September 6th, 2010

penny jar

My "Labor Day" Post

The Progressive / By John de Graaf

Wake Up Americans: It's Time to Get Off the Work Treadmill

We need to come up with a different approach to work.

September 2, 2010 | A few years ago, after finding-my way through an incredible jumble of bicycles outside her building, I met with a University of Amsterdam professor who studies work-life balance. She recounted a conversation she'd just had with the manager of the Dutch division of an American company who had come to Holland from the United States two years earlier:

Professor: Do you notice a difference between the approach to work time and free time here compared to the United States?

Manager: Yes, it dawned on me my second week on the job. It was a Friday evening, eight o'clock, and we had an important shipment to get out on Monday. I called my assistant at home, and told her to call some of the workers to get some things done on the weekend in preparation.

Professor: What did she say?

Manager: She said she didn't work on weekends, and didn't expect to be called at home when she wasn't working.

Professor: And what did you say?

Manager: I said, Collapse )

John de Graaf is a documentary filmmaker, director of Take Back Your Time (,
and co-author of “Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic.”
His new book, “What’s the Economy For, Anyway?” will be published by Bloomsbury Press in 2011.