Work can also be hell.
In Working, Terkel interviews receptionist Sharon Atkins:
I do some drawings—Mondrian, sort of. Peaceful colors of red and blue. Very ordered life. I'd like to think of rainbows and mountans. I never draw humans. Things of nature, never people. I always dream I'm alone and things are quiet. I call it the land of no-phone, where there isn't any machine telling me where I have to be every minute.
The machine dictates. This crummy little machine with buttons on it. You've got to be there to answer it. You can walk away from it and pretend you don't hear it, but it pulls you. You know you're not doing anything, not doing a hell of a lot for anyone. Your job doesn't mean anything. Because you're a little machine. A monkey could do what I do. It's really unfair to ask someone to do that.
No one can tell another to take different attitude toward their work, or whether pride is possible.
But listen to waitress Dolores Dante: "When I put the plate down, you don't hear a sound. When I pick up a glass, I want it to be just right. When someone says, 'How come you're just a waitress?' I say, 'Don't you think you deserve being served by me?'"