Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Noble, heroic, or stupid?

Where did this idea come from that working long hours is heroic or noble? Is it because we don't have anymore Holy Grail quests to accomplish? Because there are no more continents to discover and rule? Because we no longer have to hunt and gather our meals? Because we have this need to make a difference in the world and we don't know where else to do it? Just where does this concept come from? You know these people. There the ones that boast about having to work 12 hour days for weeks on end. Or 14 hours days. Or 37 hour days for 600 weeks a year! Blah Blah Blah!

I used to be that way. I was very into my work. Then I pulled a 30 hour work weekend and while sitting alone in a cubicle and happened to look down at a parade happening below and thought "this is ridiculous". Ever since, I've been a straight 40 hour per week person. I don't check work email at home. I don't check in when I'm on vacation. When I attend training, I'm not running to followup back at work at every break in training.

As the years roll by, I've definitely slipped down further on the aversion scale. Now, my role model is the guy from Office Space with the dream of doing "nothing". Can I get by coming in late, taking a nice long lunch, leave early? How little can I produce and still not get noticed? I read with jealously articles on people that have taken a full year off to do some adventure and find themself. I am inspired by the fact that there are people out there like Heinz Stucke who left on a bicycle tour back in 1962 and never came back. He's still out there! Google him, he's the worlds most travelled man now. Never worked an adult day of his life and people donate money to keep him going now. Not that I want to be bicycling every day for 44 years straight but I like the fact that he just went out and did what he enjoyed and made it work for his life. Fear, worry, and responsibility keep most of us from doing something really out there.

I'm miffed that I get 6 weeks of vacation every year but manage to only squeek in about one or two in that time. In fact, it's been documented all over the press that Americans take far too little vacation and that none of them can find the time. I think I should become a professional vacation taker! Yeah, that's it. I could take vacations for people. Don't have the time? Let me take your vacation for you. I'll be sure to send the tacky trinkets and postcards. Plus, you don't have to hassle with the airports, the bad weather, the hotels, and all the other logistics that go unsaid in travelogues. Yes, I have a dream, and somebody else's work isn't part of that!!

4 comments:

House of Suz said...

Bob: You've been missing a lot of work lately."

My Hero: "I wouldn't exactly say I've been MISSING it, Bob."

Your idea about taking people's vacations for them is a good one but you forget what happens to you when you travel. Then again you could always send back photos to them and show off your casts, wrecked bikes, lost luggage....."not missing much!"

iamnot said...

6 weeks? You get 6 weeks?

Variant E said...

Embarrisingly I do. I guess I cannot whine that much. I mean, I get 6 weeks a year, have 12 holiday days, I have 8 weeks stockpiled, I have a 5 week sabattical due in Dec. Technically, I could be gone over 3 months just on vacation and still be paid as normal! Now if they would just let me...

Do I Really Need One said...

wow a six week vacation sounds pretty good right about now. me, im stuck at work as of the moment, Satan decided to have us shoot two shows tonight...wonderful, another night lost to serving my master. well, if you ever feel that you dont know what to do for six weeks, give them to me, im sure i could find something interesting :D