Are we getting lazy?

  spuds 12:37 22 Oct 2006

We are constantly hearing of people expressing that they work very hard, and life is getting more difficult. But is this true or false.

Shorter working hours, equipment that doe's most tasks instead of using masses of human energy, brain power and otherwise.

Dentist's, Doctor's, Police, Firemen/women and Teacher's are but a few, who are constantly complaining that they are not getting the rewards for the job.

Years ago, people worked more hours as a standard week, plus working practices were under far harder conditions. These people may have complained, but it was a case of work or starve, you had very little options.

Nowadays,even services of a GP, Dentist or Vet seems to be of shorter hours, part-time working, or sub-contracting out after hours work. Yet in the past, people use to except working as part and parcel of everyday life, with commitments to the job that you chose. What's your views, do we want or demand more for less?.

  Totally-braindead 12:44 22 Oct 2006

You might have a point regarding hours in general but my point of view is the stress involved in work has increased. Its not the hours its the stress.
In most cases you are pushed and pushed with targets etc you must do this by such and such a date or treat 400 patients a month etc.
Working conditions have got better, hours worked have got shorter but I think the amount of stress has increased dramatically.

  DrScott 12:49 22 Oct 2006

I'd rather have longer hours with less intensity. Part of the problem nowadays is trying to cram more work (hospitals are busier nowadays) in shorter periods of time, whilst ensuring you meet training requirements. Added to that is the vast reams of paper we have to write on and complete to combat litigation.

Our hours our shorter, but doesn't mean we still don't get tired.

  mikef. 13:00 22 Oct 2006

Some people's hours are shorter but not ours, as a Radiographer under Agenda for change we had our working week increased by 2½ hours and working in Cardiology I do a ome in 5 On Call and we are just about to introduce 24 hour Primary Angioplasty which will increase our call outs, and this is on top of a 25% increase on our woprkload over the last two years with the same staff levels.

  robgf 13:09 22 Oct 2006

I think that the problem is all the rules, I used to manage a small manufacturing company.
When I started twentyfive years ago, my paperwork was limited to an order, dispatch and specification book and I spent 90% of my day working on production.
But as more and more rules were introduced, I slowly found myself spending more and more time filling out pointless H&S, progress, etc forms, attending focus meetings, hosted by idle wafflers, etc, etc.
This reduced my time spent on actual production to less than 50% and was very stressful, the actual job was no harder, just all the (usually) pointless rules, made up by idiots in offices, who seem to delight in wasting time.

As to Dentist's, Doctor's, Police, Firemen/women and Teacher's not being well enough rewarded. This annoys me, they always claim to be hard done by, yet most earn far more than equivalent jobs in the private sector and they often retire very early, on very good pensions. Try doing that on a private sector wage.

Rob. :)

  spuds 13:15 22 Oct 2006

mikef-- Interesting point that you have made. A number of months ago, I had a body scan, and this was conducted on a Sunday morning in the hospital car park, using an outside commercial companies specially made juggernaut lorry and trailer combination. Was very impressed with the service, as was most of the the other patients in attendance. The hospital was forced to take this measure, due to target commitments and possible fines being implemented against the trust. Here we had a trust with the necessary expensive equipment on-site, yet staff working levels were low, hence a highly increased backlog of work.Patients needs were not being attended to or met.

  PurplePenny 15:34 22 Oct 2006

Terry Jones made a very interesting history programme a few years ago about the working day of the medieval peasant.

He calculated that the average working day was shorter than now because during the winter the lack of daylight limited what could be done. They also had far more holidays (holy days) so they worked less days than we do.

  josie mayhem 15:35 22 Oct 2006

Yes my job has got harder...

I senior/head cook in a residenial home for the elderly, when I first started it consisted of 50 beds + 6 day care residents, who were frail or loney but otherwise independant.... We have very little paperwork, only a cleaing schedual to tick/date....

I work 8-5.30, consisted of 15 miniute teabreak in the morning, 1/2hour lunch break (unpaid) and another 15 miniute tea break in the afternoon...

Now we have added to our home 2, 16 beded dementia units (no extra hours or staff in the kitchen) I have a mountaine of paperwork everyday.

I've had my breaks cut, I do not have a afternoon break any more, and my morning break has been cut back to 10 minutes and when I mean 10 miniutes I mean 1o minutes (my manager will time me) I don't get full holidays, because of my rota means I don't get any bank holidays off, and I have to rely on Christams falling on a thurdays to have christmas or new years day off, so most years I only have my 20 days anual leave away from work...

This has been like this since the new manager took over 18months ago, and in that time not only has my health in general detiorated, but i've lost 2 stone in weight...

And yes I'm looking to get out...

  DrScott 15:42 22 Oct 2006


An equivalent trainee lawyer in London gets almost double my salary... the private sector can pay very well indeed.

I also didn't realise 65 was considered early retirement?!

Anyway my average week is supposed to be 56 hours a week, plus more than a few weekends. Usually the week is over sixty and frequently close to 70.

Still better than the 96 hours I did in my first week's work as a doctor. (And even that's less than my predecessors)

  spuds 17:26 22 Oct 2006

Talking up the point of the Terry Jones programme. I would not fancy cutting a corn field with a scythe, in the summer months.And possibly starving to death in the winter months, due to a failed crop.

I think history stated that many people worked in the mines of Derbyshire, with 12 hours working the mine, and a good amount of the remaining hours working the land (smallholding) for extra food, in the better months. Winter months provided extra work, when the mines were accessible.

  robgf 17:43 22 Oct 2006

"An equivalent trainee lawyer in London gets almost double my salary... the private sector can pay very well indeed."

Yes it can, but in general the private sector pays less than the public sector, most people I know earn less than £20,000 a year, with no pension, some at skilled jobs (outside of London).
And for low skill jobs the pay rates seem to be dropping, with the massive influx of immigrants in our area, forcing warehouse type job rates, down to the minimum wage.

As to retirement, perhaps doctors are the exception, but teachers, and fire people seem to be able to retire at a very early age. A couple of retired teachers down my road are only in their fifties.

"Anyway my average week is supposed to be 56 hours a week, plus more than a few weekends. Usually the week is over sixty and frequently close to 70."

This seems to very common nowadays and getting worse, the days of starting at 8am and finishing at 5pm, seem to be long gone and very few extra hours are paid, you are simply threatened with, "well if you can't do it, I'm sure we can find someone who can......".

This is very wrong, especially in professions such as yours, where clear decisions are vital.
I know myself, that my decisions get more erratic after twelve hours or, so. And if I make a mistake a machine might go bang, but if you make a mistake, someones wobbly bits might drop off. :)


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