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60 Minutes - Danish people the "happiest" in the world

Discussion in 'World News & Politics' started by naranjaynegro, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Slugger926

    Slugger926 Deputy

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    You only get 4 weeks? I have 4 weeks of vacation plus 7 floating holidays that can be used anytime on top of the normal holidays with a normal 40 hour work week. That is basically 5.4 weeks of vacation. In 14 more years, I will get an additional week of vacation.

    Planning projects and handoffs properly does not cut into productivity. I won't cancel a vacation due to a project hicup, those can be handled by the handoff person.

    The problem with all of the people not taking their vacations, nor companies giving enough is that a lot of people get caught up in the "time" they work and not the "productivity" they work. I know a few people over my career that could generate tons of busy work that did not accomplish one thing. They could produce a pretty project folder with tons of papers, but could not produce the engineering installation document and equipment orders for the project.
  2. apollo883

    apollo883 Greenhorn

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    Not to nitpick, but do you work 7 days a week? I know I don't, so I don't have 365 workdays a year; I have 261 (ok, 262 this year). I don't work Saturdays and Sundays. I also have 2 weeks vacation, but with in the next few years I will have 3 weeks. Many industries only start out with 2 weeks vacation. Plus, I have 9 holidays and 2 weeks worth of "personal" time off (illness, doctors visits, death in the family, etc.). So if I use it all, that puts me at 224 working days if my math is correct.

    If you would rather have less money and more time off, I suggest getting an hourly job and only working as much as you want. When you feel you've worked enough, just tell them not to schedule you any more for a while. (yes, this was somewhat tounge-in-cheek)
  3. steross

    A/V Subscriber steross OSU fan in need of hyper loop

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    Your second paragraph is exactly what I would like to do. But, our employer-based health insurance system makes such arrangements difficult. I can't have my kids uninsured and would have to end up working extra to fund an expensive individual policy.
  4. CowboyJD

    A/V Subscriber CowboyJD Petey the OSU Gnome's caretaker

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    Exactly. Diversity, and a very embedded culture of "getting ahead" through hard work and initiative would keeps any such system from ever working here.
  5. CocoCincinnati

    CocoCincinnati Cowboy

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    A government passing a law requiring 4 weeks of vacation is one of my biggest worries. I work for a small company and my department consists of me and 3 other full timers (one of whom splits her time with another department so she is like a part timer). They all get 2 weeks of vacation, I get 3 weeks since I've been here longer than 5 years. We have clients who work odd hours so scheduling to have someone in the office during those times while still making sure everyone only works 40 hours a week stretches us pretty thin, especially when someone is out of the office for sick days or vacation days.

    If everybody, by law, got 4 weeks of vacation we would have to hire another person in order to make sure everything was covered. That means raises are harder to come by and our bonus pool at the end of the year would be split 5 ways instead of just 4. Sorry, you can keep you government mandated 4 weeks of vacation and I'll keep my 3 weeks that I've earned for being here 5 years.
  6. steross

    A/V Subscriber steross OSU fan in need of hyper loop

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    If the three of you put in 50 hour work weeks you could dump the part-timer and your raises and bonus pool would only be split in three instead of four.
  7. CocoCincinnati

    CocoCincinnati Cowboy

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    Nah, the other two full timers wouldn't dare work a 50 hour week even if it meant a bigger bonus. Both of those guys are clock watchers. Besides the "part" timer isn't going anywhere, the other half of her job is too important.

    Anyway I do think there is a fine line between making the bucks and working yourself to death. The folks in NZ have that line drawn lower than I think it should be, you're suggesting I draw it higher. I like it right where it is :D
  8. steross

    A/V Subscriber steross OSU fan in need of hyper loop

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    I was just playing devil's advocate. I actually think that the "New Zealand" method is better. But, I don't think the government should mandate it so it would not happen here. When I went to Australia I went for 3 weeks. It was an enormous struggle for me to get 3 straight weeks off. In Australia, every person was shocked that I was not staying longer. Just an entirely different view of the importance of work vs leisure.
  9. Pokes28

    Staff A/V Subscriber Pokes28 Moderator

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    I've had the pleasure of traveling in Europe some the last 3 years.

    I'll put it like this: The US has the best work ethic in the world (possible exception being Japan) and I do believe that a lot of companies take advantage of it just like they take advantage by making people salaried when they know they will require a lot of hours to be worked.

    My wife thinks that I'm a workaholic and there is probably some truth to that considering the amount of time I work and that I still do a lot of work for my father's company on the side for no compensation.

    There is a saying that I've heard a lot when I travel and that is that here in the USA, we live to work and in Europe, they work to live. It isn't uncommon to see people that work in a restaurant in Belgium that works 30 or less hours a week and that is all they work. They earn just enough to pay the bills and scrape by. They know that they will never have to worry about putting money into retirement and they don't have to worry about medical emergencies, etc. But to me, they just have no desire to better themselves. They have lost (if they ever had) their drive.

    I really enjoy being with people that can truly relax the way that most Europeans do, but that isn't something that I could handle on a professional level.

    David Harrell - Pokes
    dwh
  10. NZ Poke

    NZ Poke Cowboy

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    Coco - when the four weeks a year of vacation law passed a year ago, some smaller companies were complaining about it. I do see where they're coming from, though I don't think you've heard many complaints since, most people think it kicks a** and the economy is still doing well.

    And yeah, once you have four weeks vacation you can take much longer holidays, particularly if you save up your vacation over two years. (which is frowned upon a bit, but can still be arranged)

    So it's common for people of all levels of work to take 3 weeks off at a time to go on long holidays. (Thailand, Australia etc - a large reason why Americans don't travel internationally as much, simply not enough vacation time to do it)

    As you would know from Australia, this different view of of work/leisure has not led to poor societies. Interesting stuff to think about it, I don't ever see it changing in America either.
  11. Aviation09

    Aviation09 Cowboy

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    If they really wanted to better themselves they'd stop speaking French. ;)
  12. State

    A/V Subscriber State Cold Ass Honkey

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    Can I ask what socialist programs you think have been successful in Hawaii?
  13. State

    A/V Subscriber State Cold Ass Honkey

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    I've traveled the world, and it's nice to visit other countries, even to live there for awhile, but becoming a citizen and having to live under their system would be something else. I wouldn't give up what we have here in the US.

    My web browser is acting goofy right now, but I'm pretty sure John Stossel did a report on happiness in the US and the religious were the happiest (Amish scored highest as someone mentioned). So, I don't believe a lack of religion among the Danish is the attributable factor.
  14. steross

    A/V Subscriber steross OSU fan in need of hyper loop

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    That is making a big assumption that the only, or best, way to better yourself is through your job.

    As I mentioned, I have plans to try to work less. The time I free up may go toward starting a business or other things that could be considered "work". Even if it just goes to spending more time with my kids, I see it as bettering myself. No more 130 hour work weeks for me.
  15. Aviation09

    Aviation09 Cowboy

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    Yeah, I'm with you. Too many people in this country seem to hold the view that 'bettering' yourself is acquiring more money and material processions.

    Cash rules everything about me, (C.R.E.A.M) get the money! Dollah Dollah bill ya'll!
  16. osugrad08

    osugrad08 Cowboy

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    I listened to that song probably 10 minutes ago...weird.
  17. Cimarron

    Cimarron It's not dying I'm talking about, it's living.

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    I've come into this thread late, but it appears that the discussion has become something about how much you work and how much time you should spend with your family.... Do we work to hard. This brings up a pet peeve of mine.

    I've been to conferences when a successful and retired businessman that did very well would give a talk. The basis of his speech would say that if he had it all to do over again he would work less and spend more time with his family.

    Next time I hear one of these talks I'm going to ask two questions.

    1) If you spent more time with your family and less time with your work would you be in a postion to be speaking to us today?

    2) Tell us about the last person you promoted, was it because he worked harder and accomplished more, or was it because he spent more time with his family?

    Why is it you never here someone invited to give a speech about this that never really succeded with his career anymore than the average person, but he spent more time with his family?
  18. Slugger926

    Slugger926 Deputy

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    1)
    I had such a conversation with a multi-millionaire in at the Hotel Fort Des Moines in 1998 when I was there on a business trip. The guy was back from traveling the South Pacific and Europe, and said one should do such things when they are actually young enough to do them with their family, and enjoy them. He wasn't in much shape at his age to enjoy much.

    He recommended limiting eating out and not buying junk, and investing the savings so one could afford to do fun stuff while they are young enough to do the fun stuff with their family. He basically said enjoy the journey.

    2) When I was in a position with engineers reporting to me, I always promoted the ones that produced the most during a 40 hour week. Some of the best producers outperformed the whole team in a 36 hour week because we rewarded the top producer of the week by going home at noon on Friday. Some of the worst producers put in over 60 hours and did less than 1/4th of the production of the best employees. Those that spent more time tended to have less skills at managing projects. We were forced to fire several of those that would spend 60 plus hours a week in preference for those that did much more in 40 hours.

    I have had engineers work for me that fit into the different categories of putting in a hard 40 hours, or putting in a lot of hours. The engineers that worked to make their 40 hours as efficient as possible worked more projects with fewer errors than the ones that were asked to stay longer hours as well as Saturdays. Also, those errors made by an exhausted engineer can cost more time and money than having a fresh engineer working normal hours.
  19. steross

    A/V Subscriber steross OSU fan in need of hyper loop

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    Successful businessmen are going to be invited to speak at business conferences. Successful family men are not. Nobody is saying that if you spend more time with your family that you are going to be lauded for it at work. There needs to be some balance. And those that are balanced are probably not going to be invited to speak. Does not mean that the business successful people cannot look back and envy them. Each person must decided what is more important for him, time with family or a promotion.

    And as Slugger mentions, from a pure cash in the bank standpoint, living below your means will beat promotions with flagrant spending most of the time. I have friends that work their butts off then "reward" themselves with lavish trips or sports cars. They have less money than me but more toys. I have more family time. It is all choices.
  20. midave

    midave Cowboy

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    Does this happiest people thing have anything to do with legalized marijuana, cannabis cup, or window shopping redlight districts? ;) I mean if I was stoned and just got done at the Bunny Ranch I might be in a good mood too :D

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