Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time or Money?

Lets say it's the year-end-holiday-of-your-choice (or, more accurately, your employer's choice) and your boss wants to reward you for all your hard work during the past year. Your boss offers you a choice of a bonus of $300 or an extra day off anytime during the next year. Which would you pick? I know which one I'd go for.

Now, I understand that the significance of $300 is very different to different people. To some it might be a week's salary while to others it may only represent an hour's work. For the sake of argument, if you like, assume that it is about a day's pay.

For me, the choice is obvious; a day off is worth far more than a few hundred dollars. I have so little time to spend with family and friends that another day is much more valuable than whatever luxuries the money could buy.

That choice is made based on my situation. I have two young children, Rachel doesn't work during the summer, and, while we won't be buying a yacht any time soon, we're doing fairly well, financially. In addition, after 25 years I don't enjoy my work as much as I once did. Of course, not everyone is in the same situation. A lot of people, especially around here, are not as financially comfortable as we. For others, time off is not as valuable.

When queried, a coworker of mine quickly said he would prefer the money. His kids are grown, he doesn't take a lot of vacations anyway, and his wife doesn't work. He also enjoys his work much more than I, despite having been at it significantly longer. So, for him, the money is the better choice.

The saddest part of this whole discussion is that anyone would need to make such a choice. We in this country spend way too much time in pursuit of the almighty dollar instead of living our lives. We would all be better off doing stuff instead of buying stuff. If we didn't want so much stuff, we could work less, creating more jobs and happier people. I would happily cut my salary by a third to have an additional three months off. If two of my colleagues felt the same, that would create another position and four happy people.

Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.