Work Life Balance
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By etrigan - Last updated: Friday, August 15, 2003 - Save & Share - One Comment

The new buzzwords around the IT(Information Technologies) department I work in are “Work Life Balance”. This is “manager-speak”:http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ManagerSpeak for a couple issues:

* Letting employees feel some control over their work environment like giving “flex time”:http://www.opm.gov/OCA/aws/html/define.htm#Flexible, or allowing “work at home”:http://content.monster.com/wlb/articles/flextime/pros/.
* Making sure employees spend enough time away from the office on something non-work related so they don’t get burned out.


I love my job. I love the company I work for. Over the 10+ years that I have worked here I have generally maintained this positive feeling. There _have_ been bumps along the road. IT management _did not_ handle the bust and consequential lay-offs very well (and they made some poor decisions as a result.) Until I was offered a comparable job at a consulting firm and my current company had to match thier offered salary to keep me on, I was paid almost half what my skill-set was worth. Otherwise, any issues I had were brief and passed as soon as I got enough sleep to settle my psyche.

That’s the key to my general happiness, it seems. As long as I get enough sleep I can make things work. I can fit my situation and environment into a mental framework that is pleasing. When I get tired I feel overworked and become _extermely_ unhappy.

Up until a month ago my MO(modus operandi) was to be in bed at 10pm every night and awaken as late as possible to make it to work. My hobbies were few and my socialization was kept to a minimum. If work had an explosion of some kind, it wasn’t a big deal to stay up late a few nights to put out the fire. I was conserving my mental energy to spend on my job. My computer gaming buddies have generally abandon me as a close friend in the last couple years. They don’t understand that staying up late to play computer games wasn’t enough fun to counter the tired feeling I had and the impact it had on my job. Then my buddy, jank, wanted to start a blog. (jerk!)

Now I have started blogging and I am taken with it so much that I would rather blog and be tired at work. Staying up late, finishing an entry, adding extra links — it is a hobby that is worth the trouble it may cause.

That introduces a trouble bubble. Next time I have an explosion at work, will I have the energy to manage it? Should I be reserving my energy for work? Will I have to relinquish my new hooby next time work needs me?

I guess this is why the concept of work/life balance has become a buzzword. As much as I love my job, I hope I can find “a way”:http://www.txlottery.org to eliminate the work in my work/life balance, which lets me introduce the latest version of my early retirement planning philosophy:

bq. If you buy one lottery ticket, your chances of winning the lottery increase by an infinite percentage. If you buy two lottery tickets, your chances of winning the lottery increase by an infinitesimal percentage.

??You gotta be in it to win it.??

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One Response to “Work Life Balance”

Comment from jank
Time August 15, 2003 at 2:37 pm

Amen, brother. The $52/year retirement plan.

My gripe is that blogging in the mornings has replaced running. Luckily, I should be able to get back on the road in the near future before I bloat back all my hard work on the treamills of the LINCOLN.

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