Re: Average hours worked

Subject: Re: Average hours worked
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 20:25:49 -0700 (PDT)

<kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com> wrote in message news:164086 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> Am I the only person who thinks there's more to life than work?

For some of us, our life is our work. The two are intimately intertwined. And we
like it that way.

I am the kind of person who simply isn't happy if I am bored. I need to be
constantly working on something. Improving something, fixing something, etc. I am
fortunate that my career is doing just that. So to me, working 80 hours a week
isn't a problem - its fun.

> I mean, I like work, but I can think of things I'd rather do. LOTS of
> things. I've met people for whom there is nothing more satisfying than
> their job, and that's fair enough. But it ain't me.
> That's why I want to have a good idea of how many hours I can expect to
> give to my employer. Yes, I'm giving them my skills, my creativity; any
> other resources I can give them that are applicable.
> But first and foremost (IMO), I'm giving them my time. Ans any time I give
> them is time I do not have free for my own pursuits.

Again - if you draw a thick black line between work and not-work - then you're
going to live a life of tension between the two. I used to. Then I allowed the
two to just melt into each other. Now, there is no fundamentally difference
between work and life for me. They are the same. I love what I do, and I love
doing it. So its not really work to me anymore. Its life.

> I traveled through Norway last year, and was struck by the differences in
> our their culture from that of the US. While all the people I met were
> extremely hard workers with great work ethics, I learned that overtime is
> discouraged. Overtime wages are not attractively inflated, to lessen the
> incentive to work extra hours. Why? Because the national culture encourages
> people to spend time with their families; to do other things with their
> time. Not just work.

Norway (and most of the Scandinavian countries) also has ENORMOUS income and
property taxes and is about as close to a communist country as you can get and
still be friendly. There is very little incentive or room for small business and
entrepreneurs in these cultures. Starting a (legitimate) small business in many
European countries is considerably harder than in America. These cultures are
also fairly heterogeneous, whereas America is the proverbial melting pot of
cultures, ethnicities, and values.

(cue patriotic music and Andrew holding the flag)

Furthermore, our entire economy is based on small, dynamic businesses. We made
read about the Enrons and Worldcoms that are destroying corporate America, but
the truth is Worldcom and Enron are just big and obvious. The true bedrock of the
American economy is the small business. The 5 person construction firms, and 50
person manufacturing companies that are everywhere across this country. Most of
us here live our lives inside these large, faceless corporations and never see
what the real strength and power of the nation is - the average Joe running a
business, paying his/her taxes, and employing FAR more people than Worldcom or
Enron ever could.

Andrew Plato

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