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Old 03-21-2012, 01:47 PM   #61
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Normal work day for more senior people was 6:30 AM to ~7:00 PM. Travel and entertaining clients was additional. Weekend work was not uncommon. If things were exceptionally busy, all bets were off.

Junior people were expected to work longer.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:47 PM   #62
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Businesses won't hire for a number of reasons, but the fact that they don't HAVE to in such a fear-motivated job market -- even when they have more work to do -- is certainly one of them. Why hire more people or give raises when you can simply tell them to shut up and be thankful they have a job at all?
At my old firm the president would frequently tell us that. We all laughed on our way out the door to more lucrative job offers that would give us better industry experience and position us for even better work in the future. I guess you have to know your own value and know how marketable you are. Maybe that president was ok with having a third of his workforce walk off the job to better opportunities. Their profitability finally started recovering in 2011 so he may have been on to something with keeping salaries low and benefits crappy! Since I'm still a part owner of the firm and a non-employee I am quite ok with underpaying the employees and treating them like crap since it increases my stock value. I'm getting paid out over the next 5 years anyway so I don't care about the long term reputation or profitability.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:57 PM   #63
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I agree with the questioning of 80-hour weeks. Another factor many omit is the personal time many of us take during the workday. For example, my air conditioner tune-up is next week. They gave me a 4-hour window from 2-6 pm. So I'll work from home. However, there will be an hour in that period where I'm letting them in the door, asking questions, signing the paperwork, and letting them out the door.

What about dentist and doctors appointments? Lunches that run a bit long? Picking up the dry cleaning? Talking to your CPA on the phone while at work? Calling the wife for 10 minutes once a week to discuss the fact that the carpet cleaners showed up and dropped something on the rug.

The list goes on and on. I have no issues taking some time from work during the work day...as I'm not measured by hours, but rather by the work I complete. For me, I'm physically "on the job" about 50-52 hours a week....but probably 6-7 hours a week is the above examples where I'm at personal appointments....so my workweek averages in the mid 40s.

I work for a global MegaCorp, so about twice a week I have conference calls at 9 pm with Singapore or China, or sometimes India. There are a lot of "give and take" situations like this...I work some at night, and take some time off during the day for personal appointments.

There have been short periods where I've worked 70+ hours during a week, usually around SEC reporting since I'm in Finance. But when I work until 10 pm on a Sunday night getting the SEC reports ready and submitted, then I sleep in on Monday morning and come in at noon.

At the end of the year, so long as I can look in the mirror and say I'm doing right by the company, I can sleep at night and feel good about my work.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #64
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At my old firm the president would frequently tell us that. We all laughed on our way out the door to more lucrative job offers that would give us better industry experience and position us for even better work in the future. I guess you have to know your own value and know how marketable you are. Maybe that president was ok with having a third of his workforce walk off the job to better opportunities. Their profitability finally started recovering in 2011 so he may have been on to something with keeping salaries low and benefits crappy! Since I'm still a part owner of the firm and a non-employee I am quite ok with underpaying the employees and treating them like crap since it increases my stock value. I'm getting paid out over the next 5 years anyway so I don't care about the long term reputation or profitability.
Exactly. Although in poor job markets, you may not be able to find something else...companies know that if they treat you like that now, then in 2013 you might be gone if the job market improves. I don't think most companies are quite that nimble to change their approach that quickly. What they do now may come back to bite them.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #65
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I worked >60 hour weeks for well over a decade. If travel time were counted as work it would be much higher.
Yikes!
This is where I refer to the thread on taking a job for less pay on the forum.
There is no way, for any amount of money, I could manage that.
Please, enjoy your retirement. You deserve it!

I may be more on the Travis McGee plan myself, taking my retirement in snatches, at lower pay, but I seriously cannot fathom being at the office or traveling for work that much.

As to the thread subject, I think it is highly individual. I've seen older slackers and younger ones, but I gotta say that the 20-somethings that I know seem to have a far healthier attitude about work/life balance than the folks my age and older.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:09 PM   #66
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At my old firm the president would frequently tell us that. We all laughed on our way out the door to more lucrative job offers that would give us better industry experience and position us for even better work in the future.
It is certainly my hope that karma works out this way for employers who take that "live to work" attitude once the market improves.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #67
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There were times I could work and did work many many hours and didn't think twice about it. Now, it is much much harder to work the same number of hours I could years ago. I would start breaking down physically and mentally, so I stop before it gets too far. I have to. I do want to keep this job until I retire (I am way over "early 40's".), but I just have to stop when things get too much.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #68
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Exactly. Although in poor job markets, you may not be able to find something else...companies know that if they treat you like that now, then in 2013 you might be gone if the job market improves. I don't think most companies are quite that nimble to change their approach that quickly. What they do now may come back to bite them.
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It is certainly my hope that karma works out this way for employers who take that "live to work" attitude once the market improves.
IMO it will!
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:50 PM   #69
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...But in a previous life working for a consulting engineering firm, in general the older workers never really worked out even though the CEO loved to hire them. The salaries were always a lot higher (often double that of a newly minted engineer with 0-4 years experience). The real problem was that they weren't that technically savvy. Frequently they didn't have the computer and software skills needed to succeed and work independently. This shortcoming was seen on the word/excel/outlook side of software - they couldn't complete simple reports and get them formatted professionally. And on the technical software side.
Hey! I learned how to properly format reports in Fortran!!! My first programming class was in high school. The teacher not only had us getting the program to work, but we had to format the output so it was properly spaced out across the computer paper. This served me well later as I've always kept formatting in mind for reports. So, not all of us older workers are challenged by these newer programs.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #70
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When I was working civil construction jobs overseas in the 70's and 80's the standard work schedule was 6 12's. Six days a week, 12 hours a day. I did this for close to a decade (That's what allowed me to FI/ER). After doing that, coming back to the the US and working regular jobs that only required 50-60 hours a week was a piece of cake. I guess it all depends on one's perspective. I rather suspect that one's work flexibility and willingness to learn is directly tied in to the wolf's relative location to one's door.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #71
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Eh, you people who worked 60-hr week, at least you got something from it.

I spent a few years doing that, first moonlighting with a couple of start-ups, then quit my day job to join one. The first few years, we made enough money so I could get paid straight-time, and then at the end, I worked for free so we could pay rent, utilities, and salaries of lower employees.

Never, never again!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:56 AM   #72
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Then, just now finished watching a 60 Minutes piece on the Millenial Generation. It said that the younger folks in their 20s were self-absorbed, spoiled, and would not go the extra mile for their employers. It was like Midpack described below.
So, what's the truth? The TV piece above was old. Perhaps the Great Recession has changed them?
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"What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?" -- Plato, 4th Century BC
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I hope the young folks learn from what happened to the old folks. When they tire of 60+ hour weeks and are burnt out, they will also be cast onto the scrap heap of expendable resources.
I don't see how a young folk would possibly see the relevance of an old folk to their current situation, let alone their future.

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I'm skeptical of these 60-80 hour uncompensated work weeks. We have been hearing about them for at least 25 years. For much of the time it was bogus self promotion by us boomers about how hard we worked, now it is the demands of evil bosses. Yet every few years someone publishes a study that shows that workers vastly overestimate their hours of work. They may feel like they are slaving away 80 hours but most of them are not. For skilled workers it may be due to the 24x7 electronic tethering that allows us to pop back into work at any time of day and night. For non-skilled, I suspect the vast majority who work long hours get the overtime pay they are entitled to by law.
For DonHeff and the others expressing skepticism about the 60-hour workweeks: you're right. Some weeks we didn't even work 20 hours.

We spent the rest of the time in meetings, in mandatory training, on cleanup, on watch, on duty, on cleanup watch duty, in drills, in drill critiques, in counseling sessions (both upward & downward), on the road, at sea, on the phone, and occasionally on mandatory co-worker social events.

But I wouldn't call any of that actual "work"-- just doing a job. I'm pretty sure I was on the job because I wasn't allowed to take a break, let alone go home for the rest of the day.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:41 AM   #73
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It is certainly not possible for me to do physical labor for 60 hours a week. But I did spend that much time in front of the CRT looking over the code for some bugs, and then at the electronics workbench probing around the circuit board, with a hot soldering iron at the ready.

No aching muscles, but the brain gets tired and drowsy. Still, I guess it is a lot better than digging trenches or tilling the soil for 60 hours a week. It pays better too.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:14 AM   #74
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As am I. Working 60 hours/week is hard and a huge strain on the body. Doing 80 hours/week for months/years at a time? Work 8-8 7 days/week? Never seen it unless a release is imminent.
It's pretty common in the larger law firms (and some other professions) to find people working 100+ hours a week from time to time but its not sustainable for very long (even if you switch the rest of your life off). There's no overtime, but the combination of incentive (bonus, salary increase, possible promotion and competitive working environment) and threat (job loss or income reduction) means that there is no shortage of people willing to put in those sorts of hours.

Needless to say, efficiency deteriorates pretty rapidly as the hours step up and mental and physical tiredness set in. I've also found that it gets harder as I age.

The working hours are one reason I am intending to FIRE in the near future.

For
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:00 AM   #75
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When I was working civil construction jobs overseas in the 70's and 80's the standard work schedule was 6 12's. Six days a week, 12 hours a day. I did this for close to a decade (That's what allowed me to FI/ER). After doing that, coming back to the the US and working regular jobs that only required 50-60 hours a week was a piece of cake. I guess it all depends on one's perspective. I rather suspect that one's work flexibility and willingness to learn is directly tied in to the wolf's relative location to one's door.
Were you paid overtime or for just 40 hours, i.e. salary?
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:30 AM   #76
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It is certainly my hope that karma works out this way for employers who take that "live to work" attitude once the market improves.
As long as senior execs are so highly compensated for achieving extreme cost reductions I fear this will continue and even get worse.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:33 AM   #77
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Hope your headhunter friend wasn't joining in and is sending out applicants based on skills and knowledge.

I don't think the get em young theory works as well as they think.
One word ... Facebook
I'm not sure what you mean, but in recruiting, Facebook is a tool that employers use to filter prospective hires by age without violating any regulations.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #78
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I'm not sure what you mean, but in recruiting, Facebook is a tool that employers use to filter prospective hires by age without violating any regulations.
And do not be surprised if the HR person askes for your facebook password during the interview!
Job Seekers Asked For Facebook Passwords: Debate Roars - The BrainYard - InformationWeek
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...words/?camp=fb
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #79
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I'm not sure what you mean, but in recruiting, Facebook is a tool that employers use to filter prospective hires by age without violating any regulations.
Speaking about Facebook and prospective employers, I would consider this a major invasion of privacy:
Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords *| ajc.com
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #80
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Say what you will, but nothing motivates people like hunger. And many young folks without work are hungry.

If us geezers should find our financial means curtailed, how many would rather sell a kidney like Khan often says, or go do some w*rk?

Dunno about the rest of y'all, but I love my kidneys, even if they produce stones (big ones too!).
+1
Once I reached a certain financial point (didn't have to wo%$ anymore)
I lost a lot of that "Hunger". I remb. closing on a lake front lot and depositing
that check and thinking "he he"
I have a friend in the industry who after 30+ years of wo%$ and has not saved a dime. He still has that "Hunger"
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