Wednesday, November 30, 2011


"Hello, Peter. Whaaaat's happening?"

This from a recent Bloomberg article: Americans working too much. Anyone out there disagree? Anyone since 1975? So Bob, how we doin' there on that working too much thing? I think the article was subtitled "but keep watching TV; it's making you smarter."
Wanna cry? Here's some excerpts from the department of Statistics to Prove What We Already Know.
  • In 1965 a U.S. Senate subcommittee predicted that due to automation Americans would be working just 20 hours a week and taking at least seven weeks of vacation a year.
  • In 1991 Joe Average had added 163 hours to his work year since 1973. And now Jane Average (Joe's wife) was also working full time, so the average per family was 500-700 more than the 70's. (And anyone think we're working less than 1991? We surpassed the Japanese by the end of the 90's as the worlds sweathogs.)
  •  Median annual paid vacation time for Joe and Jane these days? Less than one week.
But at least the rest of the world has been having to compete with us to keep up. Right? World?

Dutch workers put in less than 1,400 hours a year and get a minimum of four weeks of vacation a year. I used to do my staff budgeting using the standard figure 2080 hours per year for full time, 120 of that as paid vacation. And the Netherlands has a positive trade balance, ranks fifth in life satisfaction, and enjoys the highest children's welfare (as in well-being, not a government programs) in the world. Man, there are just two things I can't stand in this world...

So, now that the dollar buys less, jobs are scarce, still got the big mortgage…better really start showing 'em who's a hard worker, eh? People keep saying that doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. OK, no, it isn't. It's got nothing to do with insanity. Besides, as a negative motivation, it ignores the fact that these days insanity is cool. But can we agree that doing the same thing and expecting different results is…stupid? I think we can.

So what are you going to do? Think about it next time you've got some time off.

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