Are We Suckers?

  • skeleton567


    Points: 5034

    Yes, I believe that early on, I may have been a sucker.  I always truly loved my work, but not always the circumstances.  In my earlier days, after becoming a widower at 35, I often took my young sons to work with me at night, and they would sleep on the floor in my office.  That may not have been the best thing.  All throughout my 42 years in IT, it seems that the norm was more than a 40 hour week, often by far.   However, the sons both are now in IT careers of their own, so it must not have been too bad for them.

    It is truly difficult to balance work, career and retirement preparation with family.  But the rewards were there in the long run.  One of the best was when my employer, following a particular project requiring lots of dedication, presented my wife and myself with a pair of round-trip tickets to vacation in Hawaii.  She and I are now enjoying the fruits of our labor and are blessed with the efforts we expended 'being suckers'.

    Incidentally, I never was in an IT position that paid extra for extra hours.  The trip was the only time there was anything extra over and above pay, regular vacation, and retirement contributions.

    Hang in there and do what is takes - but always within reason.  Be sure to take care of yourself and your family.

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 4 weeks ago by  skeleton567.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 4 weeks ago by  skeleton567.


    The only thing worse than being an influencer
    is believing one.

  • Rod at work


    Points: 33361

    KerryH wrote:

    I have developed somewhat of a balance over the years, but probably not a perfect one.  I used to work a great deal of overtime generally for no extra pay or benefit.  But some things that happened that helped put life in perspective.  My son drowned in the high schools swimming pool during swim team practice.  No he's totally recovered, CPR saved his life, but sitting next to him in intensive care made me reflect on what's really important in life.  Likewise, my daughter suffered a stroke.  She's totally recovered, but again, what really matters in life?  I searched for what the meaning of work really is.  A common definition found today is, "A necessary evil to earn money so I can buy things and have fun."  But that definition may never lead to satisfaction with work.  I found that work defined as, "Using your God-given skills to improve the lives of others (including your employer), to make the world a better place."  This provide satisfaction with work.  But you must also contribute to the world outside of work.  What will your kids, your friends, your community be like if you are not a part of their lives?  And your employer should treat you with the same respect that you are giving.  2 of my kids recently took other jobs with cuts in pay because the required overtime was not allowing them to lead meaningful lives.

    Super well said, Kerry. I've had a similar life experience about a year ago, which has brought perspective. At that time, a fellow who worked here for many years suddenly died. He worked hard, helped others in the workplace and so on. But for the most part, he worked hard, as in put in a lot of overtime. Now, he was divorced, so was living alone. But he left children behind. It's just profoundly sad.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • SQLMac

    Old Hand

    Points: 392

    dave.farmer wrote:

    I fell into this game as a youngster, but pretty quickly discovered that there's no reward, the extra hours rarely earn you pay, appreciation or even get noticed. Recent years have been characterised by the "we're breaking records, month after month, but the arbitrary targets we set were even bigger so we have failed and can all have just a little less than inflation this year" approach. None of the extra hours worked on increasingly rare occasions make the slightest bit of difference. The ultra-rich owners of the parent company get ultra-richer, the workers actually making them their money get a small real-terms pay cut each year as a reward. So yes, giving your free time to help rich people get richer is a mug's game, and disaster-recovery aside, I'm not playing any more.

    Well said and I agree 100%. The managers take the glory and the kudos, and you set a level for performance reviews that has to be topped next year for the same small raise.

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