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(The Atlantic)   Stressed out at work? Overwhelmed, totally exhausted and wanting to kill your co-workers? Yep, you're an American worker   (theatlantic.com) divider line 183
    More: Obvious, great house, maternity leave, Sheryl Sandberg, General Social Survey, write a piece  
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6718 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Mar 2014 at 1:45 AM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-26 02:49:55 PM

Ishidan: No, man. shiat, no. I do believe you'd get your ass kicked if you said something like that, man.


Best line in the movie.  I love that delivery.
 
2014-03-26 02:51:50 PM

jst3p: Beware_Me: patrick767: Beware_Me:
This is why Continental Europe has contributed nothing to human civilization in the post-war era.

Not sure if serious.
/Poe's law?

I can spend days listing off the cultural and technological achievements of America since the end of World War II.  What cultural or technological achievements can you list for France, Spain or any other Continental European country in that time period?  Off of the top of my head, the only thing that comes to mind is New Wave cinema.

This is why Americans are globally perceived as ignorant.


Do you have insults or do you have examples?
 
2014-03-26 02:54:03 PM

llortcM_yllort: BEER_ME_in_CT: Why do we all have to work more now as opposed to the Husband as bread winner home by 5:30 for dinner every night with family of decades past? Just look at executive pay vs avg for every company since the 1950's. Its obvious. Yet when you say things like that your a socialist and you hate America. Whatever.

My Sister and BIL live and work in Germany and they always have free time to travel or tour the countryside on bikes or whatever they choose to do. We are the suckers here folks.

Not quite.  As a nation, we had a choice whether to increase quality of life or decrease working hours.  Even if not everyone made that same choice, enough people did to drag the entire country in that same direction.  So now we have nicer stuff, even if we don't have that much more free time.  Even then, despite the conventional wisdom, average weekly hours worked has dropped since 1964.   Average annual hours worked is also lower than it was in 1964 despite a spike in the 1990s.  (Caveats: I couldn't find any pre-1964 data and it seems that, for whatever reason, any FRED data on this subject was either discontinued in 2010/2011 or didn't start collecting data until 2006 or 2007).


That graph doesnt seem possible unless Avg weekly hours it being skewed downward by unemployment or some other variable. I think you could find a chart for anything, but there is no chance that FULL TIME employees are working FEWER hours than in 1964. Not even close. I would wager that second household earners working part time jobs or semi-employed people are really driving that number down as well. I will concede that our national obsession with consumerism added to this mess we're in, but that is NO EXCUSE for employees getting nickel and dimed so an ever-growing group of the "executive elite" can be paid FAR MORE than they're worth.
 
2014-03-26 03:17:41 PM

AMonkey'sUncle: AlwaysRightBoy: I work with so many 20-year-olds in NYC that I want to kill KILL KILL!

/maybe a little more of kill.. KILL KILL KILLL.... seriously how did they ever make it through college.. It amazes me? Half of these kids that are sent to me and I have to hire don't know what a shoelase is no lest the jist of what ad work is like..
/old guy in the ad bis... kill KILL KILL KILL Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh

There's some serious irony in this.


Glad I'm not the only one who saw that and chuckled.
 
2014-03-26 03:22:54 PM

Pichu0102: Is there any hope for the future of anyone not born into wealth, or lucky enough to pull off a multi million dollar company? Is the average person always just going to be miserable until the day they die?



lolWut?

I was raised by a poor single mother. I don't own a multi million dollar company. But I am doing fine, feelin fine, and having plenty of fun. I have a "normal" 8-5 job and that's all.

Maybe it's just your attitude.
 
2014-03-26 03:24:17 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: A lot of the "quality of life" complaints derive from the hell that men put up with at home from their wives who complain about the men being at work all the time and never helping at home. It's as if they don't understand the concept of division of labor.

I work hard to support the family, my job is to continue increasing my pay so as to make my family comfortable. Your job as a stay-at-home wife is to take care of the daily routine of the house. Washing the dishes, dear, is your job, no matter how much you think I should do it because you're "tired" and have been "busy all day".

Housework is tough. No one said it wasn't. But so is earning a living. Everyone has a job to do. Quitcherbiatchin.


Must be nice to be able to afford having one person stay at home. Back in the land of reality, though, that wasn't even what TFA was talking about, but thanks for that window into your world.
 
2014-03-26 03:30:25 PM

Ishidan: groppet: PunGent: Most people I know in the corporate world, of both genders, are working much harder these days than a decade ago.  Most of them were "lucky" enough to survive layoffs...so now they're doing two jobs instead of one.  They're hard working and conscientious, but it's not mathematically possible to do two...or more than two...full-time jobs at the same time...so quality inevitably suffers.

And before you say "so what", I'll just add that some of them test drugs for efficacy and purity.  Drugs for humans.  Drugs you may be putting inside yourself some day.

What could possibly go wrong?

My company tries to do stuff like that when we land a new account. Cut a few positions and the whole operation works like a engine that is misfiring. I actually had to calculate it out that they way they wanted things run in the timeframe they wanted would be impossible usnless they had another person or cut everyones lunch by 15 or 30 min.

So, how's those 15 minute lunch breaks going?
/wait you mean you didn't start with 30 minute lunches?


They ended up giving us the extra person. I think when the realized that it was impossible for a person to be in two places at once. But the lunch thing is funny jsut yesterday the company annouced that we had to take a mandatory 90 min break. Meaning for the hourly people they would have to come in a half hour early or stay a half hour late to get their 40 hours. They cancelled it today due to feedback "some good some bad" as the email said hahaha. Everyone is still prepping their resumes.
 
2014-03-26 03:33:01 PM
sendtodave
Right-to-work provisions (either by law or by constitutional provision) exist in 24 U.S. states.

Before the 1930s, union organizing was often explicitly outlawed as "criminal syndicalism" and workers were often beaten and killed in addition to facing blacklisting. And yet we still managed to win a wide variety of gains, and win several major strikes in the early 1930s before the New Deal. Anti-union laws are irrelevant if you're organized, because one thing always holds true: We don't need the bosses, but the bosses need us, and it's workers who have the power because workers can unilaterally bring production grinding to a halt. Organize, because they can't fire all of us, and if they fire one person for being part of the union then everybody walks.  You don't need NLRB recognition or even a contract to have an effective union, and the widespread belief that you do is probably the greatest impediment to organizing today.
 
2014-03-26 03:37:51 PM
"Quality of life" as defined by others seems to be the biggest problem here. The only problem you have as a worker who is being "forced" to work 50-60 hours a week is that you do it. You do it because you are scared of losing that job that makes you miserable. Anyone else see the problem here? My boss told me in my interview that he expects 55-60 hours a week of salaried employees. I smiled, nodded, and thought to myself, "yeah, good luck with that." I usually work 8.5 hours a day, and my commute is 17 minutes. No, I'm not lucky. I made that happen because my life outside of work is important to me. I chose where I wanted to buy a house, and I got a job at a place that isn't two farking hours away. Am I making 10 grand less a year than if I drove into the city? You bet. Is it worth it x100? You're goddamn right it is. By the way, I've been here 8 years, and the only time we talk about me working more hours is when there's an important deadline, and I agree to give him the extra-time for a set period of time.

You see, I understand that it's his job to use peoples fears to force them to work 60 hours a week, but that I know he knows it's not worth firing someone who doesn't play the game. So, stop farking letting your quality of life be lowered and stop expecting your company to do it for you. I promise, you probably won't get fired, and if you do, you're better off.
 
2014-03-26 03:50:47 PM

llortcM_yllort: shortymac: llortcM_yllort: BEER_ME_in_CT: Why do we all have to work more now as opposed to the Husband as bread winner home by 5:30 for dinner every night with family of decades past? Just look at executive pay vs avg for every company since the 1950's. Its obvious. Yet when you say things like that your a socialist and you hate America. Whatever.

My Sister and BIL live and work in Germany and they always have free time to travel or tour the countryside on bikes or whatever they choose to do. We are the suckers here folks.

Not quite.  As a nation, we had a choice whether to increase quality of life or decrease working hours.  Even if not everyone made that same choice, enough people did to drag the entire country in that same direction.  So now we have nicer stuff, even if we don't have that much more free time.  Even then, despite the conventional wisdom, average weekly hours worked has dropped since 1964.   Average annual hours worked is also lower than it was in 1964 despite a spike in the 1990s.  (Caveats: I couldn't find any pre-1964 data and it seems that, for whatever reason, any FRED data on this subject was either discontinued in 2010/2011 or didn't start collecting data until 2006 or 2007).

I believe those are PAID HOURS worked.

Nowadays unpaid overtime is the norm and thus isn't tracked via W2 forms, which is where the Labor department would get the data.

Sometimes its overt "work until 7 or your fired"

Sometimes its not overt, it's your blackberry buzzing all night, it's being stuck in meetings all day so you stay late to "catch up" on work, it's end of year deadlines, or it's the fear that if you say "no, I'm overloaded" you'll be fired.

The problem with this assertion is that it is based on anecdotes and no evidence or data exists to back it up.  If this phenomenon is so prevalent, why is there no record of it?


The only way you can is surveying a significant portion of the population.

Unpaid hours aren't going to be recorded on a company's books or tax forms.

/awesome username BTW
 
2014-03-26 03:53:22 PM

SuperTramp: sufferpuppet: SuperTramp: U.S. The Only Advanced Economy That Does Not Require Employers To Provide Paid Vacation Time

[b-i.forbesimg.com image 624x445]

Good, the government shouldn't be mandating our benefit requirements.  And our GDP is greater than most those other countries put together.  So we got that going for us at least.  I'm sure that's unrelated.

Prosperity is more than the accumulation of material wealth, young grasshopper. It's also about the joy of everyday life.

/also, you sound like one of those libertarian nutjobs


Nutjob sure.  But libertarian?  Them's fighting words!
 
2014-03-26 03:58:12 PM

Stangfreek: "Quality of life" as defined by others seems to be the biggest problem here. The only problem you have as a worker who is being "forced" to work 50-60 hours a week is that you do it. You do it because you are scared of losing that job that makes you miserable. Anyone else see the problem here? My boss told me in my interview that he expects 55-60 hours a week of salaried employees. I smiled, nodded, and thought to myself, "yeah, good luck with that." I usually work 8.5 hours a day, and my commute is 17 minutes. No, I'm not lucky. I made that happen because my life outside of work is important to me. I chose where I wanted to buy a house, and I got a job at a place that isn't two farking hours away. Am I making 10 grand less a year than if I drove into the city? You bet. Is it worth it x100? You're goddamn right it is. By the way, I've been here 8 years, and the only time we talk about me working more hours is when there's an important deadline, and I agree to give him the extra-time for a set period of time.

You see, I understand that it's his job to use peoples fears to force them to work 60 hours a week, but that I know he knows it's not worth firing someone who doesn't play the game. So, stop farking letting your quality of life be lowered and stop expecting your company to do it for you. I promise, you probably won't get fired, and if you do, you're better off.


It's basically what I'm doing now, I had to switch jobs to do it but I stick to my guns.

This new job I did a good 3 weeks of working late during year-end, but then I went to my boss and let her know that this wouldn't continue. I'm not going through that again.

As soon as you start doing it, people expect you to do it constantly, you have to nip it in the bud.
 
2014-03-26 04:00:51 PM

Beware_Me: jst3p: Beware_Me: patrick767: Beware_Me:
This is why Continental Europe has contributed nothing to human civilization in the post-war era.

Not sure if serious.
/Poe's law?

I can spend days listing off the cultural and technological achievements of America since the end of World War II.  What cultural or technological achievements can you list for France, Spain or any other Continental European country in that time period?  Off of the top of my head, the only thing that comes to mind is New Wave cinema.

This is why Americans are globally perceived as ignorant.

Do you have insults or do you have examples?


The French invented the bikini... What more do you need??
 
2014-03-26 04:11:13 PM

SuperTramp: U.S. The Only Advanced Economy That Does Not Require Employers To Provide Paid Vacation Time

[b-i.forbesimg.com image 624x445]


So much THIS.

Now where is that old commercial from Universal Studios, the one with the CEO talking about "your time is our money".
 
2014-03-26 04:39:08 PM

Ishidan: doglover: RanDomino: [www.iww.org image 299x342]

You laugh, but with modern technology 4 hours a day accomplishes a shiat ton more than 8 or 12 used to. There's no John Henry that can out-harvest a combine.

or out-drill a jackhammer, but we get your idea.
/let it whop, let it whop, let it whop that steel on down


Smothers Brothers!  +1 internets!
 
2014-03-26 05:00:01 PM
So the dream in which you're dying is the best you've ever had?
 
2014-03-26 05:42:07 PM

stewbert: I hated it. I don't like my job, but I like leaving the house everyday.


So? Leave. Get a hobby. Join a club. Sit in a sidewalk cafe for 5 hours a day. You'll have the time, trust me.

Be a stay at home parent and you get a shiatload of hours to do what ever the fark you want. Chores really don't take as much time as a full time job. You'll just have to let go of the idea that amusement happens in the evening and work happens during the day. Hell, most of the chores are done next to the full-time job by single people all over the world. It isn't as if those things suddenly take 36 extra hours a week once 3 other people start living in the same house.
 
2014-03-26 05:43:32 PM
I actually get a bit annoyed at the "government-mandated days off/holidays" graph. I get it, we're behind the curve, we don't have any federally-mandated holidays. But in the world of full-time employment - and I'm talking full-time, 40-hour-a-week careers - does that situation actually bear out that often?

And again, I'm cherry-picking to an extent because I'm excluding part-time jobs and independent-contractor gigs. But I'm guessing most of us who have a full-time job have earned a week of vacation pay, or two, or more, or get some kind of earned-time benefit. And we've probably got some paid holidays as well.

Are there really that many people working a full-time job (i.e. not an independent contractor/consultant, not per diem) that don't earn any vacation time or holiday pay? I'd think it would be a huge disadvantage not to offer that as part of the benefits package.
 
2014-03-26 05:49:59 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: So the dream in which you're dying is the best you've ever had?


No, the dream in which you're dying is the best I've ever had.
 
2014-03-26 06:04:17 PM

WienerButt: I'm 27 so I'm in the beginning stages of the life we all dread. I work for a good company that is actually Canadian and while we don't have Family Day every month like they do they are pretty generous with other benefits.

I took my first trip to Europe a few weeks ago and I was shocked to see so many young people say fark it and just move to an entirely new country and see what they could do to live. The Europeans we met didn't understand why we couldn't extend our vacation and tag along with them to whatever city they were off to next. They all asked if it was true that we worked a ton of hours and only got two weeks off. It was interesting and depressing at the same time.


24 and also work for a Canadian company that is pretty generous with the benefits. That connection hadn't occurred to me before, though.
 
2014-03-26 06:08:42 PM
Client: "I am working Thursday and Friday and then on vacation for a week."
Me: "I am working every waking moment until the end of May."

Thank god for 1.5x overtime.  The cords of my sanity are fraying.
 
2014-03-26 07:36:27 PM

pwn3d781: I actually get a bit annoyed at the "government-mandated days off/holidays" graph. I get it, we're behind the curve, we don't have any federally-mandated holidays. But in the world of full-time employment - and I'm talking full-time, 40-hour-a-week careers - does that situation actually bear out that often?

And again, I'm cherry-picking to an extent because I'm excluding part-time jobs and independent-contractor gigs. But I'm guessing most of us who have a full-time job have earned a week of vacation pay, or two, or more, or get some kind of earned-time benefit. And we've probably got some paid holidays as well.

Are there really that many people working a full-time job (i.e. not an independent contractor/consultant, not per diem) that don't earn any vacation time or holiday pay? I'd think it would be a huge disadvantage not to offer that as part of the benefits package.


*raises tired little paw*

More common than anyone wants to admit, probably...

Poll time!  Anyone else?
 
2014-03-26 07:41:26 PM

Ace's Pretty Pirate Kitty: pwn3d781: I actually get a bit annoyed at the "government-mandated days off/holidays" graph. I get it, we're behind the curve, we don't have any federally-mandated holidays. But in the world of full-time employment - and I'm talking full-time, 40-hour-a-week careers - does that situation actually bear out that often?

And again, I'm cherry-picking to an extent because I'm excluding part-time jobs and independent-contractor gigs. But I'm guessing most of us who have a full-time job have earned a week of vacation pay, or two, or more, or get some kind of earned-time benefit. And we've probably got some paid holidays as well.

Are there really that many people working a full-time job (i.e. not an independent contractor/consultant, not per diem) that don't earn any vacation time or holiday pay? I'd think it would be a huge disadvantage not to offer that as part of the benefits package.

*raises tired little paw*

More common than anyone wants to admit, probably...

Poll time!  Anyone else?


My question is: why? Is that the only work in your field available in the area? I have never worked for a company as a full-time employee that doesn't give paid time off accrual, or have paid holidays. Now, if you're in a start-up and that's not happening, I might be able to understand, assuming you have a stake in the company, and receive financial compensation directly related to company revenue. If not, go get another job, the company you work for is a douche.
 
2014-03-26 08:00:43 PM

Lenny_da_Hog: And I don't see it in Oracle.


Working for a company who is currently in the progress of implimenting this system, I'm getting a kick, etc.
 
2014-03-26 08:26:54 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: I used to work for a sociopath who truly did believe someone having a family life was stealing from the company. He was big on conference calls at noon on mandated holidays, and he took precisely one week a year off (at the insistence of his wife) but every day of that week he had to have a morning and afternoon conference call and he stayed on email nonstop. He transferred an administrative assistant who had the temerity to take a full week off when her husband died.

You'll be happy to hear that he's in jail now for massive embezzlement and fraud. Apparently that wife was spending every penny she could while he was living his job


You now understand why a mandated vacation is often an audit requirement.
 
2014-03-26 10:22:48 PM

Stangfreek: Ace's Pretty Pirate Kitty: pwn3d781: I actually get a bit annoyed at the "government-mandated days off/holidays" graph. I get it, we're behind the curve, we don't have any federally-mandated holidays. But in the world of full-time employment - and I'm talking full-time, 40-hour-a-week careers - does that situation actually bear out that often?

And again, I'm cherry-picking to an extent because I'm excluding part-time jobs and independent-contractor gigs. But I'm guessing most of us who have a full-time job have earned a week of vacation pay, or two, or more, or get some kind of earned-time benefit. And we've probably got some paid holidays as well.

Are there really that many people working a full-time job (i.e. not an independent contractor/consultant, not per diem) that don't earn any vacation time or holiday pay? I'd think it would be a huge disadvantage not to offer that as part of the benefits package.

*raises tired little paw*

More common than anyone wants to admit, probably...

Poll time!  Anyone else?

My question is: why? Is that the only work in your field available in the area? I have never worked for a company as a full-time employee that doesn't give paid time off accrual, or have paid holidays. Now, if you're in a start-up and that's not happening, I might be able to understand, assuming you have a stake in the company, and receive financial compensation directly related to company revenue. If not, go get another job, the company you work for is a douche.


Because there is no law preventing them!

There are some people who need rules to perform to a basic human level, it's why we have laws against murder and child pr0n.

A decent human being doesn't murder or use child pr0n, but that doesn't stop people.
 
2014-03-27 12:21:39 AM
So, since we all seem to be in general agreement, Farkers, don't you think it's time for genuine industrial democracy?
 
2014-03-27 05:53:59 AM

Another Government Employee: Mr. Coffee Nerves: I used to work for a sociopath who truly did believe someone having a family life was stealing from the company. He was big on conference calls at noon on mandated holidays, and he took precisely one week a year off (at the insistence of his wife) but every day of that week he had to have a morning and afternoon conference call and he stayed on email nonstop. He transferred an administrative assistant who had the temerity to take a full week off when her husband died.

You'll be happy to hear that he's in jail now for massive embezzlement and fraud. Apparently that wife was spending every penny she could while he was living his job

You now understand why a mandated vacation is often an audit requirement.


Yep. I get three weeks of paid vacation a year, and am required by policy to take at least two of those continuously.
 
2014-03-27 07:05:44 AM

autopsybeverage: Farkingwhatever: I agree. It has something to do with the "get up at 6am, drive to work at 8am to get there by nine, work 'til 5 or 6pm, then get home at 6:30-8:30pm, then try to LIVE a little bit before you realize you gotta go to bed soon because you need to repeat what you just did" philosophy. No family for me, thanks.

I got up at 6, left the hotel at 7, worked until 6, then drove until I got to the next hotel at 11:30 so I can do the same thing at another business tomorrow. So at least you go home at night... mine only sees me from Thursday nights til Sunday afternoons, and then I'm usually in my home office getting reports finished and prepping for two weeks out. On the other hand, I love what I do. I'd just like more time to exercise, especially when Taco Bell is basically my kitchen five days a week.


I hear ya,  I unintentionally exaggerated in my previous post. I actually would like to start a family, despite my previous post.... I just need to find a great woman!
 
2014-03-27 09:22:12 AM

cherryl taggart: If my coworkers would simply do the job assigned, when assigned, we might actually not be stressed all the freaking time.  Instead, it's let's have another meeting to discuss the project, another meeting to brainstorm how we can recruit volunteers to do the work and give us credit, table the discussion until after a couple of days pass, see deadline as a mere suggestion, have a few more meetings to discuss how awful all the rough sketches are, realize deadline is now imminent, stress out and accept any rough draft as final, complain bitterly over rejection by consumers, nit-pick the carcass, move on to next project.  Lather, rinse, repeat until downsizing occurs, when all the newest hires are fired, and the fossils continue to do business from the good old days of the 1960's, while complaining about getting no appreciation from the industry for being an example of a zombie, living off past glories.


Do we work at the same place?
 
2014-03-27 10:55:56 AM

BoothbyTCD: cherryl taggart: If my coworkers would simply do the job assigned, when assigned, we might actually not be stressed all the freaking time.  Instead, it's let's have another meeting to discuss the project, another meeting to brainstorm how we can recruit volunteers to do the work and give us credit, table the discussion until after a couple of days pass, see deadline as a mere suggestion, have a few more meetings to discuss how awful all the rough sketches are, realize deadline is now imminent, stress out and accept any rough draft as final, complain bitterly over rejection by consumers, nit-pick the carcass, move on to next project.  Lather, rinse, repeat until downsizing occurs, when all the newest hires are fired, and the fossils continue to do business from the good old days of the 1960's, while complaining about getting no appreciation from the industry for being an example of a zombie, living off past glories.

Do we work at the same place?


It's every single workplace ever.

I was recently leading an RFP to by a training and talent management system, to track mandatory training and employee licenses, degrees, etc. (We're a College so keep our teachers current on their licenses is important)

So after watching a bunch of demos, I made a nice spreadsheet that would auto-calculate and weigh our scores based on our requirements. I made the scoring simple: meets requirement - full points, only "okay" - half points, and no - 0 points.

I get a call from the director complaining they can't figure out, I go to help them and THEY PRINTED OUT THE SPREADSHEET AND SCORING BY HAND.

All they had to due was type in 1 of 3 numbers into a single column, that's it, I did all the formula programming. I had explained this before every demo on screen.

I ended up telling them to give their paper copy to their secretary and had her fill it in.

Everyone here complains about how everything is paper and e-mail based, but what do they do? Go right to the paper copies because computers are scary.
 
2014-03-27 11:30:11 AM

whidbey: So, since we all seem to be in general agreement, Farkers, don't you think it's time for genuine industrial democracy?

I'm so glad to see you've finally come around
 
2014-03-27 01:51:37 PM

DerAppie: stewbert: I hated it. I don't like my job, but I like leaving the house everyday.

So? Leave. Get a hobby. Join a club. Sit in a sidewalk cafe for 5 hours a day. You'll have the time, trust me.

Be a stay at home parent and you get a shiatload of hours to do what ever the fark you want. Chores really don't take as much time as a full time job. You'll just have to let go of the idea that amusement happens in the evening and work happens during the day. Hell, most of the chores are done next to the full-time job by single people all over the world. It isn't as if those things suddenly take 36 extra hours a week once 3 other people start living in the same house.


I just got a job instead. Works pretty good for us.
 
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