Saturday, June 25, 2005
A little light reading for the weekend.
Each year in Japan, more than 10,000 deaths are attributed to overwork. The Japanese even have a word for death by overwork - "karoshi".
I mention this because after a week long vacation I fear I'm suffering from a condition commonly known as "workaholism." I'm basing this on the 50 work related emails I wrote, the daily work related cell phone calls and the fact I actually stopped into work three times.
Why did I feel guilty taking my 12 year old son to a movie and my 80 something mother-in-law to lunch? I clearly need help.
A survey by the online travel company Expedia.com found 12 percent of American workers took no vacation because they were too busy working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Americans average working 49 hours per week — 350 hours a year more than Europeans. At least I'm not alone.
Paul Thorne and Michael Johnson, authors of “Workaholism”, identify two kinds, active and passive. The active workaholic probably has a prior history of addictions. The drug of choice is work. The passive workaholic is driven by insecurities, fear or paranoia.
A work ethic is one thing but this is not a respectable addiction or an admirable attribute. I've set a goal of learning how to play. It won't be easy. Maybe my two an a half year old can help.