Asked and Answered – Workaday Life Editon

Conor Friedersdorf asks, “am I really expected to work 40+ hours per week, 50 weeks per year, for decades? Am I to savor only two days off each week? Am I to vacation but two weeks per annum?”


(Well, actually, you should get some holidays off.  And, maybe, get a third week of vacation at some point.  But, basically, yeah.)

FILED UNDER: General, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The moral of the story is to make your living doing something you love doing or else learn to love whatever you’re doing to make your living. You’re going to be doing a lot of it.

    BTW, 15,000 years ago we were doing a lot less. Check the lifestyles of hunter-gatherers. But if you think that boom-bust is tough now check out what it was like for hunter-gatherers.

  2. floyd says:

    No, you can not be expected to do any of these things , as long as you do not expect others to suffer the consequences or reap the rewards of your behavior.

  3. One Fine Jay says:

    I get a max of 40 hours of vacation that accrues at 1 hour a week, with no carry over to the next year. This guy needs perspective.

  4. Billy says:

    Yeah – two weeks vacation a year sounds great. I barely get one.

  5. E.D. Kain says:

    Hey I work 50 hours a week and don’t get a day of paid vacation. Not one day.

  6. Alex Knapp says:

    I work 161 hours a week. To get to work, I have to walk six miles, uphill each way, in the snow. I’ve been doing this since I was three years old. I have never had a vacation. In fact, I have to have a portion of my pay taken each week that gets paid to my employer so that HE can have a vacation.

    You people are all pansies…

  7. Brian Knapp says:

    Heh, Alex, I worked 168 hours a week turning this stupid wood mast around in a circle, wearing only a loin cloth, as an apprenticeship before being forced into gladiator death-matches.

    Now who’s the pansy?

  8. Phil Smith says:

    I’m contractually entitled to two weeks, but I’ll be damned if I know when I would take it.

  9. I work about 4 hours a day, pick the time, pick the place, wear whatever is comfortable, and take off whenever I like for as long as I can manage without falling too far behind.

    I welcome your impotent abuse. Ah hah hah hah!

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    I hope that post is in jest, otherwise somebody needs his ass kicked.

  11. another matt says:

    Job? You have a job? Luxury!

  12. Rick Almeida says:

    Reynolds is a professor?

  13. odograph says:

    A year or two ago I might have been talking right here at OTB about the low US savings rate. Some people might do better than expected with leasure time … but a high savings rate helps. It is possible to live paycheck to paycheck on any amount, and be insecure on 1/4 million a year, as other people demonstrate. (We are doing better, as a nation.)

  14. Reynolds is a professor?

    Worse yet, a writer.