Wednesday, February 10, 2010
All work and no play.......not my idea of living!
Over the years I have had friends and colleagues who have worked for American owned companies. It seemed to me they were always required to work harder and longer than those working for Canadian or other internationally known companies. One glaring difference has always been the American attitude toward vacation time. Vacation time is for wusses. The American "work ethic" shall prevail and ye shall work thyself to death for "the man" and your paltry pay cheque (or check, as they like to spell it). I know a C.E.O. who recently proudly exclaimed to a group of his minions that he did not take a vacation for the first ten years of his career with the company. He seemed proud of this fact and the group of listeners stood in awe of his proclamation. Was he for real? Did his audience think it was a good thing? Personally, I find that sort of dedication to work completely unbalanced. What about the rest of your life? Your other interests? Your family? Your health and well-being? Is any employer or any group of shareholders more important than those? The Europeans have it right. Plenty of holiday time there. Life is too god damn short to devote every waking minute to making money. Not for yourself or for the company. I'm fairly certain I will not want my headstone to read - she worked relentlessly for "the man" her entire life - what a trooper! Screw that. It better say, she worked hard, played harder and stopped to smell the roses....among other things. And where has this so-called "American work ethic" gotten them? They are viewed upon by the rest of the world as consumer driven, over-worked, over-fed capitalists who worship the almighty dollar - their precious green back - not so precious these days I might add. So I say unto you - my neighbours to the south, reconsider your motivations, do without that umpteenth pair of Manolo's, drive a less prestigious car, stop trying to keep up with the Jone's. Like I always say - this ain't no dress rehearsal. Life is for living and the time is now. Take a vacation. "The man" will still be there grinding away when you get back. Count on it.