Lately, I've been cutting back my hours at work for it to be more in line with the part-time job I originally signed up for. This resulted in an interesting conversation.
Coworker: "Can I ask you a question?"
Coworker: "I don't want you to be offended."
Me: "Oh my God. Just tell me the question."
Coworker: "Why would you want to work part-time?"
He wasn't trying to snark my decision, but was actually genuinely baffled. Why would I want to work 60% time and earn 60% of the money everyone else does? Many other people go in the opposite direction: picking up per diem work wherever they can get it. I know one guy who does per diem work both days of every weekend after working all week.
It was easier to justify to others working part-time when I had babies, although in some ways, I'd rather be part-time now. My kids are SO much more interesting now. And while daycare always ended at 6:30, school ends at 3, and I actually have a chance to be there when they come home from school. I can help them with homework instead of entrusting it to the afterschool program. I can go to girl scouts. I can actually be an involved parent.
And the other factor is we don't live large. I don't like to travel. I don't like to go to expensive restaurants or shows. I'm wearing the same winter coat I had in college. We have all the same furniture we bought a decade ago at a discount furniture shop. And we live this way not because we're depriving ourselves, but because I simply don't long for anything different. If I won the lottery, I don't know if my home would look that different. But I would work part-time. That's all I really want.
So if I can, why wouldn't I live like I won the lottery? Why make a bunch of money I have no interest in spending just for the sake of making money? We make plenty of money for the life that we live.
And going back to that conversation with my coworker, that was my answer:
"Why do you want to work so much?"
They want to make more $$$, perhaps to pay for college for their kids, for a mistress, for a boat, for a pricey divorce settlement, for a fancy car, for a nice vacation.ReplyDelete
Getting paid for per diem work is relatively more satisfying because the amount you make is directly proportional to the amount you do.
They want to avoid seeing their family, or they want to fill their time because being idle makes them depressed/want to drink heavily.
They are rewarded for their work with prestige and promotion opportunities, which are very important to them (less likely since you're talking about per diem work here).
Just a few thoughts....
I LOVE YOUR ANSWER. I never got that question - just the occasional snide comment as I left the office in mid-afternoon. Mind you, even if I'd worked full-time, I would still have left earlier than the boys because they were staggeringly inefficient. And they both had wives without paying work, so the boys got props for just showing up at soccer games, while I was still responsible for half the housework and all of the childcare/playdate/dance class logistics. We made a conscious decision to keep our housing costs low and we took very low-cost vacations. We had as much money as we needed and more time together as a family.ReplyDelete
I also totally agree about being home more when they're older. I worked part-time until my daughter was 7, and in retrospect I wish I'd worked full-time in those years and gone part-time for the last ten. Ah, well.
Great answer. Time is so much more important than money! I decided I'd rather be the person who gives up call to be with kids more for less money and lives a lifestyle where I'm not scrambling for more work to cover my costs. So much less stressful.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this. You gave a great answer. Time is money and we all make choices based on the way we want to live our life. As someone with young kids right now, I love that you say you want to work part time so you can be home when your kids get back from school (and that they're so much more interesting at that stage!) Sounds like a fun, balanced way to approach life to me.ReplyDelete