I wrote this post just over a year ago, and thanks to the unthinking outpourings of yet more Tory MPs, it seems relevant again
I do not believe that hard work is not in & of itself especially admirable
I have always worked hard at my job, I have testimonials from previous employers that say this. If you pay me to do a job I will do that job to the best of my ability. I will spend whatever time it takes to do the work properly to my standards. However my work has never been my life. I have never lived to work I have worked to live. This doesn’t mean anyone has been short changed.
I am unhappy if someone tells me I am not working hard enough. It’s only happened the once. The combination of working my socks off and being told that actually made me quite ill.
Yes, do a decent day’s work for a decent day’s pay. I have always encouraged my girls to work hard
Work is generally good. It means you can get a sense of achievement & you earn money to do other stuff. But it shouldn’t be the be-all & end-all of life. There seems to me no point at all in working your socks off so that you can buy lots of consumer goods that you won’t have time to enjoy because you are working such long hours. Slow down & smell the roses people.
Do not expect me to think it admirable simply because you work long hours. Especially if your sole intention is to become wealthy. I won’t condemn you for it either but it isn’t going to impress me. And don’t assume that people who do not have that level of ambition to earn lots of money aren’t prepared to do an equally good job. And don’t assume that if people haven’t “made it” to the same extent that you have that it’s because they are incapable or lazy. Maybe they haven’t had the opportunities or breaks, maybe they didn’t know the right people, or maybe their priorities are elsewhere. (As a brief aside don’t expect me to admire you at all if you got where you are by cheating or trampling on people – though I’m sure anyone I follow on Twitter wouldn’t do that)
Basically, there really doesn’t seem much point in life if all we do is work hard to make more money to buy stuff to save time so that we can work more……etc. Professor Sharon Beder discusses it here”
One of the things I have struggled most with about the current government is their ability to contradict themselves and expect no-one to notice (as in Michael Gove’s insistence that he wishes to free schools to make their own decisions on what and how to teach while dictating what primary schools should teach right down to the list of words children should be able to spell at certain ages) . The sentence that struck me here is
We must stop bailing out the reckless, avoiding all risk, and rewarding laziness.”
Where exactly do you draw the line between reckless & avoiding all risk? Who decides where this line falls?
Overall this attack on working people seems gratuitous and poorly thought out. I am far from convinced that much of it is true. We are about half-way up the working hours list, as for retirement age, again we seem fairly average
Another well made point is that working hard & long hours is all very well when you have an interesting, rewarding, well-paid job (such as MPs, consultants, board members etc), it isn’t quite as enticing when you have to work 12 hour shifts on factory lines, driving lorries or street cleaning. As a friend on Twitter said when reading that most people prefer a lie-in to hard work “well who wouldn’t)