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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 57
    More: Obvious, great house, maternity leave, Sheryl Sandberg, General Social Survey, write a piece  
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6712 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Mar 2014 at 1:45 AM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-03-26 03:52:07 AM
9 votes:
What you're describing doglover is basically a semi-scarcity or early post-scarcity economy. Think about it this way: What happens when our ability to produce exceeds our ability to consume to such a point that there's simply no need for every single person to work in order for us to be able to afford to feed and shelter every single person on a basic level?

We've already hit that point with food, the world produces enough food for everyone to be as fat as americans, but there isn't enough money in the world for everyone to buy their share of food. So we let them starve.

Why? Because American culture isn't anti-welfare, that's a common misunderstanding. American culture is Pro-Suffering. That's why for all the talk about family values we offer fark all in the way of actually giving people time off so they can actually be with their family.


People USED to make enough money and have enough time off to actually spend time with their families or on civic involvement, that's why parents and especially grandparents talk so much about the freemasons, the elks, bowling leagues... they had the TIME to do this shiat.
2014-03-26 07:38:43 AM
6 votes:
After ten years at the same job, working too many hours, never seeing my kids and feeling like blowing my head off I quit last August. My wife and I worked it so I could have some time to decompress before I went back to work. I am happier and more adjusted. I guess I have become Mr Mom and I dig it.

I am supposed to start a new job this week; (I was head hunted, they came to me) and they may not take me on because I told them my family life, family business (wife has a restaurant) and sanity is more important than cranking out 60-70 hours a week . They didn't understand what I meant. They think it is normal to work that much and never see their families. I tried to explain to them that I spent the last 10 years making someone else rich, working from 4:30 am to 4pm and then fielding calls and emails from home and I wasn't interested in it any more,

I'll work part time for tips before I miss out on family, vacation and sleep ever again.
2014-03-26 03:33:01 PM
5 votes:
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 07:57:32 AM
5 votes:

whidbey: The problem is this paradigm is not sustainable.


Nobody has made a better case for socialism than the way capitalists have done.
2014-03-26 02:49:58 AM
5 votes:
www.iww.org
2014-03-26 02:03:16 AM
4 votes:
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?

Sometimes I think it would be more humane to relax restrictions on assisted suicide, but I quickly realize that won't solve anything any more than any other action we take. Miserable from cradle to grave seems to be the default for a grand majority of people.
2014-03-26 11:52:42 AM
3 votes:
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?
2014-03-26 04:09:44 AM
3 votes:
Fark the Calvinist work ethic. Fark it right in the ear.
2014-03-26 03:13:28 AM
3 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: 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.

He's not laughing. He's a true believer.


So am I. Romans lived the farkin' life through slavery. That's immoral and wrong. However, now we have machines and robots. Slaves that have no ability to be free nor sentience to appreciate freedom even were it granted. Constructs, devoid of all but the purpose to which they're set.

We could all live like the richer castes of Roman society with a few simple changes to our societal philosophy. Let the machines do the crap work and focus on self actualization. Make money into a thing that is only used for recreation and ornamentation. The basics, like food and water and shelter, can easily be free with minimum human labor.

In my ideal world, we'd all be guaranteed a life like in a free to play MMORPG. Tunic, hut, basic medical, hygine and all the nutraloaf you can eat. That's farkin' it. Pretty good for a homeless dude. Pretty shiat for anyone else. So, what we would do next is make all things like cooking, textiles, the arts, basically all the same shiat we do now, extra. That would cost money. You want decent food? Cough up some coins? Want coins? Offer up some value to another person. Carve a nice walking stick, sell it to a man who needs one, buy yourself a burger. You've earned it.

It would be hard at first, but ideally we'd have a hybrid of capitalism and communism. An actual working society where we work a bit for others and a lot for our own pet projects. Minimize this idea that you have to do drudgery, because you really don't.
2014-03-26 02:48:21 AM
3 votes:
American slave don't need no stinkin' unions........bwahahahaha the Kock bros luv you!
2014-03-26 02:19:20 AM
3 votes:
didn't we used to make fun of the Japanese in the 80's for supposedly working themselves to death for little compensation or recognition?

I think Michael Keaton even made a movie based on that idea.
2014-03-26 02:12:25 AM
3 votes:

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?

Sometimes I think it would be more humane to relax restrictions on assisted suicide, but I quickly realize that won't solve anything any more than any other action we take. Miserable from cradle to grave seems to be the default for a grand majority of people.


Think of life like a video game.

You can grind all your life and have a relatively simple path. Just keep grinding, money and experience will come in, eventually you'll be living better than you were when you started the game. But you don't have much to your name except what you earned from grinding.

You can alternatively flail wildly, enjoy yourself, and end up with no experience and no money.

The ideal path is to save some of that money, invest it in better tools that will increase your ability to earn money and experience. Yeah, maybe you have to grind a little harder, but as time wears on, you earn more from the better tools and eventually the grinding becomes easier and leveling up becomes faster.

Or you can buy your way into the game, dominate it without spending any time, just money. Very few people start here, and it's a waste of time to concentrate on these guys unless they are directly griefing you.
2014-03-26 02:10:32 AM
3 votes:
The assembly line at the Ford plant in the very early days was so fast, workers would become psychotic and attack each other.  Henry Ford slowed the line and the violence quickly subsided.

IMHO, all the gains of TR's Progressive Republicans and the various unions over the years have essentially been eliminated.  Now we're seeing the elimination of basic civil rights with the number of insane SCOTUS rulings, shiat like that AZ law and the Hobby Lobby nonsense.

Give it another decade and we'll envy the Chinese for their civil and worker's rights!
2014-03-26 03:37:51 PM
2 votes:
"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 09:55:57 AM
2 votes:

No Such Agency: WhyteRaven74: Just get rid of all exemptions to overtime, make any overtime above 100 hours per year voluntary

Alas, in the corporate world, "voluntary" always seems to mean "do it, or we'll find a reason to fire you and hire someone who WILL do it".  You'd have to have truly ironclad worker protections in place to make that effective.


Yeah, nothing like getting biatched at for leaving the office at 6:30 when there isn't a deadline/crunch time and I'm on track for 65 hours that week.  If people are trying to figure out why Americans are so over worked, look towards the corporate culture where its a dick waiving contest between everyone over how much you can work in a week and how important you are for working that many hours.

/finally got off that train
//public sector work FTW
2014-03-26 09:14:57 AM
2 votes:

WhyteRaven74: Just get rid of all exemptions to overtime, make any overtime above 100 hours per year voluntary


Alas, in the corporate world, "voluntary" always seems to mean "do it, or we'll find a reason to fire you and hire someone who WILL do it".  You'd have to have truly ironclad worker protections in place to make that effective.
2014-03-26 09:14:50 AM
2 votes:

dragonchild: Lydia_C: In my fantasy world, I'd love to get rid of salaried positions.

There's a reason for them though.  I've worked jobs where some travel was required, for example, to visit customers on-site.  At what point am I working or not working?  When I'm packing?  On the way to the airport?  Sleeping on the plane?  Eating at a restaurant?  Decompressing in my hotel room playing video games?  I'm spending time for the company in the sense that I'm away from family in a boring town with nothing to do, but I'm not really on the clock either.  And what about response-based on-call work, like electrical repair?  They should get paid overtime when they're burning the midnight oil, but do we not pay them when they're at home waiting for a call?  It makes it impossible for them (or the employer for that matter) to budget.

For occupations where the definition of "work" is more nebulous, salary makes sense.  It doesn't make a lick of sense (except for greedy owners) for stuff like store managers where their work can very easily be measured in hours, and they're only moved to salary to screw them out of 20-30 hours of pay per week.



I do realize that salaried positions can have a purpose. But for some things like travel it's not impossible to figure out a way to handle number of hours in a standardized way, instead of assuming that the person isn't nebulously working/not working the entire time while out of the office. (Certainly, no one I know who ever traveled for work had any trouble identifying personal time while away.)

Mostly I'm just bothered by the fact that salaried positions are so often taken as a license to abuse people's fear of losing their jobs by trying to wring burnout-worthy amounts of work from them and not paying them for their effort.
2014-03-26 08:53:03 AM
2 votes:
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.
2014-03-26 08:32:33 AM
2 votes:

WhyteRaven74: Just get rid of all exemptions to overtime, make any overtime above 100 hours per year voluntary, meaning once you get to 100 hours, if you want to go home and not work overtime if you have other plans, you can do so. Also at least 3 weeks paid vacation for everyone. And at least 9 months leave for each parent after the birth of a child.


You'd have to make any overtime over 100 hours illegal, not just voluntary, to have any effect.
2014-03-26 08:21:50 AM
2 votes:
Just get rid of all exemptions to overtime, make any overtime above 100 hours per year voluntary, meaning once you get to 100 hours, if you want to go home and not work overtime if you have other plans, you can do so. Also at least 3 weeks paid vacation for everyone. And at least 9 months leave for each parent after the birth of a child.
2014-03-26 06:47:03 AM
2 votes:

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


I think this is a big part of our stress.

Unrealistic cultural expectations about our need for down time.not crash in front of the tv, exhausted. But actual time to regenerate energy and do creative things.

I enjoyed the article.i definitely relate.
2014-03-26 06:07:39 AM
2 votes:

Shadowe: Because American culture isn't anti-welfare, that's a common misunderstanding. American culture is Pro-Suffering.


I kind of always described it as U.S. style economics is the most efficient mechanism for converting resources into misery.
2014-03-26 05:05:14 AM
2 votes:

Gyrfalcon: You have to have your priorities, and decide what you can live without, is all. And what you want to have.

My sister has five kids, a full-time job, a dog, and a mostly worthless husband (he works, and that's about it). The kids all have various sports activities, homework, piles of clothes, and demands on her attention. She tried for a while; but now she takes time to sleep, eat, and read by not cleaning the house every day, or cooking dinner every night. The kids get take-out or pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner.

If people don't like it (it drives my mom crazy), well, too bad. She's busy and wants to have fun with her kids now and to live to see all her grandkids someday, so something has to give, and since my BIL won't do his share of the chores, it's live in a messy house and don't cook for five finicky kids all the time. And she's a lot less stressed than many of these women with fewer kids who are trying to live the perfect suburban dream.

You just CAN'T have it all, ladies and gentlemen. Sorry.


And if she could read the instructions on a box of condoms, she wouldn't have all of these problems.
2014-03-26 04:36:24 AM
2 votes:
2014-03-26 04:24:28 AM
2 votes:
The problem is this paradigm is not sustainable.
2014-03-26 04:01:37 AM
2 votes:

Shadowe: Why? Because American culture isn't anti-welfare, that's a common misunderstanding. American culture is Pro-Suffering.


Most insightful comment I've ever read on Fark.
/Newsletter please?
2014-03-26 02:55:00 AM
2 votes:

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.
2014-03-26 02:08:43 AM
2 votes:
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.
2014-03-26 02:03:32 AM
2 votes:
You have to have your priorities, and decide what you can live without, is all. And what you want to have.

My sister has five kids, a full-time job, a dog, and a mostly worthless husband (he works, and that's about it). The kids all have various sports activities, homework, piles of clothes, and demands on her attention. She tried for a while; but now she takes time to sleep, eat, and read by not cleaning the house every day, or cooking dinner every night. The kids get take-out or pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner.

If people don't like it (it drives my mom crazy), well, too bad. She's busy and wants to have fun with her kids now and to live to see all her grandkids someday, so something has to give, and since my BIL won't do his share of the chores, it's live in a messy house and don't cook for five finicky kids all the time. And she's a lot less stressed than many of these women with fewer kids who are trying to live the perfect suburban dream.

You just CAN'T have it all, ladies and gentlemen. Sorry.
2014-03-26 03:24:17 PM
1 votes:

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 02:45:38 PM
1 votes:

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.
2014-03-26 02:43:20 PM
1 votes:

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.
2014-03-26 01:53:24 PM
1 votes:

shortymac: fortheloveofgod: No Such Agency: So after a day at work, HE gets to kick back and put his feet up... but HER day at work keeps going?  That sounds... equitable.

I would trade places with my wife in a heartbeat - a heartbeat - if she had the education to earn the same living wage that I do.  I have told her so too.

Its one of the reasons I love my hubby, if we can finagle a stay at home parent it's him that's staying home.

I think a lot of guys are going to be in for a surprise when they become stay at home parents. Housework is hell and drudgery.


I hated it. I don't like my job, but I like leaving the house everyday.
2014-03-26 12:38:32 PM
1 votes:

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.
2014-03-26 12:19:25 PM
1 votes:
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.
2014-03-26 12:12:18 PM
1 votes:

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


I had a boss that was almost as bad as that. He would get mad at people for not answering their phones at 2-3 am when he had a question. When I went on vacation if I wasnt using my phone it was off. He got all pissy that I wasnt answering my phone and asked me where I was and I would say I was camping in the middle of nowhere. He got all pissy about that, but he would go on vacation and call all the time, it was worse than having him here.
2014-03-26 12:08:25 PM
1 votes:

shortymac: 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.

The vast majority of their wives aren't stay-at-home moms, they are working a full-time job as well.


My wife stopped working.

Ask me if she biatches all the time about having to do laundry.   Not my laundry, mind you.  I do my own, or else I would wake up Monday morning and find that my clothes are either unwashed, or worse, still in the washer.

I worked full time, 9 hours + hour commute each way.  Then to Fed 4 hours.  20 minutes home.

Say thanks?  Not once.

She did manage to biatch at me for not helping her enough with the kids.


If they want to biatch, they are going to biatch.  It doesn't matter if they have a job or not.

When she was mad, she would put the kids to bed early, so I would not get to see them before I had to go to my second job.
2014-03-26 11:03:24 AM
1 votes:

RanDomino: organize with your fellow workers


Right-to-work provisions (either by law or by constitutional provision) exist in 24 U.S. states.
2014-03-26 11:02:08 AM
1 votes:
You can complain, or you can complain and organize with your fellow workers so we can put an end to this crap. Your choice.
2014-03-26 10:55:42 AM
1 votes:

No Such Agency: 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.

So after a day at work, HE gets to kick back and put his feet up... but HER day at work keeps going?  That sounds... equitable.


If she is a stay at home wife? Yes he does and yes, it is equitable.

1 - 1.5 hour(s) to get food in the kids and get them to

2-3 hours for chores

And that leaves us with abou 4-5 hours for misc. activities. Not counting the overtime and travelling time of the husband.

If being a stay at home parent takes more than 8 hours a day in various chores and responsibilities you are doing it wrong. I advise buying a vacuum cleaner and a clothes washer instead of doing it all by hand.

Hell, even the children are in school for like 35 hours a week. Lots of free time during those hours. And after age 10 or so they'll find things to amuse themselves. They'll dress themselves long before that and they are perfectly capable of making breakfast for themselves.
2014-03-26 10:37:56 AM
1 votes:

shortymac: Case in point, when my mother came to visit me once after a month of working 12 hour days to launch a website, and she took it upon herself to yell at me for having a messy household. Just me, not my husband or my roommate, both men.

A complicating factor for modern women is that while we where taught to do both traditionally girl and boy chores, our brothers where not. When I confronted my mother about this at a teen*, she confessed that she didn't realize what she was doing this and changed her ways after that.

My Husband and I both had to work this out and it's been a long road. I had to be willing to deal with something less than perfect and he need to learn how to cook and what our "acceptable" level of mess was.

On top of it all, if your Mom is so concerned with your sister's house SHE should pay for a cleaning and laundry service. I know in America people tend to only think this is for the rich but it's not that expensive. Why do you think Mrs. Brady had a housekeeper?

/*I was tried of doing kitchen cleaning, laundry, and weeding while my brothers only had to do lawn work during the summer


It's funny. When we bought our house, Mr. Dragon and I had to set out some rules about division of labor, not because we were trying to be progressive or anything, but because we're both the type who hate it when we have a system and someone else dinks with it. Some of it was pretty gender-neutral; he handles anything plumbing-related, whereas I handle anything electricity-related. This was because my mom's dad had been an electrician, and he'd taught her stuff that she then taught me. I didn't know much, but I knew more than the zero that he did, so that's how it fell.

But some things we just divided along gender lines because that was easier. Anything that needed doing outside the house, apart from tending gardens or specific plants/areas (like the fire pit, or maple trees), is his problem. Mowing, the lawn, getting the trash to the curb (the kids' problem now), etc. And that wasn't because either of us felt strongly about the assigned gender roles, it was because a) he's physically stronger than me (we live on 2.6 acres of forest, so strength matters more) and 2) he's had more experience with large power tools than I have. I can learn power tools, but we got more done faster by eliminating that learning curve. (I've since used those same tools to build shelves for inside and stuff.)

We also learned an important thing from a family counselor (the kids and I all have ADHD, and we've been seen by a lot of specialists over time): that just by the simple fact of our household being "dad, mom, son, son", we have to be extra careful about who does which chores because, even if we never mean to send the message, it's far too easy for the kids to learn that certain jobs are "woman's work" simply because I'm the only one who ever does them. We try to make an effort, but it's insidious how easy it is to accidentally gender-encode a task.

At the end of the day, though, my mom always has a problem. The house isn't completely perfectly clean. There's still painter's tape on the walls from the rooms we didn't quite finish up. The kids don't get a perfectly balanced, HOT breakfast every day and we don't eat a nutritious, three-course (meat, potato, veg) dinner promptly at 6. I don't always make it to every single school performance (I work a traveling job and have MS besides). There will always be a flaw, and I've learned to live with the fact that my mom's gonna get judgey about all the time I spend "playing dolls with my BFFs" (I make and sell dolls, that's the job) and not being farking Donna Reed.

/at this point I just tune her out
//she gets even angrier when I do that, but I tune that out now too
///we're making it work though
/the point is, the article is really good and I'm enjoying the thread immensely
2014-03-26 10:36:45 AM
1 votes:
I work 40 hours a week and get about 4 weeks vacation time.  I don't make that much money for the corporate world but my stress level is pretty low.  Plus I live a pretty simple life.  Never cared about the newest toys.  I just like to spend my free time playing in the mountains and seeing new places.  If my job becomes stressful I'll go somewhere else for less money and cut back on my lifestyle.  Life's too short to be unhappy.
2014-03-26 10:19:47 AM
1 votes:

jst3p: Way to generalize. I know plenty of men who pull their weight in dual income households.


Of course she's generalizing.  If you want to talk about a social problem with at least one exception that's the only way to do it.
2014-03-26 10:15:52 AM
1 votes:

shortymac: THIS.  There's a lot of burden that falls on women: laundry, kid wrangling, organizing household life, cooking, etc.Their hubby's either don't do it because they don't know how or they consider it "girl work".


Way to generalize.

I know plenty of men who pull their weight in dual income households. Hell, I cook more often than she does (it helps that I enjoy it).
2014-03-26 10:08:59 AM
1 votes:

Gyrfalcon: You have to have your priorities, and decide what you can live without, is all. And what you want to have.

My sister has five kids, a full-time job, a dog, and a mostly worthless husband (he works, and that's about it). The kids all have various sports activities, homework, piles of clothes, and demands on her attention. She tried for a while; but now she takes time to sleep, eat, and read by not cleaning the house every day, or cooking dinner every night. The kids get take-out or pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner.

If people don't like it (it drives my mom crazy), well, too bad. She's busy and wants to have fun with her kids now and to live to see all her grandkids someday, so something has to give, and since my BIL won't do his share of the chores, it's live in a messy house and don't cook for five finicky kids all the time. And she's a lot less stressed than many of these women with fewer kids who are trying to live the perfect suburban dream.

You just CAN'T have it all, ladies and gentlemen. Sorry.


THIS.  There's a lot of burden that falls on women: laundry, kid wrangling, organizing household life, cooking, etc.Their hubby's either don't do it because they don't know how or they consider it "girl work".

Also, I found that some women have a hard time letting men do this sort of work because "they won't do it right". It's really hard for them to let go because when people see a messy house they blame it on the woman and not the man because culturally we think "Well MEN are SUPPOSED to be messy."

Case in point, when my mother came to visit me once after a month of working 12 hour days to launch a website, and she took it upon herself to yell at me for having a messy household. Just me, not my husband or my roommate, both men.

A complicating factor for modern women is that while we where taught to do both traditionally girl and boy chores, our brothers where not. When I confronted my mother about this at a teen*, she confessed that she didn't realize what she was doing this and changed her ways after that.

My Husband and I both had to work this out and it's been a long road. I had to be willing to deal with something less than perfect and he need to learn how to cook and what our "acceptable" level of mess was.

On top of it all, if your Mom is so concerned with your sister's house SHE should pay for a cleaning and laundry service. I know in America people tend to only think this is for the rich but it's not that expensive. Why do you think Mrs. Brady had a housekeeper?

/*I was tried of doing kitchen cleaning, laundry, and weeding while my brothers only had to do lawn work during the summer
2014-03-26 08:48:26 AM
1 votes:

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


50/50 that wasn't dedication, that was paranoia.  If he didn't check in on the office, someone might go through his files and find evidence.  If he couldn't check on people constantly, they might be talking behind his back.
2014-03-26 08:40:52 AM
1 votes:
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
2014-03-26 08:36:13 AM
1 votes:

WhyteRaven74: Just get rid of all exemptions to overtime, make any overtime above 100 hours per year voluntary, meaning once you get to 100 hours, if you want to go home and not work overtime if you have other plans, you can do so. Also at least 3 weeks paid vacation for everyone. And at least 9 months leave for each parent after the birth of a child.


In my fantasy world, I'd love to get rid of salaried positions. At least when I was a kid working for hourly wages, overtime was an option. It's bullshiat to be paid the same whether I work 40 hours a week, or 80 or 100.

In my line of work (researcher paid solely from grants, which is another bullshiat thing, but I digress), we have this thing called effort reporting, which is a federal requirement that we certify that if half our salary in a given year was supposed to come from Project X and have from Project Y, that that was actually how our time spent working was divided. Note that I said "time spent working." That's because the definition of effort reporting explicitly avoids assuming a set number of hours a week. There's just something wrong about that, IMHO.
2014-03-26 08:27:37 AM
1 votes:

Shadowe: Why? Because American culture isn't anti-welfare, that's a common misunderstanding. American culture is Pro-Suffering. That's why for all the talk about family values we offer fark all in the way of actually giving people time off so they can actually be with their family.


Holy crap that makes perfect sense.  Parents constantly telling the kids how hard they had it.  The "greatest generation" so named because they dealt with the depression and a world war.  Rooting for the underdog being a cultural requirement.  Politicians and contest winners needing to have a sob story before they are considered for talent or ability (see American Idol).

I still maintain that all American culture is rooted in travel, but good call on that insight.
2014-03-26 06:12:14 AM
1 votes:
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.
2014-03-26 03:56:51 AM
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: 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.

He's not laughing. He's a true believer.


Hey, ummm...the boss wants five copies of that report you just finished, as soon as possible.

Ohh, sorry.  The printer's broken, you can't just open the file on your computer, hit "print" five times, then have a cup of coffee while you wait for all the paper to come out.
Copy machine's down, too.

But we found your original copy and here's a typewriter, have at it.  Oh yeah, no printer means no AutoCAD renders, either, doesn't it?  Well, there's a lightbox table and plenty of sketching paper.  You want a compass, straightedge, and slide rule too, or are you good with just freehanding it?

Oh did I forget to mention he wants it in the other office, the one halfway across the country?  No, you know him, he won't accept an emailed master copy, take it to Kinkos, and have them do it on their copy machines...type it up by hand and mail it, chop chop.

/I expect by now you understand office automation's productivity increases...
2014-03-26 02:51:28 AM
1 votes:
Calling them co-workers would suggest that they actually farking worked!!!!
2014-03-26 02:40:51 AM
1 votes:
JMHO, but I think it makes things simpler not to own more toys* than I have time to play with. I wonder about the wisdom of people who buy an RV or boat for $25k-100k that they might use two weeks a year. But it's not just that, people have so much crap that it no longer fits in their homes. They need to rent storage space for all the crap they have but can't throw away or donate. But shop 'til you drop if that's your thing. I have chosen to simplify. YMMV

/*boats, horses, hang gliders, whatever, etc.
2014-03-26 02:35:01 AM
1 votes:
I remember one warrant officer I used to work for, whose total technical inability was only equalled by his ability to somehow take credit for every piece of work done by his subordinates. To describe this man as a back-stabber would have been an insult to back-stabbers.
When I found out a few years later that he was dying of "cancer" (read AIDS), I felt incredibly guilty. Here the man was dying a slow, miserable death, when I could've given him a quick one.
2014-03-26 02:23:41 AM
1 votes:
I've been working 80 hours a week for so long I get anxious not working. The film industry is a tough industry to break into, and even tougher when you do.
2014-03-26 02:04:57 AM
1 votes:
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.
2014-03-26 12:32:36 AM
1 votes:
Hmm. I don't see a column for "Stress" or "Quality of Life" here on the spreadsheet... And I don't see it in Oracle... It doesn't appear anywhere on the profit and loss report....

It must not be an issue.
 
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