Americans have a work ethic passed down by the Protestant Reformers led by Martin Luther. That work ethic says no time should be lost. A common saying you will hear from someone, sometime in your childhood is, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” and it is written somewhere in the bible- if not written word for word. The idea is to move quickly to get as much done as you possibly can. Your deeds reflect who you are as a person. Work in the U.S. has become the major determiner of what kind of person we are, are we getting things done, did we graduate early, or run a lemonade stand on Saturdays? Did we go to a superior kindergarten?
In the U.S., a full time job can be up to 40 hours a week and that’s not including overtime: some paid and some unpaid. In the U.S. you will even find parents where both partners are working two jobs, as well as people who work a full time job, while attending college full time.
In Germany, there are rules against working too much to protect workers. The work council in Germany fights for the German workers who seem to value their free time more than money. The U.S. people seem willing to work as many hours as it takes either to get the job done, or to receive commiserate compensation, (* a fat pay check).
We want to live comfortably, but most of us are not greedy. It is that darn Protestant work ethic, which runs deep in America and you can hear it in the sayings adopted in our culture.
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.
Stephen R. Covey
A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life.
It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau
Money, I can only gain or lose. But time I can only lose. So, I must spend it carefully.
Time is money.
You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
H. Jackson Brown
Of course, we do get holidays, but holidays in the U.S. vary from state to state and they do not have to be observed by the private sector at all. Also, every state in the Union has their own holidays. In Illinois, they celebrate Malcom X, a controversial black freedom leader, in California; César Chávez, a Mexican-American Labor leader. If you are interested in the holidays your colleagues may celebrate, ask.
They may differ depending on what state they come from or in which company they work. I’ve listed the U.S. federal holidays for you in the table below:
ANNABELLE B-BAUMANN, Communication Coach
"Annabelle I've learned alot from you .....with your friendly art and your diversified lessons... it is never boring!!!" -Doris
Love this content? Get the latest post delivered to your mailbox. Make it easy to improve your English!