Philosophy of Refusal In Odell And Frayne Works.

Philosophy of Refusal In Odell And Frayne Works.

Shiyuan Qian

University of Connecticut

Philosophy of Refusal In Odell And Frayne Works.


Working contributes to one’s happiness and builds confidence and self-esteem, mainly because of the financial reward that one gets from it. It is a belief that most of the people in the societies have. However, this may not be the case for some individuals. This is because they tend to value their talents and hobbies more than the financial benefits they can get from being employed. Also, in employment, the opportunity to perform their activities that one likes may not be possible because they must concentrate on the responsibilities given to them by the company or their employers. Even though involvement in passionate activities is much fun, a source of finance is important to support livelihood. Nevertheless, companies can support individuals’ talents and passion by ensuring employees are delegated with duties that relate to their hobbies. It encourages them to work hard, hence benefiting both the individual through the performance of activities they love, and the company benefits from improved performance.

Frayne and Odell Perspectives

In the philosophy of refusal, the concept of Work is explained by two authors, Frayne and Odell. Frayne brings out the concept of working as a choice irrespective of what society thinks. One can do what they love doing and fail to get employed. However, it is a risk that one will take since they will be financially unstable. Being employed is what gives one money, compared to doing what one likes. Also, due to the understanding and belief of society, people tend to pressure the ones with no jobs to find one. Meaning there are only two factors that make one find a job, which includes the need for money and the pressure from society to get a job.

Odell, on the other hand, addresses the corporate aspect of working. A person appearing not to be working is considered a threat to the company order, hence risking it. Being employed means one becomes productive and, at his point, first benefiting the company through accomplished tasks and also an individual through the financial benefits one gets. However, the seeming not to work projects to an unknown future. This may be due to the non-accomplishment of tasks, which decreases the performance of the company to an unknown level. Therefore, working benefits both the individual and the company, but individuals must always appear to be working, which is now considered as a contribution to the company.

Odell and Frayne In-depth understanding of Work

Being employed or even employing oneself is one of the valued acts in society. Individuals learn, and mostly as they are asked what to do after schooling, everyone would mention working on getting some finances. However, other than getting a job to fulfill one’s dreams, some prefer using their talents and forego the finances expected. In Frayne’s nook refusal to work, he states, “I quite like being unemployed. Financially it’s scary, but I’m doing stuff that I like every day. If the money weren’t a worry, and also the impending doom of getting made to get a job, I would just really love it.” (Frayne, 2015). This text shows that not everyone prefers working or getting the benefits that the community relates to working, but value activities that they lack more than being involved in acts that provide finance, and they don’t like it. However, the freedom to perform the activities one likes instead of being employed is suppressed by the need for money and being made to get a job.

On the other hand, being employed requires working hard not to become a threat in the workplace. Many individuals perform responsibilities that they don’t like and are encouraged by the fact that they will be financially rewarded afterward. However, failing to work is not related to the benefits one will get, but rather the impact they have on the company. Odell mentions that “Appearing as if you’re doing nothing is seen as a threat to the general working order of the company, creating a sense of the unknown.” (Odell, 2019). Odell’s statement shows that being employed requires a fulltime practice of activities, since as one stares at space, or just stands to do nothing experiences lots of questions as they risk the company. Therefore, from the two statements, working may be explained in two dimensions: in the corporate and individual sense.

Reasons for refusal to Work

Unemployment is considered a terrible thing since it shows that the person is not financially supported; therefore, one goes through challenging life hence earn pity from other people. The people use words such as, “oh, it’s terrible what you’re going through.” (Frayne, 2015). According to them, the person is suffering, but on the contrary, he is happy with what he does. He likes being unemployed because it allows him to perform activities that he wants. Frayne’s view shows that people’s refusal to work is based on having a priority on their interests hence prefer engaging in stuff that they like. In another context, this means that employment is generally related to performing responsibilities that people do not like consequently are forced to engage in them. It shows that the employed only work to get financial benefits but not because they like working.

Looking at a person who is employed, it is a company order that they are a threat if they fail to be seen working. Employee performance is a strength to the company; hence as one gazes, or stares into space, a lot of questions are directed to her to find out what she is doing. As Odell puts it, “Appearing as if you’re doing nothing is seen as a threat to the general working order of the company, creating a sense of the unknown.” Odell gives an example of an intern who sits in the office doing nothing, and then the other employees look very strange, and then the leader sees it and says it affects the working atmosphere of the whole company. This place is actually ironic because the rest of the company also plays facebook and does other things at work, which is essentially the same as this intern, which is a kind of refusal of work proposed by odell. Odell wants to use this story to tell us that a lot of them are working right now, but theyre not productive. The notion of inactivity creates a sense of the unknown, showing that the acts of the individuals have consequences. It may be on the company due to failing to reach targets or an individual since their wages are based on their performance. Odell concludes the paragraph by stating that “The potential of nothing is everything.” (Odell, 2019). The statement shows that an effect on a single factor in an organization affects the entire organization. Therefore, if one person fails to perform their responsibility, the company is affected as a whole, which is the unknown factor that Odell mentions. It is a factor of concern as it would occur unexpectedly and affect the company and employees.

Similarities and Differences between Odell and Frayne.

Odell and Frayne both address the issue of refusal of Work. In Frayne’s point of view, refusal of Work is based on a person’s love for their passion and interests. A person refuses to work because he values the activities he loves and would rather indulge in them and remain unemployed. On the other hand, Odell addresses the perception of employed individuals when they seem not to be working. Therefore, both contribute knowledge to the understanding of employment and benefits for working to individuals and corporates. However, Frayne and Odell’s statements differ in that Frayne looks at an individual’s perspective while Odell concentrates on the corporate. Therefore, employees may decide to pretend to be working to benefit themselves while the company looks at the contributions they are making. This difference can be used to determine the reasons for refusal to work and be applied in the improvement of Work when aiming at both individual and corporate benefits.

Personalization of Concept

Having employment or working to get financial benefits from jobs is an essential want among people within a community. People study to get employed and be able to be paid for the services they provide. However, there are those people who are talented with activities that they wish to indulge in all their lives. Therefore, finding a job that incorporates what someone loves is a challenge. Working could be made more fun if a person is given responsibilities in which part of them involves something that one loves. Such an act could make a person wish to work in the process, receives more benefit such as getting money, indulging in passionate activities, and as well the company eliminates the issues of the unknown. The unknown occurs due to failed completion of roles; therefore, as a person performs responsibilities that they love doing, there will be no forceful indulgence, hence eliminate the unknown.

However, this may not be easy since not everyone studies a course that involves their talents and hobbies; hence as they get to the job market, they get employed and perform roles relating to the studied concepts. Also, companies’ available jobs and responsibilities may not be able to integrate responsibilities based on people’s hobbies.

Nevertheless, Odell and Frayne’s perspectives can be used to find the reasons for refusal to work and incorporate in their systems. Frayne addressed the refusal of Work due to individual interests in activities they love. For example, a person whose hobby is reading can be given responsibilities such as in the research and development department, to be finding information that can improve operations. Even though it may be difficult to implement such acts, it would serve a great deal in the improvement of employee performances as well as individual personal growth through their talents and hobbies.

Integration of Odell and Frayne’s ideas

Since working is important as depicted by both Odell and Frayne. Society is concerned about someone who does not have a job, as shown by Frayne by the statement, “oh, it’s terrible what you’re going through.” (Frayne, 2015). The society does not consider other reasons for not working but sees it as a bad ordeal and depending on people for survival. The person says, “Look, I’m not a bum; I’m not a scrounger” (Frayne, 2015). This is to justify his actions so as not to be lazy or dependent on people. The author mentions that the culture is so judgmental, hence showing the benefits of working from the society’s perspective.

Also, working is seen as a strength for the place of Work. When a person fails to perform their responsibility, people are concerned as it is considered a failure. In Odell’s text, the colleagues at Work are all concerned about the character’s behavior as she stares into space. The concern and asking questions are a way of showing the perspective of colleagues; hence working is an essential activity as it contributes to the wages as well as the company, which eliminates the ‘unknown.’ As the workers get into a strike due to unsatisfactory wages, their employer tries to talk them back by saying, “You’re hurting, not helping, to bring it back for yourselves, for us, and San Francisco.” (Odell, 2019). From the statement, good wages are earned by the employees. However, it may also mean that a person has to work hard to get something. The effort put in is the output that one receives. Thus, working is beneficial to a person when they strive to benefit from it.

These two perspectives of the authors can be used to enhance activities in an organization to improve the working of individuals. This application is through Frayne’s idea of refusing to work due to the wish to undertake activities that they love. Therefore, cooperation can use this by giving responsibilities that relate to a person’s talents and what they love. The challenge may be that not all responsibilities involve a person’s passion. However, the roles developed may be linked to a hobby hence made as a consideration during recruitment. Through this process, Odell’s idea of working as an opportunity for the company comes in. When individuals Work involves what they love, there is a probability that they will work passionately, consequently contributing to the objectives of a company. It will benefit both an individual and the company.


Frayne and Odell’s ideas contribute to the concepts of working and can be applied by cooperates to improve experiences in a firm. As both authors address refusal to work, Frayne concentrates more on an individual’s benefits while Odell emphasizes on corporate interests. The ideas can be used to enhance corporate experiences by improving working experiences through allowing employees to undertake activities that relate to what they love hence benefiting themselves and also the company.


Frayne, D., 2015. The Refusal Of Work: Rethinking Post-Work Theory And Practice.

Odell, J. (2019). How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.