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Monday, February 11, 2013

If 'Time is Money', can Money equal Time?'

"Given the choice of stealing a man's money or his time, I would gladly take his time, for it is more precious.  A man can easily make back lost dollars... He can never make back lost hours..."  -- Anonymous

They say the perfect job for an individual is one that he/she would willingly and happily do for free, or if already extremely wealthy..  Well, that's what the career counselors say anyways..

Of course it isn't true..

How could it be?  If one possessed massive amounts of wealth, would that person voluntarily lock themselves a time obligation of 2,000 hours a year doing the same tasks?

8 hrs/day x 5 days wk = 40hrs x 50 weeks (2 weeks for vacation) equals...

Two Thousand Hours.

We'd break it down into minutes and seconds in a calendar year but we're not that cruel..
2,000 hours each year...

Told when to arrive, when to have lunch, when to smoke-break and when to leave...  Told where to park and which door to enter through...  Told how to dress and what is appropriate hair length or facial hair grooming (we assume this applies solely to male employees)..

Told what to do and where to sit or when to sit and where to stand and breathe and blink and swallow...  And if allowed to have family pictures or a plant at the desk.. or some crackers or a Cola or cup of tea..

Told what to say when answering a phone and what is acceptable usage of a phone or a computer or an email, and spied on-- each call, webpage or quick note...  Spied on from a wall camera into your cubicle.. the lunchroom... the corridors..  the parking garage.. and in some places-- the ladies and men's rooms.

All to earn a living... a check.. check that-- to earn binary digits
The zeroes and ones.. automatically deposited after taxes automatically withdrawn..  And oh those taxes.. Its not always the amount of the taxes that is the bitch, its breaking things down into time..

A person pays 20% in yearly income tax.. that's 400 hrs a year

400 hours of putting up with it all.. accepting it all.. watching them P's and Q's.. holding it in.. holding it.. Temper Temper.. Hold... Breathe...

And every nickle-less nickle and copperless penny went to some other.

And the irony of it all- If you were fired and received Federal assistance i.e. unemployment, you are supposed to feel guilt shamed.. 'Get a job..  Loser... Bum.. Blah Blah...'

And yet really, if you worked 10 years and thus 4,000 of your life-hours went to earn money you never kept and for one calendar year i.e 10% of that span, you're getting something back...  Don't know-- seems kinda equitable.
All that time though... 2,000 hours...

Sure there's weekends..some holidays..  But you know how it goes:  "Sure can't wait till Christmas!..  'Why's that-- do you celebrate it?'  'Ehh.. Kinda.. more like, just can't wait for that 3-day weekend"


Did you know it is 3,513mi from Key West, Florida to Seattle Washington...  And according to Google maps, one can drive from A to B in 51 hrs.  By the time you're back in Key West, that's 102hrs... Sure is a lot of driving..

But see 102 hours is equal to 2.5 work weeks, so for the amount of time spent in a job yearly, you could complete this cross-country trip back n' forth over 19 times.

And we're not even talking about those poor souls who work overtime and weekends to keep their positions of prominence and climb the never-ending ladder to the top of nothing... or who financially are so poor off, they must take second or third jobs to eek out an existence...

And yet it is time, not money that is the more precious commodity.
We used to tell this joke...not a 'Ha Ha' joke but nonetheless..  "Did you hear about the guy who was too busy to go to his son and daughter's soccer games because he was so bogged down with work, yet when he was let go from his job, he was too busy to attend his children's events because he was hunting through want-ads??"

Our priorities are so askew..

All that nonsense people say.. 'Oh where did the time go?'...

2,000 hrs a year to an employer... that's where.

Yet for most, its hard to find fault--  bills must be paid; responsibilities met.   Especially if one has children-- there never should be red ribbons for those in the 'Deadbeat Club'
So what's the answer?  Perhaps it is to look elsewhere...

Some corporations here in the US and some nations globally have 40hr work weeks that compose of 4 ten-hour days allowing for 3 days of rest.  In other nations like France, people are given more vacation time..

Or perhaps it would be best to follow France's lead and realize it is utterly Rude and Obnoxious to ask someone 'What do you do?' for what does it ultimately matter...

And if less people cared about what others did and other-others didn't try so damned hard to impress prospective questioners, particularly gold diggers and the professional networker types amid friends, foes and family (sometimes hard to tell one from another),  we'd all feel more content with where and who we are...

Besides there's plenty of empty-vessel, loser doctors and insanely brilliant, good-hearted janitors out there in the world...  'Good Will Hunting' showed that.  We just can't promise they'll all look like Matt Damon..
A short little story before we go:

Two men we sitting inside a brand new 2013 Porsche 911 after the one friend took the other for a test drive to show off..

The one behind the wheel says "Isn't this car the greatest! Turbo fuel injection... zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds..  I worked and worked and saved and saved...and finally I was able to put enough down as a down payment that in 4 years, this baby will be all Mine!!  What do you think about that?"

The other, sitting in the passenger seat looked at the driver and smiled politely and said.."You're my friend and forgive me but... you're an Idiot...

The driver got incensed.. 'What do you mean?!.. How dare you!..  I worked hard..I never sat in a Porsche before, much less own one and it was my dream to.. and I achieved it!'

And the friend replied:  "I understand but.. See, my dream was also to sit inside a Porsche.. and didn't do much of any work beyond what was needed..and I did little if any savings beyond what I sought to save.. And I owe nobody anything for 4 years much less 4 months...And here I am and here you are.. "

Then he exited the vehicle and walked while the other was left dumbfounded.
They say life is one big rat race... running n' running on the wheel.

The true winners in life aren't those who can run the fastest or longest on the wheel, or who acquires the most rat 'shit' along the way...

Its those who run at their own speed and length of time, and stop anytime they wish

True wealth is not counted in pounds, dollars or deutsche marks and it can't be taxed - It is measured and weighed by one's sincere possession of their Time.. A most precious commodity