Will we let someone use us as slaves? Will we just watch when someone makes more money but our money melts away so fast? Do we have to waive all rights to our life for someone else just to make them richer?

In the 19th Century, Albert PERSONS, Adolph FISCHER, George ENGEL and August SPIES in the USA abandoned their lives for everyone for better work conditions, for equality, and 8 hours of work. They aimed for better work conditions, living in peace and with dignity. But nothing is for free, and they faced oppression. They were punished and lost their lives after marches and protests (1). Afterwards, May 1st was declared “Labour Day” in numerous countries.

Years, even centuries passed. The world has seen the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd industrial revolutions (2)—capitalism, socialism, globalism, and other “-ism’s”. Each ideology has brought new ideas and ways of regulating working/living conditions. To date, what is the result? Developed countries took lessons from history and made conditions better for citizens, or maybe, can we say they became developed because they did so? What about 2nd/3rd world countries? Can the longest work hours make a country richer and more developed (3)? I think not because everyone should schedule a time to rest and for family, hobbies, etc. Only if we separate time equally for everything, we can be happy, positive and healthy. If we are healthy and happy, we can work better and effectively, which makes our country richer and more developed. But some bosses choose to ignore such standards for their benefit. They want to see their employees at work longer.

Let’s indulge in a small and easy brain gymnastics exercise. Let’s think about a customer relations clerk. He/she is the closest person to a customer during the day. The clerk must be joyful, helpful, healthy, confidential, friendly, and an analytical thinker. Let’s suppose that the clerk is working more than 8 hours a day. After 8 hours, can the clerk still be joyful or helpful? A customer will only see a tired face. Maybe an angry face and harsh words too. Not enough help, no smiling, nothing positive. So, this clerk cannot represent the company well. Moreover, because of him/her, the customer chooses to go elsewhere. Chalk on board: “a lost customer”.

It’s difficult to understand the persistence of such an employer. Just try to make your employee energetic and satisfied. After that, his/her performance will bring you more customers. The employer won’t get anything by making the employee more tired.

Whenever I go for a job interview, the first question is often “Can you work extra hours?” It means, “Can we use you whenever we want?” My answer would be “If your salary could be higher for more hours too!” I always insist “I am very careful about work hours because I have a life after work. Please take into account my personal life too.” Of course, with such an attitude, it is not possible to be hired! All the same, I will always defend the 8h-8h-8h rule. 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of recreation. Even if I could be unemployed for months, I will stand for decent work for everyone.

Are you with me?

– Oğuz Yılmazlar

  1. May Day History: How May 1 Became a Holiday for Workers
  2. The Third Industrial Revolution
  3. Which Nationalities Work the Longest Hours?

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