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Old 05-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #21
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Being self-employed, I would work extra at the office and at home to the point that if I was not sleeping, I was working. I don't think I would have done that if I was working for someone else, especially if I was on salary.

The extra work translated to extra money, so I was doing it to make myself richer, not the "company." Because of that extra effort, I am almost able to cut back to working single-digit hours per week while some of my friends are still living paycheck to paycheck and will probably be doing so for the next 40 years.

Even so, it got to the point where enough was enough and I cut back. Sometimes picking up that last dollar off the floor isn't worth it. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
I was just wonder if I am the stupid one or the "dedicate" one at the office. It seems to me that only a very few people in the office bring work home so we can "catch up" or "getting ahead" ...lol. When I drive to and from work, when I am in the bathroom, when I am in bed, whenever or whereever I am at, I tend to think about work. Is it a worthless or worthwhile effort? Keep in mind that noone pay me an extra nickel for it. I am on salary.

1) is it a typical "white collar" technical field job behavior?
Yes. At least, a lot of people take work home (whether they actually work on it or not).

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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
2) when is it gonna end? there are plenty of job don't require such effort.
True. There are some, anyway. For sanity's sake you need to be able to leave your work at work, mentally (at the very least).

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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
3) do you do it and why?
Absolutely not, because I don't want anyone to start expecting it from me.

I'd say about half or less of those at my work take work home. If everyone did it and I felt pressured, I'd lug some stuff back and forth just to look industrious but I wouldn't actually work on it at home.

Look at those who advance quickly in your organization, and think about whether that group works the hardest, stays late, takes work home, and gets the most done. It may seem like you are getting brownie points by taking work home, but in my reality it doesn't seem to work that way. I don't mean to be too cynical, but just watch - - some yo-yo who surfs the net all day and is fresh and relaxed will say the right things at the right moment and catapult ahead of the rest. And you, with all that work you take home day after day, will be left behind in the dust, exhausted.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
I was just wonder if I am the stupid one or the "dedicate" one at the office. It seems to me that only a very few people in the office bring work home so we can "catch up" or "getting ahead" ...lol. When I drive to and from work, when I am in the bathroom, when I am in bed, whenever or whereever I am at, I tend to think about work. Is it a worthless or worthwhile effort? Keep in mind that noone pay me an extra nickel for it. I am on salary.

1) is it a typical "white collar" technical field job behavior?
2) when is it gonna end? there are plenty of job don't require such effort.
3) do you do it and why?

enuff
I work at home all the time, there was never any formal edict but it's pretty much expected for Execs, Sr Managers, mid-Managers and some others at my MegaCorp. With the BlackBerry everywhere, you're in touch (all forms) at all times. I think it's become common/expected with high paying/competitive jobs and it will only trickle down further. There are jobs where it won't happen, but the pay will be lower in most cases.

I don't think it's all bad though. Before the electronic age, I used to stay at work for 60-70 hours a week routinely, sometimes more. At least now I spend less than 50 hours a week physically at work because I can access anything and everything from home and do that work when I want to work it in (while petting my dog on the head or breaking to help DW with something if needed). Strictly an individual choice, between higher pay and quality of non-work life...
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:45 PM   #24
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The sad part of this thread is how few (some are) are mentioning accomplishments as a measure of work success. It's a bad sign for corp America today.

Being organized and getting your job done in 40 hrs, playing golf with the boss, being avaiable all weekend, never needed to work o/t.....and on and on.... These things should have little to do with career success. Career success should entail assuming responsibility for making important, and sometimes risky, things happen. Fail..... start looking for another job. Suceed.... reap significant rewards.

Sadly our economy and our career lives seem to be drifting away from risk taking, "whatever it takes" attitudes and rewarding those who make things happen.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:32 PM   #25
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Our largest customer is in another time zone (2 hrs back) and our plant has 3 shifts so I check my email several times during the evening to see if anything going on. Our customer has my cell and knows they can call anytime. Of course, my shift supervisors can do the same.

I am a relative newcomer at the plant (3 1/2 years) compared to most of the associates and all of my supervisors. They did well before I was around, they do well while I am around, and they will do well after I have left. I am very careful not to allow them to be or force them to be dependent on me as I am only temporary. They are the engine and I am the oil. I help things move together smoothly but any brand of oil will work in a good engine.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
I was just wonder if I am the stupid one or the "dedicate" one at the office. It seems to me that only a very few people in the office bring work home so we can "catch up" or "getting ahead" ...lol. When I drive to and from work, when I am in the bathroom, when I am in bed, whenever or whereever I am at, I tend to think about work. Is it a worthless or worthwhile effort? Keep in mind that noone pay me an extra nickel for it. I am on salary.

1) is it a typical "white collar" technical field job behavior?
2) when is it gonna end? there are plenty of job don't require such effort.
3) do you do it and why?


enuff
I tend to think about technical issues from work. It's hard to forget them. The company makes it easier to bring work to home by providing laptops. The two main reasons are making deadlines and too much distractions at the office to do any real work;
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:05 AM   #27
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I would put in 11 hr + 2hr of commute each day. Then I typically work from 10pm to 1am after I put the kids to bed. Would also put in at least 5-10 hrs on the weekends.

I was constantly stressed out and recently landed in the hospital with a serious acute condition but was probably enabled by the crazy hours and stress. Condition was serious with 20% mortality. Came through it okay but am still recovering.

Guess what, while on medical leave, my job was "eliminated" - how about that for appreciation of my efforts. No more medical benefits, no year end bonus, no severance - just a kick in the pants and "return your stuff in 5 days and we will send you COBRA info shortly". Class act.

What I've learned (the hard way):

1. Need to be more cognizant of the impact of work/life balance on health. Prolonged stress will lead to several adverse health impacts.
2. The amount of work put into the job may not be valued as much as you think.
3. Need to evaluate priorities in life. For me its my wife and 3 kids (9, 2, 3mths). Earlier, it made sense to go, go, go as the incremental work resulted in greater responsibility and compensation. But now at 40, I think I've paid my dues. My family will now be top priority (especially now that I don't have a job)
4. This gives me the perfect opportuntity to go into semi-retirement. Slow down and do something that I like at a lower compensation level. Thank god LBYM enabled this opportunity.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:36 AM   #28
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Back in my w*rking days I took work home almost every night. I would frequently work several hours a hight at home (after already being at w*rk over 12 hours). Weekends I was on call and worked every Saturday for over a year. Sundays were catchup days at home so it was work of a different kind.

Vacations were short and I called into my voice mail and checked email every few hours.

It sucked and I am so very glad to have my life back. I don't think I had much of a choice at the time due to the job I was in and the issues the company had at the time. I would NEVER do that again.

My last j*b required very very little home work. I did get calls on weekends and did have to go in on to fix some issue but it was rare. My vacations did not involve email (still checked voice mail).

I still check email several times during the day but not for work issues any longer...now they are from friends. Nice change.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:03 AM   #29
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I used to work 12-14 hour days, as a senior exec of my megacorp. Then I took the PC home and worked on emails, studied charts and figures, etc. Over the last year, though, I have had three physical problems come up, and each time the doctors have told me that they were either stress-related (caused by something else and worsened by stress), or jusy plain-old caused by stress.

I'm still in the same job, and I am still responsible for a huge amount of staff, a huge bugdet/PL and a massive balance sheet. However, I made a great hire about 6 months ago and have been able to delegate more to him, and my other officers have grown up significantly. So since December and even moreso after my most recent stress related health ussue, when to doc said I MUST live my life differently (if I wanted to live), I decided to try to accelerate my detachment from the stress and worry. Now I go to the gym in the morning and show up at the office at 8:45 instead of 6:30. I leave to go home most nights by 6pm if not earlier, instead of 7:30-8:30pm.

Do I take work home? Paperwork = never, Cell phone = always, separate Smartphone = always, but only peek at it when it vibrates, no answer unless deadly urgent and important, PC = always, and peek at the title/sender of emails when they come, but don't work on them except to clean up non-urgent (read and file stuff) or junk mail.

Actually I believe that this is an important step, for me anyway, in prepping to ER. I think that if I went cold turkey (no 12-14 hour workdays, no cell callers, no smartphone, no more hundreds of emails to sift thru, and no more million dollar decisions on almost a daily basis), I would probably go nuts. So I do whatever I have to do in 8-9 hours now, delegate, and try to forget work when I leave the office.

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Old 05-17-2008, 06:34 AM   #30
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I used to work 60+ hours per week and bring work home. Now I'm down to 32 hours and very seldom take work home, unless I work from home for a day. I delegate everything I can and use cell phone, laptop, etc to communicate with clients/ coworkers.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #31
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Are you implying that I put a gun to her head every morning and force her to go to work? Do you think I don't worry about the impact of stress on her health?
No.
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:27 AM   #32
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I was just wonder if I am the stupid one or the "dedicate" one at the office. It seems to me that only a very few people in the office bring work home so we can "catch up" or "getting ahead" ...lol. When I drive to and from work, when I am in the bathroom, when I am in bed, whenever or whereever I am at, I tend to think about work. Is it a worthless or worthwhile effort?

Your "problem" is that you have a strong sense of responsibility, I think.

DW did that often before we retired. She was the only one in the office (fed. govt.) with a sense of responsibility and/or a work ethic, and was working 10-12 hour days, would often go in on Saturdays and/or Sundays. The work was recognized, she got outstanding ratings - with a bonus check - but the downside was consistent neck and back pain and headaches. She'd come home from work and collapse on the couch. Basically life was the pits.

I'd try to tell her it didn't matter. Where I worked (law enforcement) a screw-up at work meant somebody got hurt or died, anything else could get fixed, and I viewed other stuff in that context. If the paperwork in her office didn't get done no one would die, and whoever's project was delayed would learn to get their ducks in a row and get it in earlier. It didn't convince her, the task was assigned to her and therefore she "had" to get it done. This came from within her, nowhere else.

A wake-up came when my mother died and six months later her mother died. By then we had zero debt (no mortgage, no CC debt, etc.) and the means to pull the plug. It took some convincing to get her to agree but we did it. We moved from a highly congested area north of Wash. DC where we had to plan our daily lives around traffic to slower-paced WV.

DW has all the time she wants to spend with nearby family, when her father had a hip replacement she could be there instead of thinking about work, and so on.

Both families notice within a year that we were both much more relaxed and laid-back and had no stress in our lives. What we gave up was dual six figure incomes. Okay, so we'll never have the 35-foot sailboat, the new Corvette, the 60" plasma TV and some other toys. What we do have is our health, our sanity, and time to spend with people we care about.

We think the trade was a good one.

Your YMMV.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:12 AM   #33
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Technology and culture have "blurred" distinction between work and personal for white collar jobs - you can work all the time, anywhere.

I work at home 1/2 time. Work is endless, even if you like it.

I use a "timeclock" approach to track/manage time I put into work - 40 hours/week (actually less....). I work hard for the allocated time.

I have seen people "cram 8 hours into 10" - they work longer, but get same/less done.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:39 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
I was just wonder if I am the stupid one or the "dedicate" one at the office. It seems to me that only a very few people in the office bring work home so we can "catch up" or "getting ahead" ...lol. When I drive to and from work, when I am in the bathroom, when I am in bed, whenever or whereever I am at, I tend to think about work. Is it a worthless or worthwhile effort? Keep in mind that noone pay me an extra nickel for it. I am on salary.

1) is it a typical "white collar" technical field job behavior?
2) when is it gonna end? there are plenty of job don't require such effort.
3) do you do it and why?


enuff
I bring work home only because I enjoy it and my employeer allows me to work from home. Some work can be done remotly. My last employer, of 20 yrs, would not let me work from home, yet expected me bring work home after 5pm and work on the weekends for free. That helped me decide to ER. I was got another job @ a University(free tuition for my three kids), who are much more flexible then my last company.

Working remotly is great as long as long as you can keep focused.
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