Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why Can't Priorities Be A Paradigm?

Things get all shifty as you get older.

Together with old co-workers last night, we spoke abundantly about the insane hours our employer insisted we keep. Employees who put in 8 hour days were like C students- you're just getting by, but could definitely be in danger of failing. If you were on-call at all times, coming in at 2am no matter what and then arriving back at 7am for another full day, now that was a B+ student. They didn't give A's out. But basically the employer insisted that a successful worker bee put work in the #1 slot on their life priority list. Family, hobbies, dogs, sleep, the chance to keep a good personal hygiene schedule- those were all to be pushed aside for work. With a smile. I admit, for awhile there I was in a place where work could be #1 and I didn't mind. 

But what gets annoying is when your priority list doesn't seem to match up with everything else in your life. When suddenly your priorities shift, and the circumstances and people around you don't. When I was working 65 hour weeks while taking care of a cancer stricken mother, well, I saw my priorities jumble down into a jigsaw puzzle. If I put cancer mom #1, move boyfriend to #2, then work to #3...well, it just didn't work so well. Nobody else cared nor were happy I needed to change things around.

And of course, work is just one example. If only we could collect everyone and every important element in our lives, hold hands and all shift around together in happy bliss, life would be so much easier. But instead I move up a latter, something else moves down. My latter gets shorter, another latter gets pulled out from under me. Why can't everyone just think like me?



Anonymous said...

I can honestly say I know exactly what you are talking about. I work in a real estate law firm that has now started taking on employees with hours of 10pm to 6am. And for those of us who work during the normal hours, if we don't put in a solid 10-12 hours a day we are looked down upon. And have been noted as being employees who don't actually take their job seriously. I am so mentally exhausted, that being here for that many hours makes me useless after 4 the next day. I am also expected to come in on weekends if things can be finished during the week. Well news flash, nothing can be finished during the week with the work loads being put on everyone. I also haven't been able to take a vacation in 3 years! I daily mumble to myself, "This can't be my life!"

Anonymous said...

Amazing how employers think sleepless and one dimensional workers are going to bring the most success.

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