RE: 40-hour weeks (was Re: FWD: Lack...)

Subject: RE: 40-hour weeks (was Re: FWD: Lack...)
From: Mary Arrotti <mary_arrotti -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 13:34:21 -0700 (PDT)

Agree with Dan.

Earlier in my career, I interviewed with an HR person for a position. She asked if I would be willing to work overtime. I said I was used to working overtime and was fine with some overtime but didn't want to work excessive overtime on a regular basis. Her face froze.

I then explained that I'd often worked a extra few hours a week and in crunch times - much more than that. But I'd also been in situations where I regularly worked 70-hours weeks & once over 90-hours. I felt that was excessive. Still no unfreezing.

I doubt the job required 70+ work weeks. But she just didn't seem to grasp that overtime just means working X amount of time beyond the normal work week. What X amounts to is the real factor.

When I worked crazy overtime (as opposed to normal overtime??), I was pretty unhappy & it did have an adverse affect on my non-work life. It was a truly great decision to leave that job.

But I have worked with a few people who refuse to work any time beyond a normal work week - even when they have benefitted from flex time and other employer incentives. No matter what happens (pc crash, last minute changes) they are out the door 1 minute after their normal quitting time. Sometimes other people in the group had to carry the load - stay late. I don't think the reason or motivation for their lack of *any* overtime was fear of burnout or that an occasional extra hour would unbalance their lives. Usually, it was because they had a long commute, other responsibilities, or plans. And it was less of a sacrifice for *someone else* to put in the extra time. Yet somehow I believe (and I'm talking about specific people here) that if the HR person had asked them if they'd work overtime - they would have said Yes without any hesitation.

Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com> wrote:
Geez, "guaranteeing." How about "risking"?

Jim's not the only one. For some reason, this discussion has launched a
slew of generalities and absolutes. What happened to terms like,
"often," "usually," "tend to," "probably," etc.? I dunno, maybe the
subject of work hours is too sensitive to allow for the possibility that
there are exceptions to the rule.

I agree that excessive work hours are harmful to productivity,
efficiency, quality, and job satisfaction. But I once worked on an
over-40-hour-a-week team where all of the above were excellent. We
probably averaged around 45 hours per week; if we had averaged 50 hours,
*that* would have been excessive. For us. In our situation. At that

As for you, Your Mileage May Vary.


Get the free Yahoo! toolbar and rest assured with the added security of spyware protection.

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: 40-hour weeks (was Re: FWD: Lack...): From: Dan Goldstein

Previous by Author: Re: Paths to Seniority - from technical support to technical writing?
Next by Author: Re: Working later than the boss
Previous by Thread: Re: 40-hour weeks (was Re: FWD: Lack...)
Next by Thread: RE: 40-hour weeks (was Re: FWD: Lack...)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads