Be lazier! Work less and get a roommate!

 

I work in a grocery store twice a week selling cheese, not the coolest job but definitely better than sitting in an office and preparing powerpoint presentations. I like talking to my Canadian co-workers; most of them are super at telling jokes. It impresses me because I’ve never been able to recall one single joke in my entire life. 

 

I noticed that people in Canada work more (hours) than the German folks. A lot of my co-workers work 10 hours a day and some of them 5 or 6 days a week. I put the word hours in brackets, because I’m not sure that Canadians actually get more done. I think at some point working more hours can be counter-productive. 

 

In my home country Germany, the average worker gets 6 weeks paid vacation and on top of that 10 holidays every year (also paid if they fall on a week day).  I’m not an economy expert, but I think that the Germans do pretty well. I suppose they must get more things done in less time. 

 

Anyway, my first reaction when my colleagues tell me about their work schedule is usually, WHY? Why do you work so much?

 

The answer is always the same: What do you mean? 

 

People don’t seem to get this question, which makes me believe that the average Canadian worker doesn’t think that he has a choice to work less. 

 

When I say, “Well, you could work less.” they answer: “I need the money to pay my bills.”

 

Ok. I totally get that, but really, how many bills do you have that you have to work 50-60 hours a week? And why the hell are you not reducing your bills to have a little bit more time for yourself?

 

If I had to choose between buying a house or living in a smaller apartment but being able to work only 4 days a week, I would always choose the 4-day week. Possessions are so overrated I find. 

 

I often mention that there is always the possibility to move together with another roommate to share the costs of their apartment, especially for single people. It’s so expensive to rent an apartment on your own. 

 

When I do mention that, I always get one or a combination of the following answers:

 

-No. I can’t. I tried that. It didn’t work out for me. 

 

-No, I’m too old for that. I can’t be bothered to live with somebody else.

 

-No, I’m just not the type of person for that. 

 

REALLY?

 

Imagine you would have a roommate. You might only need to work 3 days a week. Wouldn’t it be worth the trouble you might have with the other person once in a while? 

 

I don’t get it. 

 

People complain that they don’t have time to relax, to play with their kids or to work on their passion. Instead they have to stand in an overly air-conditioned store selling products nobody really needs. 

 

I lived in a shared apartment for 6 years. I admit, that I wanted to have my own space sometimes and that they were days where I was really annoyed by my roommates, but that doesn’t say much, because I’m also annoyed by my husband and my kid sometimes. 

 

My experience of living in a community is really positive. I made good friends that I’m still in contact with. We had parties together, cooked for each other; we were there for each other. It was like living together with a family of your own choice. 

 

What I want to say is that I don’t understand why people work so much. I think a human being shouldn’t work more than four hours a day and preferably in a job that’s fun. Call me a dreamer, but I actually believe it works.

 

Work less and get a roommate! Then you have more time to dream, eat ice cream in the park while everybody else is working, hang out with your kids, make love in the middle of the day and do what ever you feel like doing.

 

Have a great week!

 

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