Are you crazy, or am I?

November 24, 2009 · 15 comments

Screen shot 2009-11-24 at Nov 24, 2009, 9.46.05 PMSo apparently I’m the only PF person in the world that would consider taking a job cleaning sewers if the pay was substantial. I’m not going to say I’m surprised by that. I actually had Girl Ninja read yesterday’s post before it went live and she mirrored the same thoughts you all did. I have a thousand different arguments and justifications for why I am right and you all are lame, but in reality, when it’s one versus thirteen, I must be the crazy one.

I’ve been fortunate enough to never have a job I hated. Sure, I’ve had some that were not ideal, but I’ve always managed to make whatever I’m doing enjoyable. I’m too young, too ambitious, and too happy to put myself in a crappy work environment. My question, to all of you who commented yesterday that you had jobs you hated: Why? Was it your attitude? Was it the people? The pay? Why the heck didn’t you quit the second you despised it? Surely you could have found some type of employment elsewhere? If money was not important, then why didn’t you quit immediately and apply to McDonald’s?

Okay, moving on. I mentioned yesterday, there was one exception to my willingness to work anywhere for a CRAZY HIGH salary. Wanna know what that exception is? Time. I would never work somewhere that required more than 50 hours a week of work. That’s right, I said never. Not even for the coolest, sweetest, awesomest job in the world. Work has never been, and will never be what is most important to me. Family, friends, and fun will always come before work.

I was talking with a physician the other day, and he mentioned he works a little over 100 hours a week. Holy guacamole! I realize there are other work-a-holics out there, perhaps some reading this, that work 70, 80, 90 hour weeks. It makes sense to work a lot, if work is at the top of your priorities. For me it hasn’t been, nor will it ever be. I’ll give you 40 hours of my week, occasionally more, but never will I spend more waking hours “on the clock” than I will off.

I may be willing to be a pooper scooper for $100,000/yr, but I would never be a professional ice cream taster working 60 hours a week for similar pay. So now let’s run another poll. If you had to be at a job that you weren’t particularly fond of (think lawn mower) for 40hrs/wk, or you could have a job you enjoyed (think rodeo clown) but had to work 60hrs/wk, what would you do? You know my opinion, what’s yours?

{ 15 comments }

1 RainyDaySaver

Think about it this way — the jobs that traditionally are said to pay more (doctor, lawyer) require many more hours of schooling and of work. That's what tends to make their salaries higher. But for me, I also would rather have quality time with family and friends than work 60-80-100 hours a week for a higher salary. Hours like that affect your quality of life and relationships — to me, it's not worth it.

2 Frugal Urbanite

I'd rather work 40 hours a week and have to do without luxuries than work 80 hours a week and make a million dollars a year. I also wouldn't marry someone who worked more than 40-50 hours a week, no matter how much money and prestige they had.

Of course, I feel the same way about time consuming ways to save money. I'd rather skip out on saving $100 if it's going to waste most of my day

3 kck2780

Why the heck didn’t you quit the second you despised it?
To answer this question – I think this was MY personal lesson learned in life. It sounds lame and is definitely no excuse, but the money I was making coming out of college working for said employer was a heck of a lot more than a lot of my friends were being paid. And as I mentioned yesterday there were a lot of promises….that I found to be broken promises after awhile. It was a slow realization for me, but when I finally sat down and thought about it, I said enough is enough and quit. Since leaving that company I've worked for 3 other employers and I am much more tuned in to what I want, what I can tolerate, etc. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but that's my story.

4 Duddes02

“My question, to all of you who commented yesterday that you had jobs you hated: Why?”

Easy answer for me. I got oversold on the job, I thought it was sexier than it was. I thought the organization had a better product than it did. Instead of spending my day doing real analytical work (like I was promised), I ended up doing a CSR job. I didn’t leave it because the money was good and I had alot of student loans. I also was so overwhelmed with the job and the hours that I was too exhuausted to look for a new job. That’s how it all spirals out of control baby.

I would def. work more than 40 hours. I don’t mind investing my time as long as it’ll pay off.

Happpy Thanksgiving Ninja!
.-= Duddes02´s most recent blog ..Thanksgiving.. =-.

5 Courtney

I think we work at the same place? haha

6 Investing Newbie

On yesterday's post I commented that the last job I had was awful. I didn't leave it because it was my first job out of college. I graduated in 2008. Yup, putting 2 and 5 together, you'll see that it was a recession and it wouldn't have been the smartest idea to up and leave a guarenteed job.

That said, if I loved my job, I would work without sleep. If it was something I was really passionate about, then I could invest all the time in the world for it. I actually already know what that job would be: fundraising for a non-profit focused on education. Very specific, I know, but I'm gung-ho about education, especially revamping the system we have here in the states.

That said (Have you seen the last episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm?), have a great Thanksgiving!

7 HighClassLowIncome

I guess it depends how much you love your job. Sometimes, you're job involves those that are important to you and doesn't feel like work so maybe pushing over 40 wouldn't be so bad. What I have in mind is my side job of teaching fitness classes. Not that I'd ever attempt to teach over 40+ hours a week…. but it doesn't really feel like work since a lot of my friends like coming to class and I've gotten some of my family involved. You mean to tell me you wouldn't take a job as a coldstone taste tester for maybe… 45 hours a week? ;)

I didn't respond yesterday but I think I'd take a mediocre job for high pay. I like my job now but it feels the same day in and day out anyway so why not just do something else for a lot of pay.

8 Rachel

I had a job that I hated once because I was lied to by the corporate office and management. I was promised a one percent commission if I doubled my sales goal each month (which I began doing monthly by my third month of hire), and then they went back on their word because "payroll and bookkeeping are too busy this time of year to deal with that, and we're not doing so well profits-wise anyway." The moment I was told that, I began looking for another job. The crappy thing was that the promise of commission was never put into any contract for me (I never ended up getting my contract because again, the corporate office was always "too busy" to get my paperwork for that in order), so I had no real recourse to take. I found another job almost immediately and have not looked back since.

All this to say, for me, there is a lot more to a job than the pay. Salespeople say to spend a lot on a mattress because you spend a third of your life in bed, but I think that carries through to spending a lot of time considering a job offer, because the same holds true–a third of your life is spend at work. To my mind, no amount of pay is worth being undermined by a company that cares more about its bottom line than keeping promises to its employees. Talk about a cause for low morale….

9 Jin6655321

I would much rather work a job I loved for 60hrs a week than a job I hated for 40, or hell, even 30. Dude, if you hate your job, the hours just draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag and a 40 hour work week will feel like 80. I love my job and I love what I do and sure, there are days when I stare down the clock and think "1 more hour to go…" but it's rare. On most days it's like, "Whoa, I was supposed to have left half and hour ago! Hmm… I'll stick around for a bit and finish this up, I want to avoid traffic anyway…" If I find myself waking up thinking, "Blah… I don't want to go to work" I know it's time to find a new job.

10 SS4BC

Oh if time is your deal then you'd never be able to handle my job. ;)

I rarely work less than 60 hours a week, and can work up to 120 hours. Oh yes, and did I mention that I'm working the entire Thanksgiving weekend?

Anyway – I love my job, so to me it is a PLEASURE to work so hard doing something I enjoy so much.

All that aside, I like it when your girlfriend is called "Lady Ninja" rather than "Girl Ninja" – it makes it sound so much nicer and not like you're 20 years old anymore. (Or perhaps it is just that I love Scrubs too much?)

11 30Something Finance

Hypothesize a situation where just being at work is making you sick — what you're doing, who you're doing it for/with, everything. I've been there. That's the kind of job that's extremely difficult to stick with, no matter what they pay you (being realistic). Then imagine one where you wake up in the morning with a spring in your step because you're so psyched to be doing what you're doing. Then it doesn't necessarily matter as much that you spend a lot of time doing it.

My dad was squarely in the former camp for many years until he blew up one day and quit without a backup plan. I'm in both camps, depending on the day of the week. My brother is squarely in the latter camp. I make more than he does now, but I'm confident that if we both keep going at this rate, he'll ultimately be more successful because he is more inclined to want to spend time doing it, perfecting his craft, etc. In some ways, I'm just working — granted, working hard and often — for a paycheck.

12 kck2780

And to get to the other question. I'm willing to get paid less to work decent hours than the other way around. My husband's father works off shore and is probably gone, in total, at least 1/2 – 2/3 of the year. It has caused some serious marital problems and they inflated their lifestyle to be dependent on his "offshore" salary that when he works stateside they can't afford for him to be home – ridiculous! And something my husband has made a point not to do with our future children!

13 dogatemyfinances

What? I just didn't get this post at all. I've never had a 40-hour a week job. Huh? Those actually exist? You actually work 40 hours a week??? In the USA?

14 PunchDebt

It's called the government buddy :) 40hrs no more, unless I want to

15 Kate

I love my job. Honestly, love it. If I won a million bucks, I'd take a month's vacation, and then be right back at it.

I work 50-60 hours a week, but I love it. It doesn't feel like work to me.

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