Friday, February 15, 2008

You work for your money

Yesterday at 10pm I was leaving a message on Sis’s cell because I haven’t been able to reach her all week. She finally called me back in about 30 minutes. The conversation lasted about a minute. Why so quick? She was still at work. While talking to me she got interrupted twice. So I asked my questions and we hung up.

This happens a lot. She is constantly attached to her Blackberry. Any free moment she gets she’s checking and replying to e-mails even during weekends and holidays. It made me think. Really if we divide our pay by the amount time and sweat we put into our work everyone probably comes out about the same.

Like Sis. She regularly takes her work home and works late. At her work they actually compete on who works the most. Nothing formal and no one will admit it out right but you can see it from comments here and there. Like people compare how late the time stamps on their e-mails are. Sis rarely has breakfast and often skips lunch. At her house meal supplement drinks are bought in bulk.

Compare that to me. I work 8 hours a day. Sometimes I work evenings because of China, but that usually means I can go into work later the next day. I’m used to having breakfast everyday and taking a regular lunch, even a long lunch when work is not busy. My stress comes in bursts usually coinciding with important deadlines. I usually have weekends to myself, and if I agreed to be called on work related matters I get time off later.

Sis makes about twice what I make (maybe a little more), but I think we are about the same if we factor in the hours we work and the stress level of our jobs. The same probably applies to the higher ranking positions from both our companies. It all evens out to about x dollars per hour and stress level, give or take a few dollars.

By making this comparison I’m not saying one of our situations is better than the other. It just puts things into perspective. For big pay checks you have to put in the time, take on bigger responsibilities, and make sacrifices. The key is to find the pay check you can settle for, which only required the sacrifices (and stress) you can live with. Of course the idea is we all invest our money wisely so we can get out of this rat race one day.


Anonymous said...

I have been reading the 4 hour work week. Some people think it's sleazy on par with Rich Dad/Poor Dad books but I like new ideas.

I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the book with me, but one of the ideas he conveyed was the fact that in terms of time opportunities, a 40k worker might be on par with a 500k income earner.

This is because you're more flexible with your time so your money goes further, like vacationing in off season for example.

So I think money is not necessarily the most important asset, but time is.

I also agree/disagree somewhat with the more responsibilities/higher salary aspect.

I guess it would depend on where you work. I know some really poor workers who don't deserve the paycheck they are getting... And at times, I'm thinking I handle more responsibilities anyways, I might as well get paid for it...

That's a really tough one that I'm struggling with in my halt not to climb the corporate ladder.