It is generally accepted that we spend a large part of our existence making a living, building meaningful relationships and involving in what we usually call leisure activities. There are no strict formulas, however, for how much time people should work everyday, and there are large differences regarding this issue. Some people enjoy working long hours, others less, depending on their capacities and aspirations. Some people have more than one job, others work part-time. Hence, the leisure time varies too.
Different views on what does work mean
The lawyer defending a client in the courtroom and the worker who falters under a heavy load are both working, yet they don’t feel the same level of stress, fatigue or…satisfaction. The lawyer performs a job which allows him to learn new things and to refine his abilities every day, getting a high level of satisfaction from his job. But the workman is forced to repeat the same routine over and over and at the end of his work day he may have little satisfaction to none from his labor.
In other words, one can say that work could be either hard and unpleasant, or enjoyable and exciting. However, this is not always true for different categories of jobs. Apart from the type of work someone does, there is another factor that could change the perspective: the attitude toward the kind of work one’s doing.
You can find welders that enjoy greatly their work and find a great satisfaction at the end of the day and lawyers that hate what they do. Or grow so bored with their job that when finish it, they take up drinking, gambling, or a fast lifestyle to forget its drudgery.
What this indicates is that a job by itself it won’t determine whether or not a person performing that job will find enjoyment in it.
Career pressure. When working long hours can kill you
There is a high pressure in our contemporary society to build a strong career if is possible even before we reach 30s. A new generation of workaholics was created by these high expectations of young people to have success in whatever they do.
I remember a famous case of a workaholic’s death that happened ten years ago in Bucharest. A young women in her 30s, Raluca Stroescu, had suddenly died after working too many hours (12 or more) for many months. She was found dead in her apartment after she failed to answer the phone for a full day. It was said at that time that the cause of death was physical exhaustion due to long working hours. The multinational company where she used to work was fined for keeping their employees to work overtime.
However, after 10 years or so, the new evidence that were kept secret at that time showed that she has a severe undiagnosed diabetes. The medical doctor who examined her just 6 hours before she died, failed to ask for her blood tests to be processed urgently. The victim came at the emergency on Friday morning and that very afternoon she died. The blood tests would come on Monday. Should the medical doctor (her name is Angela Culeva) had them that day instead of deciding to wait for 3 days, Raluca Stroescu would be alive today.
In the same time, it is true that the victim has failed to go see a doctor in time. Should she presented herself for a medical examination just one day before, things were different. Why didn’t she noticed she was extremely sick? I can say due to her exaggerate concentration on her career. All of her friends knew she was so keen to succeed and be the best that nothing else mattered for her. Her health was not her priority.
From this case, we can see that attitude toward our work can make a difference between life and death. So many people forget that work was given as a curse to Adam. So, we’ll have to take it carefully. We cannot live without working, but too much work can kill us.