Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

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Phil H
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Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Phil H »

It always frustrates me no end when people effectively treat doing the job they are paid for as optional, but I can't quite shake off the thought that this somehow shows that I take life too seriously, or am brainwashed by capitalism/the state, or am still too influenced by the worst of conservative religion, etc.

All opinions welcome.
Fiona T
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Fiona T »

I don't think most people start a new job with the intent of taking the piss.

But then reality kicks in - frustrations with having not enough or poorly specc'ed work, being berated for being 5 minutes late back from lunch when you've been arriving half an hour early all week, unanswered emails from chasing info you need, being expected to work unpaid overtime, unchallenging repetitive work etc etc...

Happy motivated employees, who feel that they're contributing something useful, generally work hard.
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Mark James
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Mark James »

Yes, sounds like you've been brainwashed by capitalism. The fact is the vast majority of jobs don't need to be done and the ones that do don't require 40 odd hours to do. And it can depend on the job. I got three emails in three days and basically had nothing to do so I have decided when it's quiet in work I'm going to work on a movie script (rather than playing sporcle). On another day I will get loads of emails and have tons to do but the point is the work that is needed to get done gets done. Unless you need to get people to do stuff or your job won't get done then I wouldn’t worry about what other people do or don't do in work. And never work above and beyond. Bare minimums exist for a reason. I would recommend reading a book called Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber and watching the movie Office Space.
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Marc Meakin
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Marc Meakin »

Because I'm crap atmulti tasking i usually get my head down and do my work
Others like to chat and work, some may do a bit of work detween chats.
Generally I don't care what others do as long as I'm left to my own devices.
I normally have conversations at tea time
I would be nice if everyone did it though
But on the plus side I got a pay rise for my hard work and having no sick time off in 2 years
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Gavin Chipper
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Gavin Chipper »

What is the context for starting this thread?

But I agree with Fiona. People don't generally start off a job with that attitude. In my previous job, I didn't start off as a slacker at all, but I didn't get anything for it. As someone who wasn't established I was still more likely to be pulled up on irrelevant shit than people who had learnt how to slack off all day. And given that the managers were all slackers, I gradually took on the attitude that I was best off doing the minimum possible while remaining under the radar. And the closer it got to the end (we were told we were going to be made redundant about two years before it happened) the bolder I got. And I consider that I made a good job of it.
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Ben Wilson
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Ben Wilson »

I think part of it is down to the bullshit notion that a person's inherent worth is tied to their career, which is itself tied to how hard a person works. Capitalism has drilled it into people's brains that if you work hard enough, there's no limit to what can be achieved, and if you're struggling, it's your fault for slacking/drinking Starbucks/actually daring to enjoy life etc. And while employers do pay for 37/40/however many hours a week of your time, humans aren't robots and never will be. Burnout is a real thing and in the long run, a worker who can properly manage their time (including downtime) is going to be more valuable than someone who runs themselves ragged.
Andres Sanchez
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Andres Sanchez »

This thread reminds me of the most recent job I had.

I worked at a place called Texas Roadhouse for about 6 months; in comparison to the other job I worked at, this was the longest I've worked at. My job was a busser, cleaning tables and sending over dirty dishes to the people who clean all of that stuff. In May, when I first came in, there was a good amount of people that worked with me. I'd say like seven or more but probably not a double-digit and most of the people were great to be with whilst working. When August came around, however, that meant back to school for a good portion of the employees since they were minors so most of them ended up quitting to focus on school; it was tough but in the end, it was a reasonable thing to do in my eyes. Unfortunately, the number of bussers now dwindled down to about 4 with me included. It was honestly tough with that amount, and with me and another person focusing mostly on the work while the other members went out to the dumpsters to smoke, I knew that this wouldn't be good for us as a team. We even pulled in someone from the to-go section who had done bussing before to try and strengthen the team. I certainly had fun working at the place, but in my eyes I knew that work was important because that's how I could get money. Poor cooperation in the team plus the lack of people wanting to get hired as a busser and instead as a waiter/hostess/person at to-go made me, unfortunately, quit the job on the spot, fucking had a meltdown trying to decide what to do. Thankfully the managers I had understood and were nice to me the whole way through and I thank them heavily. I have no bad blood with any of the people I worked with within the establishment and honestly hope to see them again one day.

Looking back at this job, I think there needs to be a good balance. I know that work's important but at the same time having fun is good too. It's logical to think that the reason to go to work is to work if that's what you're doing, but if the people around you are both focused on working and also have fun then I think that can make the time worthwhile.
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Mark James
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Mark James »

At one of my jobs when I was younger, my boss gave out to me for smiling. I was just standing behind my counter and I thought of like a line from the Simpsons or something which made me smile and my boss was walking past and said "you shouldn't be smiling, you're supposed to be working". Fuck people like that.
Christy Cooper
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Christy Cooper »

I suppose it depends on the job- if you're a doctor or something, obviously you need to be 100% focused at all times as you could be putting other people's lives in danger.

If you're a video editor or something like that though, you can fool around a bit more, as you have more creative control over the job in question. As a media student, I create and edit a lot of films/videos and work as hard as I can on them, but that's not to say I don't get distracted- given the task at hand, I think it makes sense that people's minds sometimes wander elsewhere- sometimes I'll research stuff for inspiration; and other times I simply take a slight break, visit this forum etc, but like I said, for that particular task, there aren't really any consequences.

Whereas if you're working in the emergency services, you need to have your mind on the job at all time.
Andy McGurn
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Re: Is it anally retentive to expect people to spend the majority of their working day... working?

Post by Andy McGurn »

A former boss of mine took the attitude that if one gives their employees flexibility then they will work harder. Under him there was no requirement to come to the office (other than for monthly team meetings or one to ones). The only requirement was that ones work should be done when it’s meant to be done.

At that time our productivity and success was at a major high, to the extent that the team even got the silver award (second place, obviously) in the national social work awards “team of the year” category.

He is now retired but many employers could learn from his approach.
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