Thursday, August 12, 2004

work sucks

ah, i remember the moribund days of being a career man. you probably didn't know this, but i used to be a strategic management consultant for mordechai consulting group in galilee from 20 AD - 24 AD. those were four long years. don't get me wrong though, it wasn't all bad. actually, i was a full baller: the pinstripe tunics made from the finest goat fur, the german donkey carts, you know how i get down. i was pulling in a pretty respectable 300 sheckles a year, which was maybe below my market value -- being the son of god and all -- but it kept me laced up in butter-soft leathers and cristal.

but i always felt something was missing. that certain joi de vivre, as they say in canada. those godless and deoderantless europeans got it right. of course, there's been talk about the relationship between religion and corporate buffoonery since the days of max weber, and we hear about it today as well.

niall ferguson restirrs the pot in this opinion piece for the la times (registration required):

Why is this? For one thing, Americans have much shorter vacations than Europeans. While German, Italian and French workers enjoy, on average, more than 40 days of vacation a year, the average American has to make do with just two weeks.

But this is only part of a growing transatlantic disparity in patterns of work.

There are, for example, many more Europeans out of work than Americans; over the last decade, U.S. unemployment has averaged 4.6%, compared with 9.2% for the European Union.

Then there is the familiar European penchant for strikes. Between 1992 and 2001, the Spanish economy lost, on average, 271 days per thousand employees as a result of industrial action. For Denmark, Italy, Finland, Ireland and France, the figures lay between 80 and 120. The figure for the United States was just 50.
In 1999, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average American in employment worked just under 2,000 hours a year (1,976). The average German worked just 1,535 — fully 22% less. According to a recent U.S. study, the average Frenchman works a staggering 32% less.
You see, the most remarkable thing about the transatlantic divergence in working patterns is that it has coincided almost exactly with a comparable divergence in religiosity, both in terms of observance and belief.

According to the Gallup Millennium Survey of religious attitudes (conducted in 1999), 48% of people in Western Europe nowadays almost never go to church; the figure for Eastern Europe is just a little lower at 44%. In the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Denmark, less than one in 10 of the population now attends church at least once a month. Only in Catholic Italy and Ireland does more than a third of the population worship once a month or more often.

By contrast, more than twice as many North Americans as Europeans attend religious services once a week or more.

personally, i think this argument is bunk. if religiousness was indeed a contributing factor, then why is italy just two polio cases away from being considered a third-world country?

me, personally, i think that americans just don't know how to enjoy life. in fact, i think that we are expressly forbidden from doing so by our politicians and media. i mean, kids have to be given orders to turn off nickelodeon...BY NICKELODEON!

and now researchers in the u.s. found the genes responsible for transforming monkeys from lazy dumb-fucks into shit-throwing workaholics. i know at least two corporate types that had some stuff leak out of their pee-pees when they read that article, but why shouldn't they be excited? it's only a matter of time before such modifications become de rigueur (that's french for "explosive diarrhea").

what advice can i give you? none. except for this: are you sick of your job? then burn that bitch to the ground.

motivational speaker jesus.


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