We're going to go ahead and assume that if you're reading this right now, chances are, you're at your desk and not at the beach. Please know that our hearts go out to you. While today is being considered by some employers to be an extension of the July 4th holiday, many Americans have had to leave sun, sand, and hot dogs behind to type through their hangovers, fighting that midsummer burnout. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Let's be clear: We're all about hard work. Nevertheless, we weren't sure whether to laugh or cry when we read the following in the Telegraph: "On a recent trip to America, I was fascinated by the work ethic there. The norm is two weeks holiday a year and the hours are long, typically 8am to 5pm. If you do not consider that your work is your life, then you have very little time for ‘living’ at all."
Hold up. Who considers leaving the office at 5 p.m. a long day? If our days ended at 5 p.m., the world would be our oyster. Not that we're complaining. But, at least for people we know, the eight-hour work day seems to have gone the way of kitten-heel flip flops and landline phones (may they rest in peace).
The author focuses her essay on a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about powerful women. She says, "The debate was drawn inexorably to work/life balance. I’ve always been a little confused by this. What is work? What is life?" Girlfriend, preach. What is life but one long to-do list, some of which comes with a paycheck and some of which does not?
We pretty much ditched the concept of work/life balance long ago, since it seems like a constantly plugged-in work life has just become the status quo. Is that healthy? Who knows — if you love what you do, it's not necessarily a bad thing. What we find fascinating is how shocking our work schedules are to someone from a different country. Are we Americans that unusual to a Brit?