The Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader Edition
Posted at 8:00h, 12 Sep 2017 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

It’s September, summer vacations are over, school is back in session. It’s the month that traditionally marks ‘back to the grind’ time.

The New York Times had an interesting opinion piece by Dan Lyons, entitled In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers.

To refresh your memories, Lyons, formerly of Hubspot, authored Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble.

Noted Lyons, “Silicon Valley prides itself on “thinking different.” So maybe it makes sense that just as a lot of industries have begun paying more attention to work-life balance, Silicon Valley is taking the opposite approach — and branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice.”

Workaholism. Think alcoholism without the intervention and the 12-step program, and taking the mantra “Do more, faster,” to a new level.

And without the intermittent happy times and the buzz.

“Working beyond 56 hours in a week adds little productivity, according to a 2014 report by the Stanford economist John Pencavel. But the point may be less about productivity than about demonstrating commitment and team spirit.”

And pledging undying allegiance to the company flag, from what we’ve witnessed lately from Silicon Valley.

On the other side of the coin, there’s this: Inside the Growing Guest Worker Program Trapping Indian Students in Virtual Servitude And how American universities are acting as willing partners, all in the name of cheap labor, of course. Or, as Silicon Valley is fond of noting, ‘built by immigrants.’

OK, but at what cost – and what price to its workers at large. As we know, it’s not just Indian students who are trapped in virtual servitude.

How often have we heard and do we hear that tech is changing the world, and true that, but has the quality of life improved? Tech has changed the work world: people are working longer hours to only to find that they’re pretty much running in place.

Ah, the question: Are you smarter than a 5th grader? What 5th grader would give up recess or his or her lunch break or summer break for the betterment of the school? Since it is September and the work/life balance issue seems to be yesterday’s news and not exactly top of mind anymore, we thought it might be time to think about it again and yet another mantra that is an absolute constant comes to mind: That unless you’re the lead dog, the scenery never changes. Important point to keep in mind as we go onward and forward.