Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

everyone-is-beautiful-feet

I love this: “Not Everyone Is Beautiful” [via Mindless Productivity]

“45 Life Lessons Written by a ’90-Year-Old Woman'” [via Savvy Sugar]

“How Often Men Think About Sex” [via The Atlantic]

“29 Things Married People Do When Their Spouse Is Out Of Town” [via Buzzfeed]

“This is why you shouldn’t take people’s Facebook lives seriously” [via Gizmodo]

“Be Happy, Do This: Hand-Written Tips From Malcolm Gladwell, Roman Mars, And More” [via Fast Company]

“Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)” [via Films for Action]

“Jason Hanna And Joe Riggs, Texas Gay Fathers, Denied Legal Parenthood Of Twin Sons” [via Huffington Post]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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11 comments… add one
  • avatar

    HmC June 27, 2014, 2:12 pm

    “The eight-hour workday developed during the industrial revolution in Britain in the 19th century, as a respite for factory workers who were being exploited with 14- or 16-hour workdays.

    As technologies and methods advanced, workers in all industries became able to produce much more value in a shorter amount of time. You’d think this would lead to shorter workdays.

    But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.

    We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.

    Western economies, particularly that of the United States, have been built in a very calculated manner on gratification, addiction, and unnecessary spending. We spend to cheer ourselves up, to reward ourselves, to celebrate, to fix problems, to elevate our status, and to alleviate boredom.”

    Holy shit this is powerful stuff. It almost made me cry.

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    • avatar

      _s_ June 27, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Word. Entire article is eye-openingly and scarily accurate.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster June 27, 2014, 3:14 pm

      A little over a year ago I started freelancing and I’ve had a similar experience to what this blogger describes. The first thing I noticed is that I do maybe 3-4 hours of solid work on a daily basis, which sometimes I can swat down in one sitting, depending on what I’m doing, and sometimes is spread out throughout the day (though there are also projects where I barely look up from my laptop for weeks on end; these weeks suck). This is if I’m even working that day because there are dry spells in freelancing that I don’t always fill with hunting for more work (I fill them with DW, duh!) because sometimes I need a break and sometimes I get distracted or have other obligations. The money is decent, but because I often don’t know when I’m getting another check, I’ve begun to live much more frugally. I’ve gone 3 months between checks because clients have weird billing cycles and they often pay late (my main client pays the best, but they ALWAYS pay me late; drives me bonkers).
      .
      For the most part, I’ve really enjoyed freelancing. It’s allowed me to travel and spend more time with my family than ever before. But there is something weird that goes on in my head: mostly, not being a 9-5er makes me feel free to do what I like, but just as often I feel borderline terrified that I will never get another gig after the one I’m working on and my whole life will crumble and it’s all my fault for choosing to live this way when I could just go get a 9-5 like a “normal” person to alleviate the income security issue. Reading that piece kinda blew my mind because it made me feel like I’m still in the rat race, even though I’ve opted out? But it was really eye opening and I like his perspective. Now if I could only adopt it! I’m going to work on that. 🙂

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      • avatar

        HmC June 27, 2014, 5:09 pm

        I hear you, I don’t like instability either. But why are the only two choices instability or 9-5? I don’t see why, rationally, stability and flexible hours have to be mutually exclusive. I think the influences of consumerism on our culture, as the blogger pointed out, are really disheartening.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 27, 2014, 5:45 pm

        Okay so disclaimer–I’m commenting just only having read HMC’s quote of the article (didn’t read the actual full article) & your comment, but I guess because my work has been so INSANELY busy lately I cannot relate to the “only doing 4 hours worth of work” thing–I’m working constantly at work, & overtime, & I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. And yes sorry I’m making this all about myself, but I think I’m pretty “Free Sprited” & thus not the TYPICAL person you associate with being a 9-5’er, but I always LIKED the 9-5 routine? Because 1.) I cannot DO PRODUCTIVE SHIT on my own time. Even shit I like. If I have any flexibility, I probably won’t do it, or I’ll do it badly? 2.) I’m very compartmentalized, with work + friends + relationship etc. & usually “flexible” jobs will bleed into personal time. I don’t like that.
        .
        So yeah, can anyone else relate to this? I’m too burnt out to sound more analytical about it (BURNT OUT FROM MY 9-5!!!) but I wanted to comment.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra June 28, 2014, 9:36 am

        I can’t imagine only putting in 3-4 hours of work either. This summer I’m my boss’s assistant and I’m going constantly unless I’m in a meeting with him or running an errand or whatever. I FILL those 8 hours. Some of it is tedious work, but my list of stuff to do is a long one. I’m basically streamlining a TON of things in our program and I have a bazillion deadlines to meet so…yeah I’m working constantly.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 28, 2014, 12:46 pm

        Just to clarify because this part was not in HmC’s excerpt, the article said that most office workers get 3-4 hours of solid work done in an 8 hour day to posit the idea that the workday we have is not constructed around productivity, but rather around what is profitable for corporations, and talked about Parkinson’s Law: if the workday was shorter, could they possibly get that work done in less time? Is work that could get done more quickly, being expanded throughout the whole day to match the “normal” workday? Possibly. I’ve found that to be true for myself. Sometimes I can pound my work out quickly, but usually that only happens if I HAVE to- like I have an obligation that requires me to get it done more quickly or I have insane deadlines. Because I’m not on the clock in an office, I don’t have to continue sitting at my desk if I’m finished with what I need to get done that day. And I’m not even counting the meetings and the emails in this because those are not “productivity hours” as I interpreted them in the article. I write and edit for a living so I quantify those hours as “how long did it take me to write/edit this, minus breaks for any reason?”

        It’s not like I work for 3 hours a day and then do nothing! I mean, that would be cool, but nope. If that was the case, I could feasibly spam the comments sections with “My stepbrother’s sister work 2 hours a day for $300 an hour. Click this link that will give you a virus to find out how.” I promise you those jobs do not exist. I do not have that job. Lol.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 28, 2014, 1:19 pm

        Also, I think what was most interesting about the piece was the continuing use of the 8 hour day/40 hour work week when the original reason for their creation does not apply to modern office jobs as much. When I worked 9-5, my workload was always different depending on the project since I was in the same industry. It was often feast or famine; sometimes I worked overtime for months on end and sometimes we all had very little to do. I didn’t take vacation once for two and a half years and by the time I did I was totally and utterly burnt out because the mentality I had was that I had to be present or else. The difference now is I get to choose what I do with those “famine” hours. My industry is very well suited for freelancing for this reason, I think. But according to the piece a lot of other industries are as well.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 28, 2014, 8:00 pm

        Oh yeah, to the feast or famine thing. I guess I’m in the “feast” part, so I’m having trouble remembering the “famine” (especially since I’m new to the job & industry, I’m kind of IN IT mentally rather than having that timetable of ups & downs to remember? if that makes sense?)

        But yeaaaaaah I’ll actually have to read the article, it sounds like I’d probably agree with it overall .

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster June 27, 2014, 2:48 pm

    The article about the two dads in TX made me feel ragey. I don’t understand why they can’t be on the birth certificates, even of the individual boys to whom they are the respective biological fathers- how does TX manage to block EVEN THAT? I know it’s TX, but come on! Why the hell are we still having these conversations about gay marriage!? Argh. Maybe I’m just out of touch with the pulse of the country having spent my entire life in a blue state, but can this entire country just get the hell over it already?!

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  • avatar

    Jane June 27, 2014, 4:34 pm

    @TaraMonster, as someone who lives in Texas, this too makes me ragey. I feel so powerless as a non-conservative here (and I’ve always lived here!), and I can only imagine the frustration of those who are more directly affected by these absurd rulings.
    .
    These people are forgoing compassion in the name of their stubborn insistence that they are “doing the right thing” (which, as a person of faith, I think couldn’t be more wrong).

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