RE: The Sub Shop Guy

Subject: RE: The Sub Shop Guy
From: Rick Kirkham <rkirkham -at- seagullscientific -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 12:02:59 -0800

Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com> ranted:

> The reason your company exists and you have a job is because some
> dedicated fool *did* devote a big chunk of their lives to building
> that company.

What gave you the idea that all companies are built by people working long
hours? I think that's a rarity. Successful company founders are mainly those
with luck, intelligence, a good idea, and the charm to sell that idea to
investors.

> Somebody
> somewhere is taking financial risk so you can have a job and telecommute.

NO ONE is doing that. Somebody is taking a financial risk *in hopes of
making a profit.* They are *not* doing this "so that [I] can have a job."
And, like all such "somebodies" they are paying me as little as they can in
order to maximize their chances. (And more power to them. Heaven help us, if
profit-making businesses suddenly reconceive themselves as job-creation
charities!)

> If you only want to work your bare-minimum 40 hours and go home to pet the

> dog,
> hey that's cool. But remember that if everybody had that attitude, a lot
of > the
> great inventions and corporations that make the United States the most
> powerful
> nation on earth would not exist.

Not so. The inventions just would have come a little later in history, and
what's wrong with that? (Can you specify an invention that could *only* be
conceived in a single 15 hour work session, as distinct from an 8 hour
session, one day, followed by a 7 hour session the next day?)

> If it wasn't for the hard work and dedication
> of people like the Sub Shop Guy, you wouldn't have a dog to pet.

I'd say "you can't be serious," except that I know you are. The long hours
of the Sub Shop Guy ensures that he doesn't need to hire someone to work the
2nd shift, so he can sell you sandwiches a bit cheaper than otherwise. Big
deal. If all the people who now work 15 hour days cut back to 8 hours a day,
there'd be only a slight slowing in the rate at which the quality of our
lives improves.

> hard work + dedication = wealth/freedom.

I don't object to hard work. I object to long hours. There's a difference.
(And tell me, by what bizarre notion of "freedom" is a man who works 15
hours a day "free"?????)

> If you don't want to work hard, no problemo. Just don't expect to get the
> same
> wealth and/or freedom as the men and women who do.

Wealth correlates with luck, with intelligence, with charm, and a tiny bit
with hard work, and it correlates not at all with long hours. Freedom
doesn't correlate with any of them very much.

The benefits you attribute to long hours, Andrew, are really the benefits
that come from private property rights, a stable government/society, a
wealth of natural resources, and capitalism (modified with
entrepreneur-encouraging laws such as copyrights, patents, etc.). Suppose
tomorrow one of the preceding things were to disappear entirely, but suppose
also everyone started working 15 hour days. The flow of "great inventions
and corporations" would pretty much stop dead in its tracks. All that extra
work by all those people wouldn't help much. On the other hand, if we kept
all those things, but no one worked more than 40 hrs a week, the flow would
slow a bit, but it wouldn't stop.

> And just so there is something about technical communications in this
> message.
> What is the deal with that whacky FrameMaker?

Yeah. And how 'bout that Robohelp, too? :-)


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