How many of us, on our death bed, will wish we had finished that last report or spent a few additional hours at the office? I am willing to venture a guess and say none. We will probably lament about the lost opportunities to spend more time with our partners, children, or family; but, I doubt we will be devastated we never took on the responsibility of an extra committee assignment.
The office manager ignored my “good morning” and the others just looked at me as if I had committed a felony. Since when did taking a few hours off constitute a crime? Since when did I have to inform my boss exactly where I am at all times? Since when was I 14 years old? I was hired as a professional; I was told I was allowed some flexibility with my hours; and I am not about to work myself into a stress coma. Returning from lunch, the mood continued to be tense and icy--it stayed that way all day. I’m sure Monday, will be joyful. What a bunch of bulls**t!
Two years ago, I made a vow that I would no longer work so hard that I was a bundle of anxiety or that my personal life would suffer. I have not been told outright that what I am doing is not allowed. In fact, I have been given the green light on several occasions. Why are Americans obsessed with killing themselves for their work? One of my co-workers does nothing but sit in her office checking Facebook, yet everyone fawns over her as “a dedicated employee”. Why? Because she pretends she’s working just enough to make her appear busy. I’d rather be efficient, get my work done early, and be judged, rather than be a labor faker.
I’m sorry, but there is no life-award for having no life and dying of a heart attack in the middle of a staff meeting. Death by deadline does not give you bragging rights; rather it gives you angina, high blood pressure, and the greater chance of keeling over before your time. Enjoy life—do your job well, but NEVER put it before your happiness. No matter how many late nights and early mornings you put in, your gravestone will never say “devoted employee”.