I got up early this morning–quarter to six. I had scheduled a phone meeting with one of my colleagues in the U.K. It turns out, though, that he declined the meeting some time while I was asleep. Rescheduled it for 12:30p my time, which cuts into his Friday night. But that’s the way he is. Works around the clock.
I thought people in their 30s were supposed to be less inclined to be workaholics than people in their 40s and 50s. Yet, the folks I work with who are in their 30s are pretty intense. Like this guy in Swindon who regularly works evenings, even Fridays. It’s confounding.
I mean, it’s true that in a global economy people end up working irregular hours. In the U.S. we often meet late afternoons and evenings with our colleagues in China, and we get up early to catch the Europeans. And the people in those parts of the world often have to be on hand during their own 8-5 day for local customers plus be available off-hours to call into meetings that are scheduled according to U.S.-friendly times. But still, why don’t people flex their hours when work cuts into personal time? Sleep in late or leave early if you start early. Have a life, a rich life (and I’m not talking money). Be present for your kids.
Maybe I spent too many years burning the candle at both ends, but I’ve reached a point where I don’t want to give all of me to my company. I have too many other passions to blow my wad at one place. That’s not to say I’m not a great employee. I am! I’m intelligent and unafraid to speak up. I see the big picture yet carry through on the details. I know process and deliver results. But, I refuse to make work my universe.
I don’t know if my colleague in the U.K. is as much of a workaholic as I suspect he is. Maybe he is flexing his days and I just don’t see it. But come 7:30 tonight, he should be with his family, not on the phone with me.