Friday, July 01, 2011

What a storm!

Last night a huge storm raged through the Chicago area wreaking havoc on trees and clogged drains. All the while I was golfing with the Boyz (Bill the Bear, Smitty and Nick) up in Glencoe and while we saw the storm on the horizon and even had the lightning horn go off twice (which means you should leave the course or play at your own risk), it never rained on us or even got really close until we were on our last hole (due to darkness). Then we hit the bar for a few beers and headed home to a neighborhood of branches and trees on the ground with crazy amounts of rain and hail having come through. Wow!

Another storm blew through my blog yesterday! No matter how I try to preface a fairly innocuous observation, I've been hit with a shit storm of comments from all sides. So I thought I'd just reprint it here and see if I could possibly better explain what I was thinking.

How women are turning our country lazy...or why I don't like Europe
Ok, that's a pretty interesting title I think. Pretty good hook.

Ok, first and foremost, I am not picking out any individuals in this post nor do I plan on upsetting anyone in particular. It may happen just because of the nature of the post, but not something I'm planning on.

I'm not sure anyone actually took my entry as a personal attack, though some did take it personally because they may have been more closely related to the subject matter than others (working women for instance).

So while I was doing something yesterday, not sure what, I started thinking of how many guys I've seen lately that are dressed casually and whom it appears that are working from home. Now I work from home, but I'm an exception in some regards, you'll see what I mean (I hope). There is nothing wrong with working from home, but no one will convince me that you can ever be as productive at home as you are in an office. Granted there are commuting issues and some office distractions, but working from home has many more, though there is no commute.

Fairly innocuous paragraph, but I think many people overlooked the word "guys". I'm actually referring to males here and they are really the subject of the post. I never really got around to saying why I'm an exception, but I had to leave for golf so I had to cut the entry short. If you know my financial position, then you understand what I meant. Productivity at home versus the office is disputed, but it's my opinion and since it's my blog, I'm running with it. If you Google productivity at home, you end up with a ton of ways to INCREASE your productivity at home, which means, to me at least, that there is a lot demand for ways to increase home productivity, which wouldn't be necessary unless there's a problem.

So what's my issue? Well, I'm thinking guys in our country are becoming more like Europeans...lazy and whiny. Europeans, at least the French, rioted when the work week was extended from 35 to 37 hours. Then they rioted again when the retirement age went from 60 to 62. Poor babies. It's pretty universally accepted that Europeans don't have as good a work ethic as Americans. Yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying "They just have a better work/life balance!" well that's B.S. They don't work as much because it's part of their culture not to have as strong a work ethic. Fine, I really don't have a problem with that actually, unless I have to do work with them and then it's painful.

Again, my point is that GUYS are becoming less productive (measured by the subjective term "work ethic"). I like to pick on the French and use them to represent Europeans as a whole, which is slightly unfair, but they represent the point well enough. So I'm setting up a scale with Americans higher than Europeans on a subjective work ethic scale. Am I going to go out and conduct a study to verify this? No. It's just a blog and my opinion, but I'd bet it's not far off.

But my point is that it seems men in our country are working less and less and that our work ethic has dissipated. No not because of the recession, this has been going on for the last 20 years during boom times as well as bust.

I should have said working more and more from home instead of working less or made a productivity comment. It's not work ethic relative to the rest of the world. It's work ethic versus our level in the past.

So why is this happening? Women. Yep, women. "C'mon Joe how can you blame women for a drop in productivity in guys?"

Now we're getting to the meat of the issue. It should be obvious I'm a bit tongue in cheek here for effect.

Well, my thinking goes like this, women over the last 50 years have made tremendous strides into and up through the workforce. Undeniable point. While they made strides, corporations realized the need for maternity leave where none existed before (or little existed) and it has in fact became law.

Pretty much just facts here.

Then the computer happened along and corporations realized that women could raise their kids AND work from home at least part-time and corporations don't have to go through the expense of hiring a replacement.

Yep. Nothing anyone in business could argue with here.

But then guys demanded "equal rights" as well, though more subtly and not through any legal channels because we're above that (ok actually it's because we're running the corporations mostly still and making the laws mostly still so it's just accepted as opposed to needing a law change). Anyway, now you have more and more men working from home because companies can't discriminate against men as they allow women to work from home.

Are men still mostly running corporations? Yep, I'm not even going to bother looking up the facts there. If they are letting women work from home, you have to let men work from home.

And so now we're becoming more and more European in our work ethic and it's all women's fault. We'd still be number one in the world if not for your equal rights and workplace evolution!! At least that's the thought that tore through my head yesterday.

Ok, maybe the use of "all women's fault" could be taken incorrectly here since I was trying to be a bit facetious, as I tend to be. It's just partially their fault. Yes computers came into being and I acknowledged that above and they contributed to people working from home significantly. Longer commutes in some areas as people moved further and further from big cities to live also probably contributed. There are a bunch of things and I'm saying the impact of women in the workplace is another one.

Obviously I don't even know if we are number one or two or twelve in the world in work ethic or productivity, as any study would have inherent subjective flaws by it's very nature (someone who is productive may not have a great work ethic, just better tools or fewer distractions or a larger bladder or no desire to eat).

1 comment:

alexis said...

well thanks for explaining yourself at least. I think the facetious didn't really come through, and maybe that's why we were all sort of floored the comments, given the argument.

I actually don't know how many people work from home, or the ratio men/women. It strikes as worth checking into, since by virtue of your own being a work-at-home person, you may be encountering more of these people and thus creating a perception bias.

I would agree that all Americans, regardless of gender, are getting whinier. Dunno about lazy.