Sunday, September 05, 2004

More Drivel from the Times

What's wrong with this story from the dependably lachrymose New York Times?
Always on the Job, Employees Pay With Health

Published: September 5, 2004

American workers are stressed out, and in an unforgiving economy, they are becoming more so every day.

Sixty-two percent say their workload has increased over the last six months; 53 percent say work leaves them "overtired and overwhelmed."

Even at home, in the soccer bleachers or at the Labor Day picnic, workers are never really off the clock, bound to BlackBerries, cellphones and laptops. Add iffy job security, rising health care costs, ailing pension plans and the fear that a financial setback could put mortgage payments out of reach, and the office has become, for many, an echo chamber of angst.

It is enough to make workers sick - and it does.

Decades of research have linked stress to everything from heart attacks and stroke to diabetes and a weakened immune system. Now, however, researchers are connecting the dots, finding that the growing stress and uncertainty of the office have a measurable impact on workers' health and, by extension, on companies' bottom lines....
Does someone hold a gun to these people and force them to work at stressful jobs? Ah so, they just want what everyone else has -- a huge-screen TV, a cell phone for every family member, a car or two for every family member, a McMansion, and on and on. Life is full of choices. If you can't stand the stress, do something less stressful and give up some material things.

I'd like to be sympathetic -- really I would -- because I know how hard some people work to provide the goods and services I buy. But what's the point of whining about it? Do the job you're paid to do as well as you can, or do something else if you don't like the job you're doing. Or quit wasting your money on conspicuous consumption and save more so that you can retire early. (By the way, I follow my own advice, so I don't mind giving it to other people.)

Imagine the reaction of readers who had to struggle through the Great Depression to put stale bread on the table. What a self-indulgent nation we've become.