Monday, February 27, 2006


The UK still has an ‘opt out clause’ from the 48 hour week (EU working time directive Oct 1998). It seems (depressingly) that, as well as the British government, many workers also want to opt out so that they can work longer hours.
WHY? Some because they need more money to live or buy more stuff. Others (it seems to me) because they don't want to go home. They don't know how to cope with 'leisure'.
In 1998 the French introduced a 35hour week, but they had to drop the idea last year. Do people need to be protected from themselves?
We are surrounded by workaholics. Mind you girls - you do look good in the smart suit and high heels.
One in four workers in the UK has a second job (twice as many women as men)
I'm a bit of a magazine browser and believe me they are stuffed with articles like '8 ways to slow down and enjoy your life' or ‘7 days to a stress free you!’. You know the sort of thing.
Then there's 'Cut your stress in half’ - one of the examples was 'Mrs I. Haveitall - 38 year old accountant living in Manchester with husband (business man) and their four children’. ‘Scuse me? Do you really need FOUR children. If you love children so much shouldn't you be a nanny or a play group organiser instead of an ACCOUNTANT!? Anyway she says she is running round in circles and failing to get everything done. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Well I am surprised.
I loved my job and it was a great source of personal satisfaction. Others aren't so lucky. But - get it in perspective. I couldn’t be doing with the sort of teacher who would BOAST about all the piles of marking s/he took home or the hours spent after school running junior science club or the lunchtimes where there was no time to grab a sandwich. It was really saying ‘I can work harder than you.’

Why? What are you afraid of? Enough is enough.


Blogger Betty said...

Yeah, I get a bit fed up of reading about affluent women moaning about how it's "not an option" that they take more than a week off their full time job when they've just had their third, fourth child, when they're among the few to have the power to do something about it.

I think a lot of people have sleepwalked into the work all hours culture - they think that being exhausted and not having a personal life is a small price to pay for that big house which is re-furnished every couple of years and the three cars in the drive.

9:26 am  
Anonymous Blue Witch said...

...many workers also want to opt out so that they can work longer hours. Some because they need more money to live or buy more stuff

That's exactly it.

I don't believe that there is a single person anywhere who cannot live more cheaply if they try. Even the person on minimum wage, who, the statistics show, are more likely to smoke than average.

Thing is, most of them are too busy working because they think they 'should' that they haven't got time to stop and take stock and wonder.

You do need 'time' in order to shop around (for everything, services as well as food), but you can save much more by shopping around for Value than you can by working extra hours and exhausting yourself.

My take on it is: everyone has a choice to trade their time for money by working.

And, I do not understand why people want large families and to work full-time to pay for it. What's the point? Children are *not* a social niceity as many of these 'high-powered' mothers think. The only person who suffers is the child.

11:23 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Thanks Betty and BW - So good to know you agree with me. These folks seem to be scared of finding out who they are. They work or spend. God help the kids.

6:51 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

When you're younger you do it because you need (or think you need) the money and it's what "everyone" does. Before you know it you're caught/addicted/stuck. And big businesses (probably most of scoiety actually) thrive on it. It is not in their interest to allow folk to get the right work/life balance. Oh I could go on for hours. Grrrrr...

Geting out is hard... but the best move I ever made :)

9:10 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Well done Nic ... You were brave. Glad it worked out

9:56 pm  

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