All my life I have been told over and over that working hard will get you what you want in life. I have been told to get there first and leave last. Work as much overtime as they will give you. I have been shamed for wanting to use my earned vacation days. I have been told to go to work when I was sick as a dog.
I have been encouraged to work weekends…every weekend. Work as much as possible and that will impress your boss who will give you a raise or a promotion.
I have watched women get fired for taking off to go to the hospital to have their baby. I have watched women go back to work two days after having a baby. My husband was told he was crazy when he asked for some time off to help me the first couple of weeks after our children were born.
Here’s the thing though, working hard in this country doesn’t mean anything and it never has. Unless you have a degree or a specialized skill…..all that work you do is taken for granted. They will use you up until there is nothing left to use. They’ll throw you a bone of a .50 cent raise here and a .25 cent raise there. Just to keep you thinking that they’re paying attention to your hard work.
They bet on you not realizing that until it’s too late. When your body is broke down and the meager income you’ve made throughout life wasn’t enough to save much for retirement and you can’t pay for medicare. Your SSI is a joke. You end up in public nursing home hell where they auction your house and your car and anything you ever worked so hard to earn in the first place to pay for your “expenses”.
And you’ll look back on your life and think FUCK, I should have taken those days off. You’ll see the slave they made of you. But, it won’t matter because it will be too late.
America’s work / life balance is shit. It’s skewed way too far in the work column. Stop shaming people for wanting time off. Your entire life shouldn’t be working. We are not slaves or drones. We are human beings who deserve to live our lives.
We deserve maternity leave. Both women and men. We deserve vacation time. We deserve fair wages. We deserve to retire with dignity. No more slavery. No more living in squalor. No more rigged economy. Most of all, no more trickle down economics.
Let the rhetoric stop with you. Tell the world that this crap isn’t going to fly anymore. Let those billionaires know that the jig is up. We are on to them.