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What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)

 
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Clive
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What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« on: July 31, 2008, 09:05:17 PM »

So as to not further threadjack Walfredo's farewell thread ...

How many hours per week do y'all work, on average?  Do you get anything for those hours over 40 (e.g. OT, comp time, hummer, poke in the eye with a sharp stick)?

Out here in The Real World, there is ALWAYS more work to do than time in the day/week/month/whatever.  I'm not knocking grad school and beyond, which I know from experience is a heavy load.  But it's a different kind of heavy load.  Grad students and pot-docs are the few people you can hire to work 70+ hours/week on salary.  You will not hire/retain a shipping clerk, comptroller, or receptionist under that scheme.  Even if you squeeze 50/week out of them, there's easily 60 hours' work to be done in that same week.  The 10+ just doesn't get done -- pushed off to when higher-priority things aren't in front of it (as if that time ever arrives).
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what's wrong with America.  It hits people at different ages but eventually we all come to realize that 1.75 careers just isn't worth it. 

Me?  Somewhere around 40.  Three years later I'm no longer a SBO. 

If any of you youngsters think it's worth it... think again.  I happen to know a little bit of how Clive juggles his schedule to be a husband and father.  Kudos to him for making it work but I say there's a better way.  Not picking on him necessarily as he seems happy enough.  But I think it's crazy and I'll never be there again.
FWIW, there are some careers where the longer hours are a known element.  My employer and I both know that my pay reflects that I'm not going to punch a clock 9-to-5 -- more likely 55 hours or so per week, with spikes when stuff needs to get done.  That's the job, I knew it in advance, and I'm cool with it.

Perhaps a significant consideration is that I really like what I do; if I was just doing this for the paycheck and had this same amount of work/responsibility, I'd have a lot of trouble getting up each morning.
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MFAWG
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 09:09:59 PM »

How do you get a raise and make less money?

You leave a 55 hour a week job making 700 bucks a week for a 40 hour a week job making 600 bucks a week PLUS overtime over 8 hours....
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The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. -- Teddy Roosevelt
Walfredo
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 09:24:36 PM »

I work 37.5 hours a week on average.   Grin  One of the reasons I'm still here. 

Damn the man. 
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twoiron
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 09:33:30 PM »

Hmmm..... I'm usually in the office between 6:30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. I don't get OT.

I do get substantially rewarded for my position. Cool
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spacey
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 09:47:47 PM »

Typical week is 40-45 hours. Some weeks 50+, the occasional 30-35. On-call pretty much 24/7 in case of disaster/emergency/Gephardt. Exempt, well paid but won't get rich.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 09:52:17 PM by spacey » Logged Return to Top
Aske
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 10:05:39 PM »

so you mean, the fact that i essentially work for minimum wage +50% (salary/real hours invested) with good benefits while using up almost 50% of the available hours of the week and never getting any vacation time is a waste of my worth after earning a phd and establishing myself as a more productive than average researcher?
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 10:38:28 PM »

Typical week is probably 36-38 for me.  Sure there are occasional 50-60 hour weeks, like this week, but its not the norm.  In general, our firm likes to see people working their 40 hours, but some people have flexibility via their accomplishments - an unwritten and inconsistent 'rule'.  We recently had a run of being #1 on Forbes' list of the 'best places to work'.

More than 40 - I'm supposed to get comp time.  However, since I have used my flexibility in normal work weeks (less than 40) I never really take comp time - unless you include leaving early every week for my golf league taking comp time  Cheesy.  Anyway, not taking comp time satisfies my conscious when not working 40-hour weeks typically.  I could still take the comp time AND take advantage of my hours, but it just doesn't feel right.  And I probably still come out ahead anyway  Wink

Just this summer we instituted a work from home policy for associates (IT associates anyway).  One day a week, if your schedule allows, you can work from home.  We are not allowed to block out schedules or decline meetings though - you attend via a conference call, or you show up to work anyway.  VPN access is required too, so we must take our laptops home to use (as our security policy does not allow just any device to connect).  The catch - not every associate has a laptop.  If you're too low on the food chain, you do not get use of the policy.  So far my schedule has allowed me to do it about half the time (every other week on Friday).  Tomorrow is a work from home day for me  Grin

The one thing that really sucked about taking this new job - I had to start all over with vacation time.  Its non-negotiable when you start - two weeks no matter who you are (unless its under the table).  So after working up to having 4 weeks of vacation I was back to 2 - ouch.  I'm now up to 3 again, which is ok - but 4 was really nice.  4 more years service (10 years in) before I get 4 weeks vacation.

So - there's nothing wrong with my America.  But, as a nation we do work too many hours.


Now - years ago, I worked 60 hour weeks all the time without any 'pay' benefit from doing so.  It was a different company, we were busy, and a few of us really liked what we were doing.  We busted our asses during our acquisitions - then the worm turned.  Mergers began and changes occurred with little to no regard for the people that helped get you there.  I stayed one merger too many, became disillusioned (jaded perhaps), and quit.  Its business, *feces* happens, it could happen to me again - I hold out hope it doesn't.

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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 11:56:35 PM »

I'm a manufacturer's rep.  While self-employed, I do have 9 sales managers, vps, and more that I need to report to, beyond taking care of customer needs.  I left the corporate side as a National Sales Manager about 6 years ago to start a rep agency.  I probably average 65-70 hours a week, though occasionally have the 16 hour day (like today) which bumps up the hours.

What I gave up: decent salary, company car, health care, retirement, 65-70% travel

Now: I start each month at $0 and cover all expenses

I know it's a lot of hours, but I LOVE what I do!  My clients have become wonderful friends.  I work from home 2-3 days a week, the other 2-3 days a week I'm in appointments.  I attend 2-4 conferences per year, the only travel outside of GA and AL that I have to do.  Most importantly, I sleep in my own bed 95% of the time.  If I need to take a couple of hours to take care of something, or have lunch with my daughter at school, I do it. I ALWAYS knock off around 6 for dinner and spend the evening with my family.  When people go to bed, I get back on the computer for 3-4 hours.  Weekends are with the family.  Period.

Right now, I do work too much.  I did not go to law school or medical school, though, and have considered these years my internship or residency. 

We do work too much as a nation, but I don't know how new this is.  My dad's a doctor; his hours have been long for the last 4 decades.  His and my mother's parents were from the era of the Great Depression; all were very hard workers...

Off to bed I go.  Gotta hit the road in 5 hours.



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JDerion
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2008, 04:50:40 AM »

I don't work as much as a used to. Now I put in 40-45 hours in the office, and another 3-5 at home during evenings and weekends. Today I'm in at 7:30, but I already played nine holes a dawn so it's all good.
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2008, 08:02:48 AM »

in my business, or the business formerly known as mine, the standard work week is 55 hours and is paid as such. i have held both hourly and salary positions the salary usually with bonuses making up for excess hours.
at my previous employer we would have 3-4 months of 40 hour weeks followed by 8-9 months of 70 hour weeks. did i say mandatory?  Sad fiddlesticksoff germans.
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2008, 08:29:21 AM »

Today I'm in at 7:30, but I already played nine holes a dawn so it's all good.
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Spanky
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 09:18:31 AM »

I normally work 48 hours a week but I get paid overtime after 8 hours so I actually get about 14 hours of overtime a week. Can't complain.
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stroh
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2008, 01:49:06 PM »

56 hours a week.
2 twelve hour days in a week paid @ 1.5 after 8.
Every other Saturday 8 hours paid @ double time. (Although those hours are being cut back)

I wish I didn't have to work so much.

I plan to be retired early next year.
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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2008, 08:59:48 AM »

I normally work 48 hours a week but I get paid overtime after 8 hours so I actually get about 14 hours of overtime a week. Can't complain.

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Re: What's Wrong With America (The Hours We Work)
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2008, 12:24:46 PM »

I'm averaging 55 hours a week.  Only about 5 more than I did with Wonder Bread/IBC.  I make almost the same money.  Go figure.

Raises average 3% per annum, as much as 6%, but that is rare.  I ain't doin' too bad for an old fat bald man. Grin

I'll retire the day I die.  The missus can't/won't work a korprit 'merkan job and make any real money.
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