work

Overwork

For the entire time I've been here in the US, I've never understood performative overwork to cover for bad processes. The week after I joined JPMorgan, the boos of my old team had us all working until 11pm on 3 days of that week. We had to manually review every single document being sent to a client. All I could think of was, "How terrible are your processes that it was even necessary to do that?"

I realize that there are times when working late is unavoidable. But it's not something I aspire to do on a regular basis. Working at all hours of the day isn't a life goal for me. Maybe there are folks who genuinely enjoy work so much that it's fun for them. But I suspect most of us aren't like that.

I''d love to see a change in how Americans view their relationship with work. Let's enjoy life more.

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Employee should be grateful that company pays her what she's owed

I'm getting heavy Karen vibes from the letter writer. And always remember that the company doesn't ultimately care about you:

I’m just kind of floored that she’s getting gift cards after speaking to her superiors like that. I’m also uncomfortable because why is our company responsible for her fiscal irresponsibility? Her personal finances or debts are not the company’s responsibility. I just don’t think it’s the company’s responsibility to give her more than what she’s earned (the extra $500 from the employee emergency relief fund) to fix things for her if she overspent or didn’t prioritize her bills or save smartly.

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Can't find workers

If you as a business owner have to whine about no one wanting to work, it's because the terms you are offering aren't competitive in the current marketplace.

Should that mean you can't afford to stay in business, then your business model was flawed from the start. Shut it down:

reich

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A new journey

I meant to send the following as the prelude to the newsletter you were sent this past week.

I've decided to find a new job. I saw that my current job was evolving in a way that I would eventually not enjoy the work at all. So I took the affirmative step of finding a new job before I was forced to do so.

Leaving a job is never easy. I'm applying to jobs in my current company, but also looking outside. This is honestly the first time I've made the decision to leave a job, rather than being laid off or the company folding. It's been empowering. I can choose the next step in my career rather than having it chosen for me.

So, if you know of any potential jobs I'd be good for or know people I can talk to, please let me know.

UPDATE: The worker shortage is real. In the 3 weeks I've been applying, I've gotten 3 interviews and they've all gone to a second interview. I've never been this in demand in the job market.

If a yahoo like me can get this much interest, then so can you. If you are feeling like you could use a change, there may not be a better time to look for a new job. And on the plus side, you'll likely get paid more at a new job.

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The Day My Coworkers and I Chose Our Survival Over Our Supervisor

This story is about UPS workers who defied their supervisor and walked off the job during the 9/11 attacks. The article also talks about how workers can take their power back in the early days of COVID-19. Hint: they had a union.

In the days after 9/11, I felt more pity than anger toward Billy. Faced with a quick decision, he humiliated himself by revealing a middle manager’s instinct to put the interests of a corporation that didn’t know his name before his own life. But I felt that way because there was no third plane that day, and the only consequence of his bureaucratic bumbling was the loss of his own dignity.

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The Abolition of Work

The Abolition of Work

To abolish work requires going at it from two directions, quantitative and qualitative. On the one hand, on the quantitative side, we have to cut down massively on the amount of work being done. At present most work is useless or worse and we should simply get rid of it. On the other hand — and I think this the crux of the matter and the revolutionary new departure — we have to take what useful work remains and transform it into a pleasing variety of game-like and craft-like pastimes, indistinguishable from other pleasurable pastimes except that they happen to yield useful end-products. Surely that shouldn’t make them less enticing to do. Then all the artificial barriers of power and property could come down. Creation could become recreation. And we could all stop being afraid of each other.

There are some very thought provoking ideas in this essay.

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Red flags

When a company's retirement materials say "Live to work now so you can work to live later", run far, far away.

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