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On Point On Slacking 524

Wellington Grey writes "This week the NPR show On Point has an excellent episode exploring slacking and the American work ethic. (note that it's audio) It touches on some issues that may be of interest to geeks such as outsourcing, the church of the subgenius and the eternal conflict between wanting to be a lazy bum and wanting to work hard. What do slashdotters think: does America need more slack or more work?" It is summer vacation after all, right?
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On Point On Slacking

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  • Re:Europeans (Score:3, Informative)

    by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:32PM (#15437062)
    If your vacation is cancelled on you and you aren't allowed to take it and aren't offered any compensation for it, well, it's lawyer time.

    If you truly choose NOT to take your vacation time, but had every opportunity to do so, you're SOL. (Why would you do that?)
  • Re:Europeans (Score:2, Informative)

    by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:34PM (#15437093)
    Funny, but I am in the process of trying to figure out how to schedule the work I need to get done this summer around my european counterparts 8 weeks of vacation. Eight weeks, not including holidays! Funny, they never get labeled as lazy.

    Eh?!?! Eight weeks!?! You are either trolling or your counterpart must be a guy who has been accumulating vacation time for years! Myself I get exactly a month for vacation and most people don't take all of it out at once. The typical holiday here is three weeks with a week left over to spend on treating your selft to the odd three day weekend or to bridge gaps between holidays and weekends during christmass or easter.
  • by CrazyTalk ( 662055 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:37PM (#15437117)
    Since no one modded you down as troll, I'll respond. I'm only working part time right now (hence the time to post on slashdot) but "back in the day" as a developer I routinely worked 60 hour weeks. Some of us worked 80-100. Very little of that was slack - we were in constant "panic mode" most of the time, and many people burned out, quit, lost their marriages, etc. It was impossible to accomplish everything that was needed to with unrealistic deadlines, and new requirments hitting the desk at 5:00 on Friday that absolutely had to be completed by Monday morning because the ad campaign was already going out, etc. Trust me - the 80 hour work week was not a myth.
  • by buck-yar ( 164658 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:43PM (#15437178)
    "I have not met a single soul outside of the medical and legal profession whose actual and typical workload could not be accomplished in 30-40 hours of real honest work."

    I'm a slacker, but my dad is not. He's a farmer. His work schedule is as follows:

    3:00am - Get up to milk cows (no breakfast yet)
    9:00 - breakfast
    12:00 lunch
    6:00pm - dinner / done for day, half of the year
    8:00pm - done for day, other half of year.

    I don't want to hear anyone complain about how much they have to work.
  • by Mistshadow2k4 ( 748958 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:46PM (#15437204) Journal
    I have not met a single soul outside of the medical and legal profession whose actual and typical workload could not be accomplished in 30-40 hours of real honest work.

    Then you've obviously never met a factory worker as I used to be, and as such, I have to say this is BS. 30-40 hours? You try that shit on an assmebly line --- the work literally never stops coming, not even for a minute. You don't have time to think, you barely have time to breathe. Don't give me this "you should work harder" shit; you truly cannot work any harder in a job like that because you have to work as hard as you absolutely can to keep up at all. If you don't keep up, you don't keep the job. Vacation? 1 single week a year and you have to have been working there at elast 3 years to get paid for that vacation. Or don't factory workers count? Because if there weren't any factory workers you wouldn't have even half of everything you have now, inlcuding the parts in your computer.

  • by fan777 ( 932195 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:42PM (#15437748)
    We goof because the boss(es) expects us to clock in quantity regardless of quality. I used to put in 40 hours of quality work and got more done than a co-worker who put in 60-70. But the whole time my boss was complaining to me, he'd be piling more and more and still expect quality. On the other hand, the twisted beast that is management knows crap of our work quality; they only see the numbers and more hours = more dedication, right?

    Sure, I work longer hours now but I'm not a robot and I sure ain't no monkey-bitch. Blame the boss. Blame the game. Don't blame us.
  • Re:Europeans (Score:5, Informative)

    by LunaticTippy ( 872397 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:57PM (#15437907)
    the European Union (EU) Working Time Directive requires a minimum of four weeks paid leave each year for all employees, and several EU countries have five weeks (25 working days) of vacation by law. Dutch, German, and Italian workers have gained roughly 30 vacation days, on average, through collective bargaining.

    30 days is 6 weeks. I'd be surprised if some workers didn't get more than this.

    I've had German coworkers who got 10 weeks, including holiday/sick/vacation/personal

  • Re:Europeans (Score:4, Informative)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:35PM (#15439367) Homepage Journal
    "it's the Chinese and the Indians (from India, not the reservation!) that are going to rule the world."

    I think the proper term for differentiating the Indians would be a "Dot" or a "Feather" Indian.

    Now, isn't that an easier way to distinguish them?


"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost