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slow company

it seems like once again, quebecers and maritimers have it right.

after all, and i admit that i'm indulging in a little hypocrisy here, what on earth is the benefit to killing yourself week in, week out slaving all your life away at a job? for most of us, myself included, we could drop dead and no one we work with would notice anything except that there was an office available. hell, in the maritimes, you're likely to have a job swept out from under you at a moment's notice, with no extra compensation, so you'd better cultivate either strong outside-of-work relationships or a serious drinking habit if you're going to pull through.

i'm amused to know that 44 hours is considered a "very long" work week, since it's been several years since i've worked less than that on an average week, but i like to think that i've improved since the times when working 44 hours would have been something i considered a vacation week. my point in mentioning that is that i know what of i speak. for all the time that i've invested in any job, no matter how much or how little, i've basically gotten the same thing out of it: a pay cheque (or a direct deposit, but, you know, same difference). i've picked up some skills, but i've discovered that the amount that i learn is inexplicably inversely proportional to the number of hours that i'm putting in. perhaps it's because you tend to learn things when you're new, when there's nothing to keep you in the office for long hours.

fact is, we'd all be better off putting more time and effort into family, friends, intellectual and creative pursuits. the proof of that is that quebecers are the most satisfied with their current work-life balance. only the people who are already working longer hours harbour the jejeune belief that they would be happier if they were able to work and earn more. it doesn't work like that.

that's not to say, of course, that money can't by some remarkable substitutes for happiness and we all need a certain amount to keep us happy, but the people i know who work the longest hours are generally among the most miserable and depressed. all the money in the world doesn't buy back the experiences you miss by shutting yourself off from the world at a job.

so if you're reading this from quebec or the maritimes, sit back and crack open a beer. feel superior. if you're reading this from central or western canada (or from the usa), you'd better close your browser, because we all know you're still at work and big brother is probably monitoring your internet usage.

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