thought about this a minute. She switched off the lights. Then she carefully unscrewed each bulb. ”
″ All he cared about was having her there to make lemon-meringue pie.”
“Amelia Bedelia got some scissors. She snipped a little here and a little there. And she changed those towels.”
“She looked at her list again. Dust the furniture. ‘did you ever hear tell of such a silly thing. At my house we undust the furniture. But to each his own way.’ ”
“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;”
“You’re not going ANYwhere! There is homework to be done, Bub! Sit you pants down on that chair!”
“Then all afternoon, both in winter and summer, the King made his rounds by the edge of the seas. Every root of every Dike Tree he inspected every day.”
“He couldn’t keep his mind on his work. His commands to the Patrol Cats sounded feeble and faint. The cats seemed to know it and wouldn’t obey. Day by day they grew lazier and lazier.”
“And when they played the really PLAYED. And when they worked they really WORKED.”
“Now on Sundays, after the week’s work is finished, Captain Lightning, Madam Thunderbolt and Max ride high in the warm air over the town.”
“The apothecary’s name was Owlglass. He hummed to himself as he worked in his back room. He’d found a new type of blue fluff, which he was grinding down. It was probably good for curing something. He’d have to try it out on people until he found out what.”
“So Cinders read her little book, The Postman drank champagne Then wobbled off On his round again (and again and again – Oops!)”
“She seemed to be thinking of her own toilsome life- toil from beginning to end, nothing but toil.”
“I believe the best way to get an answer to prayer is to work for it.”
“The object of all schools is not to ram Latin and Greek into boys, but to make them good English boys, good future citizens; and by far the most important part of that work must be done, or not done, out of school hours. To leave it, therefore, in the hands of inferior men, is just giving up the highest and hardest part of the work of education. Were I a private school-master, I should say, Let who will hear the boys their lessons, but let me live with them when they are at play and rest.”
″...anything is sweeter than the work you ought to do...”
“Here’s the thing,” I would say. “Most people, wherever they’re from, whatever they look like, are looking for the same thing. They’re not trying to get filthy rich. They don’t expect someone else to do what they can do for themselves. “But they do expect that if they’re willing to work, they should be able to find a job that supports a family. They expect that they shouldn’t go bankrupt just because they get sick. They expect that their kids should be able to get a good education, one that prepares them for this new economy, and they should be able to afford college if they’ve put in the effort. They want to be safe, from criminals or terrorists. And they figure that after a lifetime of work, they should be able to retire with dignity and respect.”
“Stamp, your name is to be Laura. I’m sharing my name with you. I’m putting my power into you and you must do my work. Don’t listen to anyone but me. You are to be my command laid on my enemy.”
“Sometimes my mama is laughing when she comes home from work. Sometimes she’s so tired she falls asleep while I count the money into piles.”
“We’ll have to hit the road, for when a man undertakes to do his own business, it is not likely that he will be disappointed.”
“They could see that Miss Swamp was a real witch. She meant business. Right away she put them to work. And she loaded them down with homework.”
“Her father didn’t have time to take her to see one at the zoo. He didn’t have time for anything. He went to work every day before Hannah went to school, and in the evening he worked at home. When Hannah asked him a question, he would say, ‘Not now, I’m busy, maybe tomorrow.’ “
“and he carved a new yoke and sawed planks for a new cart and split shingles all winter While his wife made flax into linen all winter, and his daughter embroidered linen all winter, and his son carved Indian brooms from birch all winter, and everybody made candles.”
“My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want to about theirs?”
“Then he swings a big stolen sack over his shoulder and goes off to work, stealing things.”
“Grandma Poss held her breath - and waited. ‘It’s worked! It’s worked!’ she cried. And she was right. Hush could be seen from head to tail. Grandma Poss hugged Hush, and they both danced ‘Here We Go Round Lamington Plate’ till early in the morning.”
″ ‘Frederick, why don’t you work?’ they asked. ‘I do work,’ said Frederick. ‘I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days.’ ”
“So there was always exciting work for tugboats to do. They pushed the big ships into the docks to be unloaded. They towed the ships down the river to the wide, deep ocean.”
“Then Alfalfa went to Blacksmith Fox’s shop. He had saved enough money to buy a new tractor. The new tractor will make his farm work easier. With it, he will be able to grow more food than he could grow before. He also bought some presents for Mommy and his son, Alfred.”
“Good Morning! Good Morning! The sun is up! Wash! Brush! Comb! Dress! Get up! There is a lot of work to be done!”
“I’ll clean out your stables and curry your horses... whatever you want.”
″ ‘I’ll tell you what, husband,’ answered the woman, ‘early-to-morrow morning we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest; there we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of them.’ ”
“Now it is no use to lament--we must all work, and work cheerfully; and we will pray every morning and every night that God will bless our endeavors and enable us to provide for ourselves, and live here in peace and safety.”
″ ‘I hate winter,’ said Griselda, pressing her cold little face against the colder window-pane, ‘I hate winter, and I hate lessons. I would give up being a person in a minute if I might be a-a-what would I best like to be? Oh yes, I know - a butterfly. Butterflies never see winter and they certainly never have any lessons or any kind of work to do. I hate must-ing to do anything.”
“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls-- family, health, friends, integrity-- are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
“This is the way I used to feel in Barbados, Kit thought with surprise. Light as air somehow. Here I’ve been working like a slave, much harder than I’ve ever worked in the onion fields, but I feel as though nothing mattered except just to be alive right at this moment.”
“She would go as a single woman who must work for her living. Her best chance, she had decided, lay in seeking employment as a governess in one of the wealthy families. She liked teaching children, and hopefully there might be a library where she could extend her own learning as well as that of her charges. Whatever befell, there would be a blue sky overhead, and the warmth and color and fragrance and beauty that her heart craved.”
“By the end of that first day the word useful had taken on an alarming meaning. Work in that household never ceased, and it called for skill and patience, qualities Kit did not seem to possess.”
“The chance to work for her, to watch her edit and meet with famous writers and models, to help her achieve all she does each and every day, well, I shouldn’t need to tell you that it’s a job a million girls would die for.”
“Harry’s bath was the soapiest one he’d ever had. It worked like magic.”
“A goose on board! She’ll have to work her passage if she is coming with us to London.”
“Since his accident he had unconsciously taken to wearing his hat at a rakish angle. This, and the way he always kept his right hand thrust into his breeches pocket, gave him a slightly arrogant air. The arrogance had always been there, but formerly it had come out as pride in his work—not in the way he wore his hat and walked.”
“We made it a law here that every family shall go to a different restaurant every night of the month, around the village square in rotation. In this way no family of Krakatoa has to work more than once every twenty days, and every family is assured a great variety of food.”
“We have developed loafing on this Island to such an expert extent that even our hands are completely relaxed. Our only work now, besides cooking, is in trying to make life more pleasant for ourselves and for each other.”
I used to work in Chicago, at a convenience store. I used to work in Chicago. I did but I don’t anymore. A lady walked in with some porcelain skin and I asked her what she came in for. “Liquor,” she said, and lick her I did, and I don’t work there anymore.
“It was Sundays that saved her. After morning church she went straight to the garage, put on her jeans, and though only emergency work was really done on Sundays, the foreman always had something ready for her. Very dirty and happy, she would work until they had to dash home for lunch.”
“I work like a dog all day. When I get home, I fetch my own slippers.”
“It’s not whether you “feel” like putting in the work, but whether or not you do it regardless.”
“She loves Emil more than anything, and she’s glad she can work and make money.”
“What is not for you can never be for you. No amount of sheer will or work, no amount of bending or shape-shifting will make it so. No act or effort, no apology, no amount of therapy or prayer or repetition, no self-help, no distraction, no matter how hard you try, you can never force anything that isn’t meant to be.”
“I work hard, he says, I treat people like I want to be treated. God sees this, God knows.”
“I don’t hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don’t trust fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and draw my own conclusions.”
“You, woman, shall know yourself and your work. You also shall be Psyche.”

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