The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Action Is Better Than Copy …
May 31, 2010, 5:50 am
Filed under: Comment

So last week I spoke at a youth conference in Singapore.

When I was there, a member of the Singapore Health Department asked me how I thought I could encourage Singapore’s young to care more about their health to which I replied,

“You can’t be healthy when you are made to feel you have to work 20 hours a day – so stop that attitude, and then you might start getting somewhere”

At this point, the room – rather surprisingly – broke out into spontaneous applause.

The reason I bring this up is not because I want to prove I can occasionally say something semi-smart [but hey, look at me saying something semi-smart] it’s the fact that unless governments and companies start actively taking a stand against this ever-increasing number of hours being worked, their future could be in jeapordy.

Yes I know that sounds very dramatic, but I genuinely believe it to be true.

As I wrote a while back, too many organisations act like they own their employees lock, stock and fucking barrel.

There’s this attitude that’s seemingly becoming more and more prevalent that they’re being generous allowing their staff a lunch hour … which is probably why they don’t feel any guilt, remorse or shame when they demand they poor sods come in at the weekend or change their holidays.

Of course they get away with it because in cohoots with the Government, they’ve allowed this air of fear to permeate the everyday employees environment … where they are made to believe that it’s not just good enough to do a full 8 hours a day of work to the best of your ability, you have to start earlier and work later or you’re not showing commitment.

Now I appreciate you probably are thinking, “What the hell do you know Rob, all you do is write blogs all day” … and maybe that’s true … but if people are not allowed time to relax, unwind and unthink, their levels of productivity are going to be impacted, let alone all the other issues that stem from it … be it family disharmony through to lack of innovation and desire to explore something new.

Conspiracy theorists out there will claim that is exactly why Governments and companies don’t want to do it … but with a rise in health issues covering almost all ailments from mental to physical … the loss of productivity on a corporate and national level, let alone the costs associated with sorting those ailments out [be it medicine to company medical insurance] means that ignoring this issue is commercial suicide.

Singapore is a wonderful place … a place I hold dear and am proud to be a PR of … however for all the campaigns the Government put out encouraging health or family harmony, they’d be much better off mandating companies to give their employees 4 weeks holiday a year and a maximum limit for hours worked.

Naturally it won’t happen … this is a country that has painted themselves into a corner where they must continue to keep the foreign investment coming as well as happy … however as they are pretty good at recognising issues that could impact their continued success, then I hope they realise this wouldn’t be a case of mollycoddling their people, but protecting one of the key assets that attracts foreign investment in the first place.

35 Comments so far
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whereas we give all our fucking moolah away and end up with fuck all because you hypnotised us into thinking it would be a nice thing to do. ive got a shit shack in the middle of fucking nowhere to lose money on campbell, you didnt think of that when you decided to become a cheap bill gates with my fucking hard earned did you? instead of learning from the singapore bastards we followed the fucking muppets, but as long as you feel good campbell.

you fucking love pissing off governments with you socialist principals dont you. i find it very fucking amusing mainly because i dont want to be the only prick who suffers from your power to the people ranting. explains why you keep moving countries every few years. cant wait to see how you get on in commie central, bet youre view will go down like a bullet in the head which is exactly what youll get. dont worry campbell, im not wishing you dead, wouldnt want getting famous and infamous would i?

that bollocks aside this is another pretty good post. thats now running into the 2nd week. what the fuck is going on, how are you doing it and when do you announce youre standing for government?

Comment by andy@cynic

Curse you beating my comment by two mins Boucher…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

you write blog comments when youre on holiday. you should be fucking thanking me for stopping you look even more of a sad bastard except you went and ruined it by saying youre pissy i beat you to the comment. be happy, sometimes its good to come second. but not very fucking often i give you.

good break?

Comment by andy@cynic

Stop trying to play Mr Hard Man, no one gets you to do anything you don’t want to. Except Mary and her shack buying obsession. 🙂

Comment by Rob

well you certainly fucking managed it a couple of times. hypnotist bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yep/ I almost chuckled at Foxconn’s 20% pay increase for workers after the 7 suicides at their factories. Clearly pay isn’t the only issue here.

The key is to stop seeing people at numbers and see them as people.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

what do you think of suicide central jonathan?

Comment by andy@cynic

Been a while since I commented but this is still a must visit place for me every day. Needed to say this is a great post buddy especially when you point out employee health isn’t a commercial cost but an investment. Looking forward to seeing you around these parts next month.

Comment by Jonathan Rosenberg

you dont come on here for months jonathan and within 2 words you fill the place full of love, happiness and fucking flowers. you lot are fucking good i give you but i still maintain it could all be evil in disguise.

did you see what i did there? hahahahahahaha.

Comment by andy@cynic

I thought Jonathan had more brains than that.

Comment by DH

Hi Jonathan … how the hell are you?

Glad you like the post, especially with what I’ll be demanding from you guys next month. Ha.

Can’t wait to see you and hope all is toptastic.

Comment by Rob

Campbell for president.
Just not my president.

Comment by DH

Andy may hate to hear this, but I’ve worked at a number companies and cynic was where I felt my physical and mental wellbeing was most considered. I still pulled late nights but they ensured it was never regular which is why I laughed reading Rob’s response to the Singapore health guy because there were many times I heard them tell clients to plan their workload better because they weren’t prepared to get their guys working late just because the client hadn’t got their act together in the previous 6 months.

They may not have made as much money as many banks or agencies, but they still did OK so what I’m trying to say is if you say your staff is your greatest asset then prove it, don’t leave it to words on a mission statement.

Fantastic post Robert and i’m interested, what did the health guy say after your response?

Comment by Pete

i wanted to rent you all out to some sneaker sweatshop but my 2 hippy planner fucks wouldnt let me. wankers.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hi Pete … thanks for the uber-corporate toady words, but it’s nice to hear you felt cared for. I’ve always said to Andy that if you can fake that, you can fake anything. 🙂

The health guy – in true Singapore Government stylee – smiled politely, said it was an interesting view and then got the hell out of there at the earliest opportunity. Saying that, he did contact me directly and whilst he didn’t exactly back my view, he said a number of things that indicated he understood where I – and the people who clapped – were coming from, however in Singapore, whilst they claim democracy reigns, change only really happy when one or two specific people want it and having heard both of them talk about this issue in the last few years, I don’t see any change happening in this generation.

Comment by Rob

The alternate view is they had a bedroom in the office (instead of a meeting room even though the office was smaller than a mousehole) so we could sleep when we were pulling all nighters. I know for a fact the room got used for more than just sleeping but it’s not exactly the harmonious, caring image Pete and his Kool Aid painted.

Only write this in the interests of fairness.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That’s a good point. Slave driving bastards.

Comment by Pete

Yeah but you didn’t use it for anything other than sleeping did you Whizzy?

Comment by DH

Unless Billy goes to bed at 6pm, there was never any need for him to actually use the bed because he was always in a bar by then.

With Andy. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Another very enjoyable post Robert, I am savouring your excellent run of blog form, long may it continue.

The response you gave the Singaporean official was very good, not as cunning as your Al Gore moment in the sun, but excellent all the same. I would imagine the government are currently reviewing your response and developing strategies to counter such comments in the future which will allow you another chance to cause humiliation and discomfort which I’m sure pleases you no end.

I am just relieved you are on my side.

Comment by Lee Hill

For now Lee. Only for now … ha!

Comment by Rob

jonathan and lee. your praise is making me sick. love andy.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is also a must visit destination for me. But I am getting therapy.

Comment by John

Well if they put you in the jacket with no arms like I suggested, you wouldn’t be able to type anything – which would be good for all of us.

Comment by Rob

You just like shiny things, you clearly dont understand them or voice recognition software. In any case, my staff members do my typing.

Comment by John

andy, george, please don’t take this personally, but…

rob – you are on a run of form lately which i’m thoroughly enjoying. and i agree with lee – long may it continue.

can you come and say that here too? please?
even though no politician here would even listen to you

Comment by lauren

im not offended because theres no fucking way thats the lauren i know and love, she wouldnt come on here and be nice, encouraging and swear free, not unless shes been staying in a town called stepford and got married. holy fuck, that explains why shes not been on here for pissing ages.

Comment by andy@cynic

what’s wrong with stepford?

Comment by lauren

question. do you wear an apron and like baking apple fucking pies?

Comment by andy@cynic

yes. and no, i like fucking and baking apple pies.

Comment by lauren

thank fuck i got to you before it was too late.

put down the apron, step away from the martha stewart channel and start swearing imfuckingmediately.

welcome back to hell. youve been missed.

Comment by andy@cynic

Love this post Rob especially where you say people need time to ‘unthink’ from work. Really get that.

Comment by Bazza

been to stepford with lauren baz?

and if memory fucking serves me, you did just fine with unthinking.

Comment by andy@cynic

You were my anti think yoda.

There’s a couple of overpriced, run down shacks in Stepford, shall I tell Mary for you Andy?

Comment by Bazza

your blackmailing threats brings a tear to my eye. you make me proud you smartarsed little fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

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