RE: Over 40/Over 50 (WAS: Work-Life Balance (WAS Re: Offered a jo--- b - need opinions)

Subject: RE: Over 40/Over 50 (WAS: Work-Life Balance (WAS Re: Offered a jo--- b - need opinions)
From: surfer_924 -at- earthlink -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 13:14:29 -0600

After working for over 20 years in both government and the corporate world
at both ends of the spectrum (from security guard to middle management), I
have always been, and continue to be somewhat suspicious of those who
claim to work 16-hour days and 80-hour weeks. I can remember working my
way through college as a security guard nights and weekends at a large
corporate facility. Many of the full-time employees would stay well past 8
pm and would come in on weekends. Funny, as I made my rounds through the
hallways I could see them at their desks playing solitaire, reading the
paper, etc.

I can remember bosses who routinely claimed to work 50-60 hour weeks and
tell me that if I ever expected to make into management, I would have to
start working "management hours." These were the same bosses who took
2-hour lunches and played golf every Thursday afternoon.

I can remember working for the government and coming in on weekends to
prepare for an inspection. The "working" consisted of coming in on
Saturday, and having coffee and donuts and talking about the upcoming
inspection, something we could just as easily have done during the week. I
suspected that coming in on the weekend had more to do with being able to
say we "worked all weekend to get ready" than anything else.

I once knew a lawyer who routinely bragged about his 80-hour weeks, and
the fact that he made $80,000. a year. At the time, I was working 40 hours
a week and making $40,800. a year. I did the math and figured we made
about the same salary.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem working long hours - when there is
work to be done. I have worked until midnight several nights in a row to
get a project in on time. I once worked for 28 straight hours, took 6
hours off, and went back to work. Sometimes that's just the nature of
work. I've also left at 3:30 several days in a row. My average as a
technical writer for a government contractor is a 40-hour week. Despite
claims to the contrary, that seems to be the norm for my peers in this

If your idea of a full life is to work from 7am to 11pm, and spend your
hour-long commute on your cell phone talking business, more power to you.
But don't consider me a slacker or expect me to feel guilty if I get my
work done by 5:00 and go home.

One of the best bosses I ever had was fond of saying "If you can't get it
all done in 8 hours, you either have too much to do, or you don't know how
to manage your time."


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