Just Say No to Overtime

Just Say No to Overtime

I used to work for Southwest Airlines. I love that company. The job was great and they treat their employees really well. I only had one complaint.

I was junior man and always got called for overtime. For years I agreed to 16-hour shifts and coming in on my day off. I hated it. But then I started going to school. My priorities changed.

I will never forget the first time I turned down overtime. It scared me. I felt like I was letting the company down. My supervisor told me as I was leaving work that I’d need to come in on my day off.

In a surge of boldness I said. “No can do amigo.”

He gave me a shocked look, because I’d never said no before. Then smiled and said, “Ok, have a good day off.”

That was too easy. I thought to myself.

Why had I been withstanding all this suffering for years? There were lots of people that could work the job. I just happened to be the one who was at the bottom of the ladder. Sure, it was a mark against me, but I was a good employee and everyone knew that. I was in no danger of getting fired.

I hate to sound like a hippie, but I think we work too hard in America. Yes, our work ethic has made us a great country. But I feel like we’ve gone overboard. We kill ourselves for the man. What does it get us? Maybe some satisfaction. But how many families have been ruined because dad and mom are working their brains out for a company that can go on with or without them?

I’m sure there’s some deep psychology in there as to why we do it. All I’m saying is, work hard, be a good employee, but make sure you leave time to enjoy life. You may need to downsize so you can afford to work less. But I can guarantee you no one ever said on their death bed, “I wish I’d spent more time at work.”

What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? Ecclesiastes 1:3