Monday, September 01, 2008
End of Summer Thought on Labor
The idea of labor is culturally based. I can only compare what I know (teaching in Turkey and the USA), so here goes...
Turkish teachers at all levels put in long days with an hour lunch break at noon, and several tea breaks. Most ride public transportation or private mini buses, which can add hours to their day. For housewives (house-husbands are rare), labor means heavy manual work, cleaning, cooking and washing without many of the conveniences Americans take for granted. But, Turks mix labor with socializing throughout the day. You always have time for a chat with a friend/co-worker.
American teachers and other workers separate work and play. We like to get in and get out of our work spaces. Maybe that’s one reason being a SAHP (stay at home parent) is so hard for many of us. We work hard, and we complain hard. We get satisfaction out of elaborating how difficult and exhausting our jobs are. We’re very productive, but comparatively, we don’t work as hard as most people in the world.
And give me a break, teaching is not working in the fields, or cleaning houses, or any of those really back-breaking jobs.
One other note.
I have a friend who is a lawyer. She makes almost $300 per hour. If she answers an email or phone call from a client, she bills $50 a pop. Now if each time I answered an email from a student I could charge even $5, I’d be raking in the dough. But that just shows you what we value in this society.