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They got me

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Oct. 28th, 2003 | 01:06 am
mood: suckered

After seeing joedecker's post about take back your time day I went and picked up their handbook (with the same name).

I realized that society trapped me.

Once upon a time my goal was to live as simply as I could manage save money and retire as quickly as possible since time spent working was a trap keeping me from enjoying life.

Then I started getting competitive I wanted to make a different, wanted to help solve the worlds ills and got caught up on the over-achievers treadmill. Not to mention fear I know many people who are under or unpaid (though probably overworked). Most recently it showed up in the thought that if I don't finish that gui layout for that doomed project I know I'll be the first on the block when the grants stop coming.

Once upon a time I wanted to go to grad school because I had this vision. If desktop fabrication was possible then the useful bits of a high-tech society could be produced anywhere, and therefore I wouldn't need to be working all the time to have access to new things.

The I started to want to extend myself past my human limitations, to be better so as to be more competitive to finish my assimilation into the market.

I've been more stressed, less able to pay attention to my cat, not able to meaningfully participate in any social causes, and it's largely because it's so easy to become obsessed with work.

Needless to say the handbook sparked some thoughts and for those with no time the book is arranged into 30 quick to read essays.

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Comments {5}

[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Oct. 28th, 2003 02:44 am (UTC)
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argh, i can't even begin to say how much this 'movement' annoys me (as i guess you already know if you saw my post about it). people who have the ability to *choose* to take back their time could be doing something better with it than this, imho - like helping raise the minimum wage so that there is no longer such a thing in america as "working poor". so many people i know have to work 2 or even 3 jobs just to be able to *live* - without being able to save any money at all. it's such a luxury in our society to be able to choose to work less, and it irritates me no end that so many people are acting like this is such a revolutionary idea.

< /dusts off soapbox for next person to use >

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her other side

(no subject)

from: saltbox
date: Oct. 28th, 2003 06:37 am (UTC)
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Can you post your link to a post about it? Curious.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

(no subject)

from: artemii
date: Oct. 28th, 2003 06:47 am (UTC)
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it's a locked post, but my comment covers basically the same points that it did.

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her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Oct. 28th, 2003 06:58 am (UTC)
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Oh well. Thanks though!

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Oct. 28th, 2003 09:09 am (UTC)
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A common perspective is this collection is that overwork affects nearly all Amercians. The poor class are stuck with either multiple jobs or needing to take overtime as their wages have remained flat over the past few decades. The middle class ends up overworking themselves as they're afraid of layoffs and other things that will drop them to the poor class. (It's unclear what the rich are doing, but there's so few of them that they don't count for these kinds of trends).

Some of the essays certainly were discussing issues that predominantly affect the middle class. The essay on how children are loosing any unstructured time to play and relax only affects the "middle class", the poor can't afford to keep their kids in multiple after school activites. Though the comments on how children end up being poorly socialized without parental attention would also apply to the poor.

However the essay on how there's a correlation between health and equality does cut accross class boundaries. America is the most unhealthy rich country and they're claiming that some of this can be traced to how we work. People spending all their time trapped in their jobs (for whatever reason) have little time to exercise as they stuff themselves with fast food while their bodies decay under the constant stress.

Additionally the authors seem to believe that if everyone is trapped on the treadmill of work we don't have the time to fight for political reform.

Several of the essays argue that individual action will not solve the problem of overwork. The examples that they show of things that people have done usually involve collective bargining by unions to put caps on mandatory overtime and protect people from discrimination for occasionally saying no to overtime.

Also they argue that health care should be extended to part time workers both to cut the advantage of having a smaller overworked work force and to allow people more choice in how much they want to work.

I'd agree that this idea did start from middle class, though I think at some point they realized that it affects the lower-income classes for different reasons. (Also I've only finished half of the book, and haven't gotten to the section on the environmental cost of overwork.)

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