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Habeas Blogus

Book reviews, more for my memory than anything else.

Location: Austin, Texas, United States

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How Stressed Are You?

This article over at MSN has me asking a simple question: how fucking stupid can we be?

I'm sure I've been caught up in this... I haven't wanted to give the impression that I'm less stressed out than people around me because that would result in a net increase in my workload. But really... my career has been job after job of 8-hour nights' sleep, ~8-hour work days, and lunch breaks that afford me a nice outing. Sure, when I worked in the game industry I was putting in mandatory 12-hour days and never getting a chance to go home, but c'mon! I was 23 years old! No family! I do remember, though, that my boss at the time seemed rather proud that his team was putting in 60- and 80-hour weeks. Always seemed like a fucked-up thing to do.

I'm nearing the end of a year-long rewrite of our complete software product, a complex web application with hundreds of pages and thousands of different inputs. People around me are screaming and freaking out because we'll never make it out on time and the quality will be lower than it should be. I agree with all of that. But I'm still getting my sleep and taking the time that I need to take in order to recharge, because I would be a worthless employee if I didn't. I have way more to do than I could possibly do before the deadline, but what would I do if I stayed here all those hours? I'll tell you: I would get the same amount of work done as if I didn't, and so would you. There's a well-established body of literature that says it's all bullshit, this notion that working more equals more work.

So why do we get caught up in all of it? I'm certain that my co-workers, at every job I've had, have considered me a slacker. I'm certain that's true at my current job. I'm even certain that I've been laid off as a result of it. But I'm also certain that my quality of work is consistent, and that I get my job done the best I possibly can. More hours would change nothing. A Blackberry would change nothing. Skipping lunch would make things considerably worse.

We must stop this nonsense, and allow me to be the first: I generally get 8 hours of sleep at night. I arrive at work at 7am, I leave at 4pm. Some people have a problem with this because they work until 8 and 9 every night. It is they who should stop, not me. I want to work with people who have lives on the outside, who remain fresh and ready every day. Your stress is bringing down the quality of work we produce, and you've got to stop!

How's that for the beginning of a revolution! Shut up and relax!! We should be one-upping each other on how much time we get to spend with our families, and how many books we read last year, and how little vacation time we have left, and how much sleep we get!

Who's with me?!



Anonymous Jenn said...

Here here! I completely agree with you Marcus!

Tue Nov 28, 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Corie said...

Sign me up for this one too. lol

Wed Nov 29, 08:34:00 AM  

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