Friday, 13 March 2015

Greeks Bearing Disc World Work Horses

Terry Pratchett - what a creative man. I only discovered his books within the last few years and thoroughly enjoyed the mad-cap, yet entirely logical world he created. Couldn't put them down and once I finished one I moved quickly to the next in the series, devouring the lot in short shrift. His writing will be missed by me.

A survey has shown that the Mediterranean countries (you know, those where they're generally renowned for being a tad lax in the work ethic department, are what might kindly be called sleepy and where a number of them told terrible lies about their economies in order to join the Euro) work more hours than their northern European colleagues.

I guess they're either being a bit creative in their interpretation of the meaning of 'work', else they just don't accomplish as much as we do in our shorter, daylight-starved hours.

I wonder whether the result of the survey was based on questions or observation. I somehow think the former, and if so, the results will be prone to exaggeration on the part of the excitable Mediterranean cultures and cool, reserved understatement on the part of the northern cultures - or am I stereotyping here?


  1. Dear Chairman Bill,
    Here is my view based on observation.
    Many of the Greek people work in Tourism, especially on the Islands. It's true that there is very little work during the winter months, November to March, but from the beginning of April until the End of November most people I know work 7 days a week and around 16 hours a day. There are no days or weekends off and no work free or extra paid bank holidays during this time. This alone totals 214 long working days. As I understand it, as an example in the UK the working week is 5 days, there are I believe 5.6 weeks statutory holidays which are paid and 7 days Bank holidays which don't have to be included.
    This means that the average UK citizen works 225 days a year (8hrs a day)
    The math speaks for itself, if you take into consideration the length of the working day it becomes quite clear where the survey got the results.

  2. 244 days not 214, never was a mathematician!

  3. Nikki - I wish I had a 5 day working week of 8 hours each. Unfortunately, I work for a company where the staff are regularly in the office till 8pm Sunday to Thursday. I'm regularly involved in conference calls between 6pm and 9pm (having started at 6am or earlier) and have to devote several hours to work on Sundays, when my bosses are in the office. There again, I'm not typical. That said, my customers tend to keep long hours too, and work weekends in many instances. In my experience, my customers in northern climes put in far more hours than those in warmer ones.