Friday, March 16, 2012

All you've got is a butt in a chair...

Somebody please shout this from the rooftops of Taipei and Hsinchu (and the rest of the country) make every insane boss and manager in Taiwan read it. Twice if necessary.

Please.

Because if you think Americans are overworked (and they are), come have a look at Taiwan.

I am completely serious - if you teach adults, make 'em read it. If you're in corporate training and working with high-level people, make them read this. If your students are knowledge workers, make them read this.

I can't change the work culture of Taiwan by myself, but I can be the change I want to see in the world, live by example*,  and when the opportunity arises, promote thinking and discussion - and hopefully change - on attitudes like this when talking to others.


*example:

Me: **teaching class until 9:45pm, on break**
Office girl: **Hi, Jenna, [Company X] wants to see some changes to its midterm report. They want more info, and where it said 'improvements', they didn't mean 'what the students can improve on', they meant 'how the students have improved'."
Me: "OK, I'll do that as soon as I get the chance."
Office girl: "Can you do it after class tonight, please." (it was not a question)
Me: "No."
Office girl, clearly dumbfounded: "...no?"
Me: "No."
Office girl: "Why not?"
Me: "Because I'll get home at 10pm if I'm lucky. I will then rest, because I need and deserve rest. I'm not going to do more work in that time, so late at night."
Office girl: "Oh. But [boss] wants it tonight."
Me: "Well that's too bad, isn't it?"
Office girl: "Uhhh..."

2 comments:

Pierre said...

Beautiful.

Thanks for sharing this Salon article, and thanks for your own example. I'm glad to see some people here have guts!

In France, legal working hours are 35 per week. Since most people still do 38 or 40, we get compensations in extra holidays.
Yes, even with all these holidays, France is (one of) the most productive country in the World: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2009-08-20/markets/30087051_1_capita-france-s-gdp-work

I hope Taiwanese and American people will understand this quickly!

Jenna Cody said...
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