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Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the unless-you're-part-of-a-really-terrible-branch-of-the-boy-scouts dept.

Businesses 717

An anonymous reader writes "We've all had to deal with long, tough work weeks, whether it's coming in on the weekend to meet a project deadline, pulling all-nighters to resolve a crisis, or the steady accretion of overtime in a death march. It's fairly common in the tech sector for employees to hold these tough weeks up as points of pride; something good they achieved or survived. But Jeff Archibald writes that this is the wrong way to think of it. 'If you're working 60 hours a week, something has broken down organizationally. You are doing two people's jobs. You aren't telling your boss you're overworked (or maybe he/she doesn't care). You are probably a pinch point, a bottleneck. You are far less productive. You are frantically swimming against the current, just trying to keep your head above water. ... We need to stop being proud of overworking ourselves.'"

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Trolling (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46255987)

I spend 60 hours a week trolling Slashdot. Do you mean there are ways I could be more effective at it?

Re:Trolling (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256013)

I spend 60 hours a week trolling Slashdot. Do you mean there are ways I could be more effective at it?

Absolutely. Perhaps you should outsource and/or automate your trolling to improve your trolling efficiency. This will allow you to achieve a healthy troll/life balance.

No one is proud of overwork (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46255999)

They're just lucky to have a job at all.

Re:No one is proud of overwork (0)

similar_name (1164087) | about 8 months ago | (#46256217)

Ok, is that irony?

American poor (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256003)

Or you are poor in America, working 3 part-time minimum jobs 60+h a week just to pay for food and housing with nothing left over at end of the week.

Re:American poor (0)

Kerstyun (832278) | about 8 months ago | (#46256031)

If it's JESU'S will that you be pour then so beat.

Re:American poor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256045)

Should have gotten a scholarship and gone to college for a degree that will appreciate. Poor kids in Africa have come out better with way worse conditions. You're probably one of those poor liberals who wants pity like a slave would get, but slavery ended a long time ago (in America). Maybe if you stopped moping all day long and stepped up your entrepreneurial spirit you'd better yourself. I'm sorry for your tendency to fail. If you worked one job full time they'd see your committed you might have a chance to be a supervisor or something. Working 1 full time at least (plus others part time to pay bills) would be better. Working only part time at any company you'll never rise up there. I'm sorry you can't even figure out that concept. Good luck, Mr. failure - because it may be all you have.

Re:American poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256093)

Week? Month. At least that's how often sensible people get their money.

Re:American poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256215)

I work a 40 hour week and no more. I do just fine and don't spend more than 30% of any given paycheck.

Re:American poor (2, Interesting)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 8 months ago | (#46256347)

I work a 40 hour week and no more. I do just fine and don't spend more than 30% of any given paycheck.

Congratulations! You have just made an entirely pointless post that says nothing, and proves nothing!

Re:American poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256319)

Capitalism. Because it works.

It's a status thing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256337)

I'm from Eastern Europe, and I can't believe that 40-hours a week jobs in America can't feed and house you. I guess it really depends on your expectations about the house and the food.

But since everyone around you has a nice house and car, it would be shameful if you don't - especially if you're married, because then it would be shameful for your wife and children, too. So you're overworking yourself for status in society, so that people don't look down upon you and your family.

Re:It's a status thing (5, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46256461)

Believe it! That's why Walmart and McDonald's HR include people to help you get food stamps. They know they don't pay well enough to actually live. The expectations are food that is legal to buy for human consumption and housing that hasn't been condemned as uninhabitable.

The car thing is seriously variable. Housing where public transportation is available tends to cost more than housing without it, but then you need a car.

Beta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256007)

A badge of failure.

Re:Beta (0, Offtopic)

edibobb (113989) | about 8 months ago | (#46256271)

I tried to mod up, but it's broken.

doing two people's jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256009)

But aren't there lots (even if a small percentage) of jobs that can't really be done by two people?

Re:doing two people's jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256025)

Oh for fucks sake... there are always exceptions to any rule. This article is speaking in generalities, and is not saying this is true for everyone, you fuckwit.

God DAMN sometimes I hate this place.

Re:doing two people's jobs (3, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#46256137)

This is Slashdot, where the edge use case wins, every time.

How about 80? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256011)

How about 100?

How about 169? :)

Re: How about 80? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256039)

Just make add 9 more hours for it to be 69 so he can really be proud that his job nailed him on both sides...

Re:How about 80? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256047)

I used to work over 100 hours a week once in a while. Not for more than a month at a time though. After that you are pretty useless. Just driving a car becomes dangerous.

Your Boss (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256015)

Doesn't want to hear it. Its his fault you are working 60 hour weeks instead of the business hiring another worker. He approved it, he is aware of it, and he could give half a shit as long as you keep working. You get sick? Not his fault. You get burned out, well you should have taken steps to prevent that but still stayed and worked to get things done.

You will never win. If you are working 60 hour weeks and want to stop doing so, just stop. Take a day and do some interviews, find another job. Cause the second you stop giving 150%, they are going to fire you anyways.

The corporation has no loyalty to its employees. You can all be replaced. What YOU need to start doing, is to think of the corporation as being replaceable. Shop around, find a better deal, and take it for a couple years, then shop around again, find a better deal, and take it. You owe them nothing, they need you, not the other way around. You can leave all this and buy land and subsistence farm and sell produce to city-dwellers for the rest of your life if you want. The corporation cannot, it dies without workers.

Never forget, they need you. To work for them. To buy from them. Stop doing both and they die. Its that simple.

Re:Your Boss (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256113)

In addition to the above, as overhead per worker goes up, the pressure to not hire a second worker will go up. Until overtime costs more than overhead, the company has a strong incentive to not hire another worker. This is especially true for salaried professionals who get the same pay no matter how long they work each week. A lot more programmers and developers on salaries should be demanding hourly wages, with overtime pay based on best estimates of a companies per-worker, per-hour overhead costs, and should be greater than that cost.

Re:Your Boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256471)

yeah right. I'd rather get one stable salary and deal with the occasional bouts of overtime, then get paid less for the occasional bouts of under time.

Re:Your Boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256171)

You are in union with your boss in working so many hours, just do not mention the word union

Re:Your Boss (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46256193)

The corporation has no loyalty to its employees. You can all be replaced. What YOU need to start doing, is to think of the corporation as being replaceable. Shop around, find a better deal, and take it for a couple years, then shop around again, find a better deal, and take it. You owe them nothing, they need you, not the other way around.

The way I say it, be loyal to people, not to corporations. The corporation will fire you in an instant, but people are real.

I've stuck around at companies longer than I needed to, just so my coworkers wouldn't have so much trouble picking up after me. I don't regret it.

Re:Your Boss (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256305)

Whenever my boss demands I work more than 40 hours per week I do so, but I spend 50% of the time just sitting around doing nothing* and taking 1 hour lunches.
Like I give a fuck. Don't like it? Fire me.
I work so I can afford to do other stuff. If I don't have time to do that stuff what the fuck is the point of working so hard?

* Note that here I'm assuming regular demands of working more than 8 hours per day. Not a week long rush to get things ready for release.

Practically no content in the article. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256017)

I know, I'm not supposed to read the article, but the idea that a 60 hour work week is too long, is a totally new concept to me. Luckily this author has written about 20 sentences about it on his blog. Excellent.

Another type that is interesting... (4, Funny)

sottitron (923868) | about 8 months ago | (#46256021)

...is the type that is always *talking* about how much they work, but they are out the door at 4:00 and are never online or responding to emails in the evenings.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (4, Insightful)

amjohns (29330) | about 8 months ago | (#46256061)

You mean the people that actually come in, knuckle-down, get work done instead of facebook/instagram/etc, then leave and go have a life?? Damn them, Damn them all to hell!!

Re:Another type that is interesting... (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46256087)

Nothing wrong with leaving at 4pm if you started work at 7am. And certainly nothing wrong with employees not responding to work communications outside working hours.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (-1)

krups gusto (2203848) | about 8 months ago | (#46256157)

Nothing wrong with giving said person -2% raises year after year either since they're piggybacking off the rest of the team that is available to help with emergencies when they come up.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (4, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 8 months ago | (#46256243)

Nothing wrong with giving said person -2% raises year after year either since they're piggybacking off the rest of the team that is available to help with emergencies when they come up.

Get a life. Your life and health are more important than your job. If they work hard, meet deadlines and live it their all when they are work, that is all that is needed. This is especially true if it is not their work that causes the emergencies in the first place.

Maybe you need to start taking your work more seriously so that you don't have to face "emergencies" so often.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (1)

madprof (4723) | about 8 months ago | (#46256285)

If you know you will get emergencies you should have an agreed plan of who to contact and who will take overall responsibility when one occurs.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256325)

Are you paying me to be on call?
What's that? You're not?
Well fuck you too.

Note that I work in R&D not the fab, or IT or whatever so I can't conceive of any kind of work emergency that couldn't wait till tomorrow morning.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46256399)

Your boss is the one piggybacking off you if you are contracted to do a 40 hour week, yet you are made to feel you should do more.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 8 months ago | (#46256437)

Nothing you do is so important that it is an emergency.

People live and die every day, so don't give me that "life or death" excuse.

Re:Another type that is interesting... (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | about 8 months ago | (#46256187)

I think the point was about people who TALK about how much work they do but only put in 40 hours a week (hold on to comments about that "only").

Essentially those people are doing PR for the 60 hour week that the other people are putting in.

So not only do you have to convince management that more workers are needed BUT you also have to convince management that you aren't the problem because Bob says he's working all the time but he's not complaining like you are.

Umm... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46256027)

I'm amazed that he managed to get through that entire essay without mentioning the proverbial elephant in the room: Unless you are working on a project you own, or being paid as befits your schedule (in which case it still may be a bad idea for the reasons the essay does mention) your 60-hour workweek isn't merely 'not a badge of honor' it's a sign that you are doing two jobs for one salary because haha, what the fuck are you going to do about it, sucker?

The merely pragmatic considerations of fatigue degrading certain cognitive functions of various important sorts aren't false, and may even be the primary concern in the cases of self-employed contractors and startup jockeys with equity stakes(that they might even keep after the VCs are finished with them...); but if you are working for a paycheck and reporting to a boss, your bigger problem isn't whether working those additional hours makes you a less visionary creative or whatever. It's the fact that your effective pay, per hour, is plummeting (and in the way that annihilates your life outside of work, and sucks you dry, rather than just making you feel poorer, as working 40 hours for a stagnant or declining salary would).

Probably good practice for the bold future!

GDP (3, Informative)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 8 months ago | (#46256033)

US Per Capita GDP is 51,704. French per capita GDP is 35,392. Americans work about 200 hours more per year.

Re:GDP (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256077)

Average American monthly wage is $3769. Average French monthly wage is $3698. Even though they're working about 15 hours less per month.

Re:GDP (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46256265)

Average American monthly wage is $3769. Average French monthly wage is $3698. Even though they're working about 15 hours less per month.

This sort of thing is so difficult to measure, because it's hard to separate all the variables. Any time you see a raw number like this, you know the person telling you is either an idiot or spreading propaganda.

Consider some of the issues:
*) It should really be measured by hour of work, not month of work, although you took that into consideration, most people don't.
*) Make sure you somehow are aware of the people who can't find a job, making $0 a month. Should they be counted?
*) It shouldn't be measured as dollars spent, it should be measured as total compensation. In the extreme example of this, you have people like Steve Jobs making one dollar a year. That kind of thing needs to be accounted for.
*) You need to be careful including in your statistics people who've recently immigrated, and don't even speak the language. They pull down the average, just as you would if you went to a foreign country, trying to work but couldn't talk to anyone.

Those are just the easy issues that I can think of, not even having a deep understanding of the problem. I'm sure I'm missing a lot. Point is, make sure you have good data with proper controls if you actually want to understand the issue.

But if you don't want to understand the issue, if you just want to spread propaganda, carry on.

Re:GDP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256131)

I'm doing my best to help even things out. I am NOT a choke point. I work under 20 hours a week, most weeks. Therefore, I'm actually helping my company by increasing its efficiency! I didn't know that.

Re:GDP (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256139)

More intersting countries to investigate:

Luxembourg and Denmark; Much greater per capita GDP than the USA / shorter working week.

Greece and Mexico; Some of the longest working hours. Much less GDP than the USA.

Re:GDP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256169)

...and the french have a longer and healthier life, as W.H.O.'s data prove. And they are also far slimmer and better looking.

Working 60 hrs a week is just stupid, stupid, stupid. It causes heart diseases, fast aging, stomach problems, etc...

People who work so much should be mocked and laughed at, rather than respected for it.

Re:GDP (4, Insightful)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about 8 months ago | (#46256277)

Complete bollocks. Americans get 0 weeks of vacation, French have mandated 6. There's your difference, ignoring the differences in hours per week.

Also take into account the fact that the US Per Capita GDP is extremely bloated; median income is near equal.

Re:GDP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256329)

In what universe do you live in which Americans get zero vacation? I don't think I've ever had less than 4 weeks paid vacation in my > 15 years in the workforce.

Re:GDP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256419)

I've come to suspect (out of my ass) that a lot of American 'gdp' is funny money. It's on the books, but none of it's circulating in the real economy. Just paper being leveraged to by more paper,

When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (5, Insightful)

Old VMS Junkie (739626) | about 8 months ago | (#46256053)

... my BS meter begins to go off the scale. While I've done my fair share of brutal weeks (I'm an IT guy), it's been my experience that 99% of people who claim that they regularly work 60 hrs a week are full of crap. If you work an extra hour a day, and then put in five more over the weekend, you're still only at 50. You need to work five ten hour days and then STILL put in ten more hours over the weekend. Humans just aren't built for that. When people have boasted that in interviews, I've drilled into them and I'll get excuses like, "I was on call, so even though I wasn't actually working, I was still working..." or "Technically I have a home office so when I drive every day, I count my commute..." or "Well, it was 60 hours for the last three weeks before go live, but before that it was 45-50!" Yes, there are legitimate workaholics that do 60 hours a week. Average Joes doing it? Rarely.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (4, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#46256135)

Twice I've put in 3 consecutive 80 hour weeks. And both times, as soon as the deadline was passed and everything signed off, I basically collapsed and slept for most of the next 2 days.

I certainly couldn't do anything close to that on an ongoing basis, not even when I was younger, fitter, and considerably dafter.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256239)

as soon as the deadline was passed and everything signed off, I basically collapsed and slept for most of the next 2 days.

Yeah, I do this occasionally, then I get labeled as that guy who doesn't do anything. How much I accomplished doesn't matter. My physical need for sleep doesn't matter. People are literally this stupid: if you're not doing something right now then you obviously never do anything ever. People have the attention span of slime molds.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256341)

Twice I've put in 3 consecutive 80 hour weeks.

For one consecutive 50-week span I averaged 80 hours every one of those fifty weeks.

After which I took off halfway around the world to be incommunicado for three weeks to recuperate. And spent another year working hard, after work, at the gym to get my health back.

What can I say - I'm a slow learner. But I never needed to work those kind of hours again because that year of insanity made an impression on enough layers of management that they never question whether I'm willing to do what really needs to be done.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (4, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 8 months ago | (#46256141)

Yes, there are legitimate workaholics that do 60 hours a week. Average Joes doing it? Rarely.

Maybe true in IT. But other fields like law, medicine, finance? The common perception is that when you're starting out as an intern or assistant, the way you get ahead is working 12 hours days or weekends or whatnot.

There have been recent stories [nytimes.com] of Wall Street firms trying to get people to stay home on Sundays. (The assumption being, of course, that everyone has to work on Saturdays.)

Thankfully, some physicians have finally started speaking out about the grueling hazing done on residents and young doctors at hospitals, where insanely long hours actually put lives at risk. [dailymail.co.uk]

Maybe other professions can finally start catching on....

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256183)

I put in 84 a week, minimum, when I am at work. I have worked plenty of 24+ hour shifts as well. This is the norm in the industry I work in, and my industry is pretty big, more than 1% of my region in any case. Be very careful in using your very limited exposure to the world when making any generalized statements. It is a lot bigger and diverse than you, or I, can imagine.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46256211)

Yes, there are legitimate workaholics that do 60 hours a week.

But they aren't going to stick around to leisurely tell you about it.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256219)

Regularly? Are oncall weeks "regular", say, every four weeks you work your 5 8 hour days and then 2-4 hours on two to three nights a week and then 6-8 hours on each day of the weekend? Hmmm

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 8 months ago | (#46256255)

K-12 teachers do it all the time.

How much time is spent producing a work product? (1)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#46256257)

I don't doubt there are people (young, single, apartment renters) who spend 60 hours a week at work, but I suspect that all those 60 hours aren't spent actually producing a work product.

There's a lot of time spent in IT waiting. Waiting for builds. Waiting for downloads. Waiting for installs, updates, restores, data transfer from box A to box B. And waiting is just one category -- there's yakking with co-workers, Google searches for work-related information that end up in some Wikipedia page 6 times removed from what you started looking for. Trips to the cafeteria, vending machines, smoking cigarettes.

I think for a lot of people with few strings attached work just becomes a place to be when they have nothing else to do. It's especially easy for technology people because a lot of them would be doing the same thing at home they'd do at work but it's less lonely in the office.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256283)

Easy to reach if you are in "matrix" organizations. Was in a team that worked 60+ hrs was because the manager had to pick up her kids from school, serve them dinner and was not available from 2:30 to 7pm. All meetings were pushed out to between 8pm to midnight. This stopped after some of said they had to hit the nightclub at 8pm, F*** hell broke out and then quickly died.

Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256405)

I know of some construction workers - contractors - who were working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for some months (I think about 6 months) on one of Apple's big projects in the United States. I'm not sure if their boss was stupid to do so, or if he is a union plant hoping to destroy that company (long story) but certainly productivity decreases considerably without any time off. Some of the workers even collapsed on the job due to being overworked, but they had no choice but to work those hours if they wanted to keep their jobs.

But 60 hours a week is common in construction - and it's mostly real work. I agree that it's not healthy and ultimately counterproductive if it continues for more than a few weeks.

Meh. We've discussed this all before (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 8 months ago | (#46256059)

As I said then [slashdot.org] .

We just have a generally messed-up attitude toward work and "getting ahead" in the U.S. There may be many proximate causes, but nothing's going to change until you fix the overall cultural attitude.

Welcome to the new capitalism (4, Insightful)

jmd (14060) | about 8 months ago | (#46256065)

Neoliberalism

I'm glad I'm out of the race to the bottom.

Definitely not from the US. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256071)

When I was reading his blog post I was wondering to myself, what planet is this guy from? Then I noticed the .ca and it made sense. I'm from the US and have relatives in around Toronto. They make fun of the labor practices in the US. Most of them have 40 hour work weeks and 6+ weeks of paid vacation a year. It always makes me laugh when I hear US corporations lament the high cost of labor. If labor were free these same corporations would complain that people don't pay to work for them. It's all about maximizing shareholder value and you lower you can drive labor costs the better.

Re:Definitely not from the US. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256089)

Why is America a super power? Because we work our asses off. Nuff said.

Re:Definitely not from the US. (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#46256153)

Why is America a super power? Because we work our asses off. Nuff said.

What benefit does that give you, as an American, over a Canadian?

Other than thumping your chest and saying "We're a superpower (that pats down grannies at checkpoints) BOO YAH!" what benefit does that yield *you*, as a person compared to a Canadian?

Re:Definitely not from the US. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256411)

Not really. It's more because 60 years ago the economies of the other strong nations were all blown up, and the US was the only shop in town. The US is a super-power despite our style of working, not because of it.

Re:Definitely not from the US. (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 8 months ago | (#46256199)

Uh, 6 weeks of paid vacation per year is not the norm. 2 weeks is mandatory, but most people I know usually have 3-4 weeks. The only people who get 6+ are generally in union jobs. But yes, 40 hours weeks are the norm. Some places do 44. By law you cant do more then 48 unless it is agreed to in writing. Any by law you cannot work more than 60 hours unless the company gets approval by some labour board. Of course there are some jobs that are exempt for this such as truckers, miners.. as well as exceptional circumstances such as an emergency (and no deadlines are not considered an emergency)

  My current job is awesome, 35 hours per week, 4 weeks paid vacation. I used to have a 44 hour job, and that seemed to be fairly life draining I can't imagine doing 50+ consistently.

But for the ridiculous vacation, just look at some of those European countries.

The 40 hour work week is BULLSHIT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256081)

The only people who like a 40 hour work week are those people who enjoy being poor. The 40 hour work week, with its arbitrary limit on personal wealth is the "gift" of radical leftist BIG GOVERMENT unions from the early part of this century. In case you forget, unions are the leftist groups that take part of your pay check for... nothing... unions are part of the leftist establishment that works to undermine our free markets and raise our taxes, take away our guns and limit our traditional christian religious freedom.

Re:The 40 hour work week is BULLSHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256101)

As a troll, you fail it. Miserably.

Next time, try not to be so obvious.

Stop it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256083)

Stop redirecting me to your fucking beta site you bastards

Re:Stop it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256353)

Click on Slashdot Classic [slashdot.org] you fucking moron.

There are many reasons to pull 60 hour week. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#46256091)

Remember the famous mathematics prof told his colleagues (an engineering prof and a physics prof), "Should have both the mistress and the wife. The wife thinks I'm with the mistress and the mistress thinks I'm with the wife, and I can go the department to get some work done"?

Many people find refuge in work. Else they endure a constant stream of "load/unload the dishwasher", "take out the garbage", "fold the laundry", "walk the dog", "do the taxes", "get some exercise", ...They fire up the VPN, log in and have some gibberish looking text on screen, having mastered the art of sleeping with eyes open while sitting in a chair, (thanks to endless meetings with PHBs) they just relax. Once you learn to fake sincerity, you got it made...

Re:There are many reasons to pull 60 hour week. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256185)

*THIS* is why I go into work on snow days. I can get something done: my wife and kids are at home and I can't concentrate.

Re:There are many reasons to pull 60 hour week. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256253)

Remember the famous mathematics prof told his colleagues (an engineering prof and a physics prof), "Should have both the mistress and the wife. The wife thinks I'm with the mistress and the mistress thinks I'm with the wife, and I can go the department to get some work done"?

Many people find refuge in work. Else they endure a constant stream of "load/unload the dishwasher", "take out the garbage", "fold the laundry", "walk the dog", "do the taxes", "get some exercise", ...They fire up the VPN, log in and have some gibberish looking text on screen, having mastered the art of sleeping with eyes open while sitting in a chair, (thanks to endless meetings with PHBs) they just relax. Once you learn to fake sincerity, you got it made...

Bad to presume that the typical IT worker has a wife.

Another variation (2)

goldstein (705041) | about 8 months ago | (#46256365)

Reminds me of an experience I had years ago when working late. An older employee stops by and says "Bob, you are here because you don't have a wife. I'm here because I have a wife."

wow really (1)

xmousex (661995) | about 8 months ago | (#46256105)

so let me get this straight. If i am in an interview and i explain to them how well i held up under the pressure of ongoing 60 hour work weeks at my current or previous positions, this does nothing for me to get the next job?

I know for the positions i have hired people in for, this sort of experience is something i always considered a good thing. People who have been willing to do what it takes to get things done.

Re:wow really (5, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 8 months ago | (#46256233)

so let me get this straight. If i am in an interview and i explain to them how well i held up under the pressure of ongoing 60 hour work weeks at my current or previous positions, this does nothing for me to get the next job?

Not if they have any degree of intelligence. The oldest study that I know of by Hans Eysenck in war-time Britain showed that people working 57 hours a week produced less than people working 48 hours a week. That was about people producing weapons, who you would assume would have been very highly motivated. Working over 40 hours a week doesn't achieve anything. Six weeks at 60 hours a week produces the same work as six weeks at 40 hours. Except after working 60 hours for six weeks you are so tired that you can't keep up with the 40 hour worker anymore.

Re:wow really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256445)

People are intelligent? What bullshit is this. Have you been talking your imaginary friends again?

I rarely do more than 45 and never more than 60 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256115)

If you make bad engineering decisions, waste time on documentation that will never get read, and spend loads of time overengineering trivial problems then you can easily turn 36 hours worth of work into 60. Can I wear a badge of honor that says I rarely need to work 40 hours to get my projects done on time and I can fix most bugs in my code quickly?

60? Pah, come back when you're in triple digits. (1, Interesting)

goldcd (587052) | about 8 months ago | (#46256117)

If this is the norm, then as the OP suggests, something is very very wrong.
Occasionally though, ridiculous hours are required - and I don't have a problem with gritting my teeth and taking it. Moreover I (in retrospect normally) am quite proud of those moments when we "made it happen"
What's more interesting to me is how your employer handles these exceptions. Whilst chatting to future employers, I was quite dismayed by the number that point-blank refused to accept these scenarios every occurred, and therefore saw no reason for a policy on their handling.

Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256133)

Or you are in the military working hard, not smarter.

Hrm (1)

topgun966 (1377185) | about 8 months ago | (#46256143)

I have been in IT for over 15 years now, I think I can count on one hand the weeks I have worked that where only 40 hours. (counting getting called on call). It is the nature of the business and our jobs.

Agree with the summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256149)

Nobody wants to be a slave. If you're working 60+ hours, it means you are not good enough to find a job that offers a better work/life balance.

you don't want unions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256155)

so don't complain when the boss shafts you!

Hasn't it been known for a 100 years? (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 8 months ago | (#46256165)

I mean it's not new that the max you can expect out of people is 40 hours.(One of the big reasons we switched to 40 hour weeks in the 20th century, it was pointless to have people work longer than that you don't actually get any more production.)

(sarcasm on)

Oh wait, we're talking about IT. The rules don't apply to us. You know, we don't need a business plan. Lets just wing things, it'll work out and sure 60+ hour weeks make sense.

(sarcasm off)

Re:Hasn't it been known for a 100 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256273)

IT is not real work. That's why you don't get any respect for doing it. Your coworkers will expect you to work all night. Your coworkers will expect you to be at your desk early the next morning after working all night. Machines don't need sleep, why should you.

Stop Sniveling! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256189)

Millions of people are out of work. The Obama economy is the biggest disaster since the Great Depression.

If you think you are being overworked, you can ask your boss to hire an extra person or you can quit, and your job can go to someone willing to spend more time working and less time crying.

Re:Stop Sniveling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256327)

Obama can't last forever! He has a term limit. Unfortunately the American idiot voters will replace him with something even more evil.

Stop inviting it (4, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 8 months ago | (#46256209)

What I see is way too many people bending over backwards in order to get bent over forwards in return. Just because you have a smart phone and a laptop doesn't mean you have to reply instantly. It doesn't mean you have to give an ETA on a project or task that requires you to get it done with 60 hours in a week or 14 hours in a day.
 
    And once you start doing that everyone starts expecting it. Don't start! If you do work at home wait until the morning to send it out. Don't reply to email at 8pm. When your boss says "Where were you last night?" You say "Did we have an after hours appointment?" and make a show of looking at your calendar. The next time you say "Taking my son to xyz." Say it like it was wonderful and not like it's an excuse. Don't for a second feel guilty. Do this publicly as much as possible. Nobody else there wants to work 14 hour days either.

It's like an idiotic prisoners' dilemna. We all do it because everybody else is. Even your boss is sick of it, and has wife who is sick of it too.

The only way to win is not to play. If that means moving on to another job so be it. Keep moving until the tide around you moves with you.

Re:Stop inviting it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256395)

Keep moving until the tide around you moves with you.

If you're not moving with the tide, you're not a part of society. Enjoy living homeless in the gutter. Finally you can be free!

I'm in IT, you insensitive clod. (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | about 8 months ago | (#46256225)

We average about 50 hours a week, but there are weeks when it goes up to 60 or more. These aren't too often, however. Plus you know that scene in "Office Space" where we hear that there's a good amount of staring into space? There's some of that too. Take that out of my day and it's a more normal 40 hours of actual work.

The problem is in finding people. I interviewed over twenty candidates last year but no matter that the resumes read "Linux expert", many couldn't change a password expiration or expand an LV.

It's really not that simple (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#46256231)

When I did contract work, we put in 60+ hour weeks because we wanted to. Rather than trying to find another "star" programmer, our team made do with the resources that we had and worked our butts off because of little issues like having to train any new hires on the techniques we were using. It would have been a good 3-4 months before a new hire would be productive, by which time the project would be almost over.

After the project, we'd take a month off and just relax, living off our savings.

Granted, it's not a life for everyone, but when you're living that way by choice because you like taking off a month at a time, it works out for both the client and the contractor.

Working as an employee outside the contractor mentality, I rarely was called upon to work overtime. The rumours of killer hours being demanded by employers are, in my experience, bullshit. The only employees I ever saw working such crunch hours were people who were so incompetent they just flat out couldn't keep up with the rest of the team. They were working overtime because they weren't good enough to be in the industry, not because anyone was forcing them to, unless expecting someone to do their job competently is "forcing" them to work overtime.

Sure there were emergencies where we had to pull all-nighters to fix problems, but those were exceptions and didn't happen more than once a month at most. If you're going to work a job that involves babysitting critical batch jobs, you're going to have the occasional night where the babysitting turns into repair and rerun -- you wouldn't be getting paid to carry a pager/cell phone if it weren't important to the company to have that backup to make sure jobs run to completion.

Startups, however, are another issue. I've worked for a couple of them, and that work environment sucks farts off dead chickens in the August heat. Startups tend to have this mentality that you're "investing" in the company and that you'll "get your rewards" when the company wins it big. But I've never worked for a company that "won it big." Instead, most of them fell over and crashed because they were dreaming big dreams without the cash and capital needed to make it reality, relying on being able to sucker staff into working obscene hours instead of paying them.

I hated working for startups. The pressure is intense, the demands are unrealistic, and the goals are unstable. The bottom line is that unless you own a startup, you're unlikely to ever see the payout. They're a con-job designed to line the pockets of the owner and investors, not to pay you what you're actually worth.

So, in short, if you're working 60 hours a week as a contractor, don't sweat it -- it's your choice. If you're called on to work 60 hours occasionally as an employee, make sure it's for the occasional emergency, not a regular fact of life. And if you're working for a startup, wake the hell up and find another job where you're going to get paid what you're worth.

Organizational Breakdown (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 8 months ago | (#46256291)

I have worked 60+ hour weeks only one time in my life. Before I joined this company, two of the three employees separately contacted me to warn that the boss was, in their words, "crazy." Unfortunately, I didn't believe them. I hadn't had any experience with crazy bosses up until that point in my career. The only other employee quit around the same time.

I lasted four months. The pay was good. And the job would not have been that difficult. It didn't even require more people. But the organization had definitely completely broken down. Everyone did five different jobs, everything from electronics repair to customer service to data processing to moving equipment. This was by design, apparently, in order to make the company more "agile."

I spent a lot of time automating simple data processing tasks, and working on improving physical processes that took a lot of time for no real benefit. But I couldn't make improvements quickly enough. Almost the entire time, the "crazy" boss was literally looking over my shoulder, telling me how to do every little thing in whatever particular way he thought was best. Even though I had been a Unix consultant for nearly a decade, he took it as his personal mission to teach me the wonders of Excel as a universal programming tool. Ugh.

I was actually relieved to eventually be fired, after working two weeks straight, including travel and weekends and 10-11 hour days, simply for taking a day off. One of the other employees left at the same time. The last thing I did was to fix an absolutely crippling issue that I had noticed on the first day on the job, but never had the time to properly investigate. They had re-programmed a bunch of wireless routers with the same MAC address. Brilliant.

Last I heard, they had hired a dozen people shortly after I left. Probably all Excel experts.

Re:Organizational Breakdown (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 8 months ago | (#46256433)

Was this boss from India by any chance? I have worked for Indians, and they tend to be both micro-managers and slightly crazy/delusional.
(Not trying to be racist, this is just my personal experience)

Sometimes it's fun (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 8 months ago | (#46256315)

There have been many periods in my career when I worked 60+ per week because I enjoyed it and wanted to. I got a lot accomplished during those times.

Etremely difficult for a programmer (1)

Flammon (4726) | about 8 months ago | (#46256355)

Programming 60 real hours in a week is extremely difficult. Try this. Start a timer when you're doing some real work, not goofing off on /. or procrastinating. Trust me, if you can clock 60 real work hours in a week, you'll be mentally exhausted and will have no motivation to do anything for 2 to 3 days.

12-hour days (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 8 months ago | (#46256367)

Some of my co-workers brag about working 12-hour days, as if to say they're more valuable than the rest of us. I think it's important to be able to do that in an emergency, but it's no way to operate for any length of time. I don't care who you are or what you do — nobody puts out quality work for twelve hours a day, at least not for very long. And this is especially true when it comes to code. The very best coders can write truly great code for about six hours a day, tops, before they're mentally exhausted.

Management's Idea (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about 8 months ago | (#46256409)

The Papa John's Pizza franchise in Minnesota (PJCOMN corp) would pay it's general managers (GMs) a salary based on a 40-hour work week, but required that all GMs schedule themselves for a minimum of 50 hours per week.

At the store I worked at, 2 of our shift leads quit at the same time, leaving only the GM and one shift lead to run it for over a month. This meant that both of those people were working 60+ hours a week. Because shift leads are paid hourly, and GMs were paid fixed-salary, the shift lead ended up making more than twice as much per week as the GM.

In other words, people on salary who work more than 40 hours a week are simply being taken advantage of by their employer, and the employer loves it when you work 60 hours for 40 hours worth of pay

2 peoples jobs? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 months ago | (#46256425)

Umm where i live 40 is a single person, so 80 hours would be 2 people, not 60 hours. Where do you live that 30 a hour work week is normal?

Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46256431)

Or making mad overtime bank.

Thanks union!

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