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Alex Hutchins

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Why do Americans hate going to work so much?

I held my first full time job in 1968 (45 years ago) and I am still working and during these years not only have I hated going to work, but I have heard constant complaints from co-workers as well as from friends and neighbors who worked at a variety of other places how bad they hated going to work as well.

While most of their complaints centered around management, there were numerous complaints about co-workers as well as subordinates and customers that laid the foundation for all of them having a miserable time at work.

Studies over the years have revealed that workers feel better about themselves and their job when they are fully engaged and have ownership over what they are doing, oftentimes referred to as empowerment; but, while this may help a little, these workers typically still complain about their job and cannot wait until they can retire.

This retirement desire was first exposed to me by my father who retired at 62 after having worked for the Federal Government for over 40 years. During his career, he never once complained about going to work but towards the last few years of his career, he complained all the time about the politics, the butt kissing, and the looking over one's shoulder that he had to do throughout his career. In short, he admitted that he hated his job, he hated going to work, even though there were things that he enjoyed and that were very rewarding for him.

Sadly, I would estimate using the standard 80/20 rule that 80% of the current workforce hates what they are doing, hates their bosses, hates with whom they have to work, and hates the customers with whom they have to deal.

No wonder our productivity and the quality of our products and services is beginning to deteriorate.

So, if this is largely the responsibility of management, especially upper management what can be done (if it were so desired) to change the environment in which the American Worker has to work?


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    Jul 18 2013: I don't think Americans bitch about work any more than any other culture. Butt-kissing goes on all over the world. If you like your job you're unlikely to complain much, and vice versa. But again, times have changed: people today are much more occupied with rights, and less likely to put up with conditions and orders that were accepted by earlier generations. Or maybe we've all just become bitchier over the past decades.
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      Jul 18 2013: it may be all over the world as you say... where employees bitch to be bitching... but not everyone all over the world wants to get the most amount of money for the least amount of work like they do here in the US of A.

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