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The Working Week: Do We Work Too Many Hours?

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70 Reviews

British workers consistently work longer hours than their European counterparts. A 1998 survey found that the average UK worker works a 43-hour week, whereas the average European works around 40 hours per week. The European Commission has opened legal action against Britain to force the UK Government to reform British employment law so that employees cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours per week. British labour unions have celebrated the news, commenting that this will lead to a cut in excessive working time, and reduce stress. Are you overworked and stressed? Do you think the Government is doing enough to reduce work-related stress, or British workers? rights? What else could be done?

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      24.04.2011 16:21
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      Get the work-life balance that suits you

      This is quite a difficult question to answer as we seem to have developed a culture of working silly hours to get the job done rather than the traditional 9-5 routine. I think this is due to a few reasons, one being the economy, with many people worried about the security of their job they want to ensure they are seen as working hard so if there are any cut backs they won't be one of them, but also there's the opportunities of promotion and with so few jobs out there everyone keen to get on wants to go the extra mile and look better than the next person.

      Me personally, I'm 26 years old with no children and still in the early stages of my career so I'm prepared to put in the extra hours required, firstly to ensure my job gets done and everything goes out on time but also to go the extra mile so I'm recognised when it comes to bonus time and if there becomes an opportunity for promotion I may have a chance of getting it.

      I think if I had young children my attitude would be different, but I don't think I could do the job now without putting in the extra hours because it's just the culture we've become used to - 12 hour days most days! I dread to think what my actual hourly wage would be if I worked out my salary divided my the number of hours I actually work.

      It's all down to the individual, although I work long hours I still think I have a good work-life balance, I have my weekends free (with the occasional logging onto the laptop ;-) ) and go on nice holidays.

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        05.04.2010 14:24
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        Can you put a price on time without your family!!

        This is quite a difficult topic to cover, for the simple reason, I am self employed. But I'll share some of my views and maybe they will be of some help to a few of 'my friends' on dooyoo.

        When I was young I hardly saw my Father. He would be up at 6am (before I got up) and back at 8pm (after I went to bed) and I must say I did miss him. He also worked Saturday mornings. So really until I got a bit older and could see him of an evening, I saw very little of him, when I was growing up. That didn't make him a bad Dad. Far from it. He always made sure that I had food on the table, clothes (although nothing like the kids have today), and an annual holiday - often down in Devon but later in my teenage years we travelled to France. All day Sunday he would help me with my school work.

        Fast forward to the mid nineties. I was self employed with my own office, and I got married. I would be in work at 8am and would often leave at 8pm, usually popping into the pub on the way home. I had the odd few moans from my new wife, but I was earning well, and I think the few holidays abroad helped colour her judgement as to whether she should moan too much! I would also work Saturday mornings and the rest of the weekend would be our time.

        Before long a little stebiz came on the horizon and I continued in the way I had previously. My wife started working part time and I thought all was going well. My working hours never changed and I would often get home after the baby was fast asleep. A couple of years later little Stebiz had a sister, and I continued in the way I had previously. Good holidays. Good money, but to be honest not really a family life. I'm not sure if this is what I felt it should be like, due to the way I was brought up.

        When the oldest Stebiz was 6, the business was struggling a bit. Long hours but little reward. Nothing worse than having to work long hours but still not being able to offer the family the 'extras' that I had happily provided previously. I started to get a bit depressed with it all, and when I was offered a great job for a Blue Chip company I decided it was time to shut up the office, and go and work for them.

        With this new job came new problems. It was working shifts. I had to be available 24/7, and my time off was usually when the children were at school (yes times move on quick). I still did my own self employment work to get extra money for the family, so 70 hours a week was not uncommon. In 2005, the latest little Stebiz arrived, and I was determined that things would change. I had a word with work and I was allowed to do family working hours, but this caused resentment with a lot of single guys at work, who were then forced to do the later shifts. They weren't nasty about it, but I did feel guilty.

        In 2007, a mixture of hard work and guilt, as well as extra pressure at work caused Stebiz to nearly have a breakdown. I was laid up for weeks. Couldn't move. Didn't want to move. Didn't care. Put on weight. Lost weight. Shaking. Palpitations. You name it. I had it. If it wasn't for the care of my lovely wife, and the thought I had 3 young children, I'm sure I'd have done something really silly!!

        Over the months I gradually became better, my nerves settled. I actually started to do some work at home. But I could never go back to the rat race that was involved in the workplace. I was happy to drop my kids off at school. Do some housework. Make the tea from time to time. Be there to help the children with their homework. Okay I was missing a lot of cash from my job, but hey that isn't everything in life. I had started to realise just that. Money was certainly tighter. I still worked a lot of hours, usually through the day when they were at school, and of a night when they were asleep. Money was picking up quite nicely.

        So today I now I myself having a great balance with work. Long hours yes, but working in the comfort of my own home. Breaks when I like. Seeing the children grow up. Being there to help them, and basically working what hours I wish. The children and wife understand that if I am not working I'm not earning, but money in our house isn't everything now. Okay we don't go abroad 3 times a year now, but this year we might make it twice. We have a lovely holiday planned for Disneyland. My other daughters have holidays planned with the school.

        For those who are reading this and are away from home all the time, working long hours. If you have young children, they need you. You can't turn the clocks back when they are older. Enjoy the time with them now, and try and get a nice balance!!

        Thanks for reading.

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          18.02.2010 15:02
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          It puts money in my pocket!

          Where do you work?
          A very well known supermarket!

          What is your job title?
          Sales Assistant

          What is your job description?
          I am not sure how it would officially be described but basically I replenish stock, merchandise, and help the customers with any queries or questions they may have!

          How long have you been in your current job?
          5 years this year.

          Are you happy at work?
          Most days, yes.

          Is it the job for you?
          No. I do not want to be here for the rest of my life. The whole idea of working here was because it pays a great wage for part time work so allows me to have money in the bank! Because of that, I was able to be a less than struggling student right through university and into my Masters.

          Who do you get on best with at your work?
          All the girls on my department. We always have a laugh and there is always someone to turn to when you need to talk. I am a lot younger than most of the ones I work with and they really look out for me and take care of me. We all help each other (most of the time!) and there is always a packet of sweets on hand nearby!

          Anyone you don't get on with?
          Not on my department but elsewhere in the store - yes. You can't please everybody!

          Do you like your boss?
          My department boss is lovely! She always goes out of her way to help you as long as you do the same for her.

          How many days of your holidays have you used?
          All of them for this year! Can't wait to book the new ones in April! Though I wish wehad more time off!

          How many sick days?
          Too many!

          Genuine or faked?
          Genuine! I suffered with my tonsils for over 18 months before they finally took them out! Now my record is improving!

          Do you get a yearly pay rise?
          Nope. We have had a couple of decent pay rises but I do not think that was from the company, I think it was from the government.

          Do you socialise with your colleagues?
          We do see each other out and about and always have our Christmas night out but apart from that not really. Unless you count through texting joked and facebook comments!

          Are you qualified for your job?
          More than. You don't need a degree to do what I do. I don't even think you need an GCSE's! As long as you're a hard worker and generally polite to people, you're qualified!

          What age were you when you left school?
          16. But then went onto college and university.

          Did you always want to do what your doing now?
          I always wanted to do my MA but where I will go after that Im not sure!

          Are you the main earner in your household?
          Nope. Still living with the parents!

          Are you a member of a union?
          Yes. Usdaw. They have helped me out a few times in the past and we have some great reps in our store.

          How often do you get paid?
          4 weekly.

          Are you content with your salary?
          For the amount of work I do, I think my salary is pretty generous.

          How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?
          Weekends only, around 15hrs. I would do more but we never have any overtime!

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            17.02.2010 14:14
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            Where do you work?
            A well known large chain pet shop

            What is your job title?
            I don't really have one

            What is your job description?
            Simply selling and advising customers on products and pets

            How long have you been in your current job?
            About 2 weeks :P I got made redundant at my old job and this is the one I found to replace it.

            Are you happy at work?
            Sort of - I don't want to work in retail for long, it something I'm doing while I'm at university as it's more flexible than most other job types. However I do love the animal aspect and have already acquired a new pet.

            Is it the job for you?
            No, like I said there are good and bad aspects but it's not a long term thing for me. I plan on growing my own business as a freelance photographer when I have some money put aside to invest in advertising and updating my equipment.

            Who do you get on best with at your work?
            Cassie - another girl who just started the job (it's for a new store so everyone is new). We're quite similar and I give her a lift into work as she doesn't have a car.

            Anyone you don't get on with?
            No one so far.

            Do you like your boss?
            He seems down to earth and very friendly so yes.

            How many days of your holidays have you used?
            None.

            How many sick days?
            None.

            Genuine or faked?
            NA

            Do you get a yearly pay rise?
            Apparently there is a company pay rise in April which is around 3% so I'll have to wait and see.

            Do you socialise with your colleagues?
            Well we've only just started to work together so not yet, but there has been mention of all going out for a meal.

            Are you qualified for your job?
            No, but there are courses you can take which increase your yearly salary and entitle you to sell certain things eg. flea treatment (yes you have to be qualified to sell Front Line and Drontal).

            What age were you when you left school?
            I'm still at university but I'll finish this year so 21

            Did you always want to do what your doing now?
            Nope

            Are you the main earner in your household?
            No, but somehow I'm the only one who doesn't go overdrawn and is always solving other people's financial issues. Maybe I should have a career as a financial adviser?

            Are you a member of a union?
            No

            How often do you get paid?
            Every 4 weeks on a Thursday

            Are you content with your salary?
            No, but like I said there's supposed to be a pay rise in April and I'll get another after being in the job for 9 months.

            How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?
            I'm only contracted for 8 hours but at the moment we're training so I'm doing 3 full days a week and when our new store is opened they said we'll probably be asked to do more hours depending on trading patterns.
            My official shifts are 4 hours on a Thursday and Saturday afternoon but I'm not doing those yet.

            *I'm not sure how these questions relate to working to much but I've looked through the other reviews and this is what other people are doing*

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              30.11.2009 13:57
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              To much work to less paid

              Work, work and more work thats all I seem to do nowadays I have two jobs because I have a mortgage to pay because my day job doesnt pay enough.
              Don't get me wrong I do have a good daytime job but I'm just not paid enough. I work 60 hours per week its was 65 but I dropped a shift at my part time job.
              I think we do work to many hours a week and not enough time to share with friends and family. Life is just to short to sit behind a desk all day pen pushing and its not exactly rewarding neither.
              Fair enough I get paid for my work but I wish I could quit my night time job to spend more time relaxing or even doing some charity work.
              I do think there should be some sort of limit to what you can work weekly and companies should reward there staff more to show more appreciation would go very far in my book.
              I also think the national minimum wage is a load of rubbish this should meet the ever increasing inflation not by pence but by pounds. The system needs a good looking at.

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                20.07.2009 00:35
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                Long hours, poor conditions, great amphibians

                1. Where do you work?
                I'm a bit like the A team, I go where I'm needed even if it involes drinking drugged milk and going on planes.

                2. What is your job title?
                Newt Farmer


                3. What is your job description?
                My job description is very vague......

                But if you want to know what it involves then:
                Maintaining newt stocks for the west midlands, cornwall, the outer hebrides, the greater manchester area (but not manchester itself due to the 1987 agreement) and Shrewbury Cathedral.

                Occasionally I have to help with the propogation of the newt species, sometimes light milking is involved and as part of the 'keep amphibians happy' initiative I also coach the netball team.

                4. How long have you been in your current job?
                36 years, man & boy (though not in that order)

                5. Are you happy at work?
                It has it's moments. I can't think of many other occupations where you can accept an OBE from the Queen with pond life in your trouser pockets. Except perhaps journalism.

                6. Is it the job for you?
                It's the only job for me

                7. Who do you get on best with at your work?
                Tony. He's a great guy. Gets picked on occasionally due to his size becasue he's my newt. (bud a bum tish)

                8. Anyone you don't get on with?
                I've had a few run ins with the newt farmers in manchester. They're a bit territorial and on one particular occasion the police had to be called in. There was custard everywhere and more than one newt had to be treated for scurvy. It was very unfortunate.

                9. Do you like your boss?
                Monkey Peter? With a name like that what's not to like. He's groovy & very forgiving. Even if you touch his wife.

                10. How many days of your holidays have you used?
                What are holidays?

                11. How many sick days?
                You don't take sick days if you work for Monkey Peter. Trust me.

                12. Genuine or faked?
                Is this an orgasm question? What kind of filthy sex-minded person throws orgasm questions into work surveys? Did Monkey Peter put you up to this?

                13. Do you get a yearly pay rise?
                He he he he he..... Now I know Monkey Peter didn't put you up to this.... You work for Monkey Peter you don't get pay rise. You don't get pay. You just get to touch Monkey Peters wife.

                14. Do you socialise with your colleagues?
                I socialise with Tony sometimes & Vinegar Jenny. She's Monkey Peter's wife. Occasionally Gringo John will join us for a drink. He's Monkey Peters concubine so is often too busy to come along.

                15. Are you qualified for your job?
                Very much so.

                16. What age were you when you left school?
                7. I escaped from the compound when the nuns weren't looking. I never looked back. Which is a shame as I dropped 4 shillings. Had I gone back for them I may never have bumped into Monkey Peter.

                17. Did you always want to do what you're doing now?
                I have never wanted to do what I do now.

                18. Are you the main earner in your household?
                I am third highest earner in our accomodation. I can't really call it a house as it has few walls, the roof is not majorly secure and when it rains all of the candles go out.
                Tony is 2nd highest earner.
                Top earner, on 48 new pence per week is Malacky. He's an exotic dancer at Monkey Peters gentlemens club. He says not all of them are really gentlemen.

                19. Are you a member of a union?
                Monkey Peter laughs at Unions. Then kills them. Then laughs again. Loudest.

                20. How often do you get paid?
                Vinegar Jenny invites me to visit once a week. Twice if it's been raining so I've had chance to bathe.

                21. Are you content with your salary?
                As a gentleman I cannot say.


                22. How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?
                I usually work 19 hours a day, 7 days a week. Newt farming i svery time consuming & competitive but rewarding in it's own way.

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                  06.07.2009 09:18
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                  Overall I am very pleased to have a job at the minute

                  I have had several jobs since leaving school and I have to say I have enjoyed working in an office the most out of them all. I particularly enjoyed temping when I was in Australia where I worked in a call centre in a bank. I think it was because I was not under any stress to work to deadlines and anything I did was a major help to them so they appreciated me a lot.


                  1. Where do you work?
                  In an accountants in a town nearby. I have to admit as I don't drive and the public transport is awful I sometimes find it hard to get to work. I have to go in early with my husband some mornings which is not fun! Some mornings I am up at 6am and don't get home to 6pm. I feel that these hours are far too long I be so tired by the time I get home.

                  2. What is your job title?
                  Administrator / Receptionist

                  3. What is your job description?
                  I generally do reception duties and general administration. I also prepare accounts for the accountants.

                  4. How long have you been in your current job?
                  I have just been here for 6 months. Since returning from a GAP year in Australia I found it extremely difficult to get a job.

                  5. Are you happy at work?
                  Yes most days I am lucky that I work with nice people. Plus I enjoy the type of work I do.

                  6. Is it the job for you?
                  I suppose so I think I would like to do more accounts though and less reception duties. You have to start somewhere though.

                  7. Who do you get on best with at your work?
                  I get on with everyone the same. That's one thing I like about my work.

                  8. Anyone you don't get on with?
                  No I am lucky that I get on with everyone.

                  9. Do you like your boss?
                  Yes

                  10. How many days of your holidays have you used?
                  I have used 3 weeks already as I got married in April and went on my honeymoon. I am soon to get another week off now in July. I can work flexi time which is fantastic as I can work up any time I might need.

                  11. How many sick days?
                  I have taken 2 sick days which I hate doing.

                  12. Genuine or faked?
                  It was genuine I had the worst flu ever. I have worked up my time off though to make up for it.

                  13. Do you get a yearly pay rise?
                  Im not sure I don't think that I do, suppose I will find out in 6 months.

                  14. Do you socialise with your colleagues?
                  Not really out of office hours. As I live a good bit away it is harder.

                  15. Are you qualified for your job?
                  Yes I am but I think there are more qualifications that I could do to improve myself. I don't need them to do my job but they would benefit me.

                  16. What age were you when you left school?
                  I left full time school at 18 after I done my AS levels and decided it wasn't for me. I then went to technical college to do my nvq level 2 and 3 in administration. At the same time I went to technical college at night to do an HNC in business and finance.

                  17. Did you always want to do what you're doing now?
                  To be honest I never knew what I wanted to do I just fell into what I am doing today.

                  18. Are you the main earner in your household?
                  Nope my husband makes the main wage.

                  19. Are you a member of a union?
                  No there is no union as far as I know of.

                  20. How often do you get paid?
                  On the last Thursday of every month.

                  21. Are you content with your salary?
                  At the minute I am just happy to be earning a full time wage.

                  22. How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?
                  I work Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm however I work flexi time so if I want to work more hours up I can. When I am working up hours I feel that I am working too many hours but as I can then take them days/hours off I suppose it is fair enough. Overall I feel that we should start our jobs earlier and get home earlier then we could make more use of the day.

                  Summary : I am happy in my job and very glad that I have one at the minute. I think people do tend to work too many hours in a week. It would be lovely if we all had more spare time to ourselves and to spend with our family. I feel that people are often too stressed from work to be able to relax once they get home and therefore worry about work when they are not there. Also if you are like myself you spend most of your time at home trying to catch up on housework and cooking so you don't really get much time to unwind. By the time you have finished cooking, cleaning and ironing its time to go to bed to start the day all over again. I think the working week should be reduced. Ideally finishing around 4pm or even better everyone should work a 4day week. You can only wish!

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                    23.06.2009 15:51
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                    All About Me

                    I had a number of jobs whilst at uni (the worst one ever was working on a sandwich production line) & a number of jobs since starting "proper work". I've worked in retail, in a call centre, for the CPS, the police, the civil service and for a bank. The details below relate to my current role.


                    1. Where do you work?
                    For a charity in my home town

                    2. What is your job title?
                    Administrator

                    3. What is your job description?
                    I provide admin support to the whole of the building along with a team of other administrators. Being a charity this can cover a multitude of sins as you can end up doing anything & everything. I do a lot of work on the finance side of things but also deal with timesheets, holidays, reports & booking appointments.

                    4. How long have you been in your current job?
                    I started in Novemner 2006 so just over 2 1/2 years

                    5. Are you happy at work?
                    Very much so. My job is varied & I like the team of people that I work with.

                    6. Is it the job for you?
                    Probably. I could imagine staying here until retirement beckons.

                    7. Who do you get on best with at your work?
                    I like almost all the people I work with. There's a wide range of ages which is nice. Generally speaking I get on better with women than men.

                    8. Anyone you don't get on with?
                    Not really. There are some people I'm not that keen on but I wouldn't say that there was anybody I truly detested.

                    9. Do you like your boss?
                    Yes. My boss & I have a great working relationship. I couldn't ask for anyone more supporting & understanding.

                    10. How many days of your holidays have you used?
                    None yet, although I have taken 3 days off on flexi-time.

                    11. How many sick days?
                    None this year. I've had one sick day since I started but that was down to an abcess.

                    12. Genuine or faked?
                    See above. I was in agony with the abcess. It was diagnosed by the dentist who put me on antibiotics before a root canal was done.

                    13. Do you get a yearly pay rise?
                    Yes. It's linked to the pay scale of the local authority.

                    14. Do you socialise with your colleagues?
                    Not really. We sometimes go out as a group for birthdays & Christmas etc but they're all work colleagues rather than close friends.

                    15. Are you qualified for your job?
                    There are no qualifications needed for the job as such. Obviously you need to be able to do basic maths & have a reasonable grasp of the English language but no specific qualifications are required.

                    16. What age were you when you left school?
                    After school, I went to Sixth Form College & then university where I did a three year degree in Humanities (English & History)

                    17. Did you always want to do what you're doing now?
                    No. Originally I wanted to be a teacher. But, after 3 years at uni I was fed up of being in education & being skint. So I entered the World Of Work instead. In retrospect I'm glad I did. I may get paid less than a teacher but I work as & when I want (within reason) & I can leave work behind me when I walk out of the door at the end of the day.

                    18. Are you the main earner in your household?
                    No. My partner was for an Internet Service Provider & earns a bit more than I do.

                    19. Are you a member of a union?
                    Yes. I joined recently.

                    20. How often do you get paid?
                    Once a month. On the 24th to be precise.

                    21. Are you content with your salary?
                    Yes, although of course it would be nice to earn more. I'm well paid for the level of responsibility I have. A few years back I worked in a bank & was one of the keyholders for the safe. I was paid a lot less for a lot more responsibility compared to my current role.

                    22. How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?
                    I work Monday - Friday & have to do 35 hours per week. I can start anytime between 8am & 10pm & finish anytime between 4pm & 6pm. Anything I work over 35 hours is unpaid but can be claimed back in "flextime". For example on the second Bank Holiday in May (25th) we also got the Tuesday (26th) off as an extra day. I had quite a bit of flexitime built up so I took the remainder of the week (equivalent to 21 hours) off, which meant, in essence, that I had a week off work without using any of my holiday entitlement.

                    Summary: I love my job, although being a charity it's dependent on continuing funding.

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                      19.06.2009 23:04
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                      Fantastic, flexible and FUN!

                      1. Where do you work?

                      I work from home

                      2. What is your job title?

                      Self-employed Usborne Books at Home Organiser (Mixed with trying to build up my photography business- but i'll just talk about the Usborne business here for now)


                      3. What is your job description?

                      * Promoting and selling/distributing Usborne Children's Books to schools, toddler groups, nurseries, libraries, childminders, daycare centres, anywhere where there are children.
                      *Selling books at fetes,craft fairs, summer fayres, Christmas events, language events, anywhere where I want.
                      * Ending up reading stories to little children even if I don't plan to.
                      * Building up a team of organisers both in my local area and further afield
                      *Going to conferences and also FUN events with the team.
                      *Imputting orders, telephoning customers, writing letters, all of which can be done in my pjyamas with a nice cup of tea *shush don't tell anyone!* ;)
                      *Organising sponsored reading events and other such important literacy/education stuff in schools where the school/organisation can benefit from looooooads of free books
                      *Having a load of fun!

                      4. How long have you been in your current job?

                      Officially for four months, however as my Mother is also an Usborne organiser, unofficially i've just been doing stuff with her now and again for about three years.

                      5. Are you happy at work?
                      YES! Working for myself is so great, I choose what hours I want to do, when my holidays are, when my lunch is. I can walk my dog in-between working, I can meet interesting people, visit fantastic fun school events, see kids absolutely thrilled by the excellent books we have, and get to read loads of books and learn loads of stuff i'd forgotten about.

                      6. Is it the job for you?
                      Yes. I hope to do more photography stuff as well as i'm finishing my photography degree next year so i'm going to be self employed doing both things.

                      7. Who do you get on best with at your work?

                      Well I sometimes work with other organisers who are all a fab bunch of people... (well mostly :D), we get to see each other at events, and my Mum has managed to achieve loads of incentives to go on foreign holidays so she always goes away with the other organisers 'her girls'....am i jealous?? erm...duh! Especially when she sends me photographs of her on a cruise in Mexico she didn't pay a penny for... or I see her pics of her touching a lion in South Africa on a Safari which surprise surprise... she didn't pay for...


                      8. Anyone you don't get on with?
                      School secretaries... I understand why they do it but they just shut the 'gates' on you when you are phoning to make contact with a teacher....even if the teacher has asked you to call them, they can be very sceptical as to if you actually know them or if they are expecting your call. Some of them have been downright rude to my Mother which I find very bad for someone who is meant to deal with school enquiries.

                      9. Do you like your boss?
                      My boss is me... so I guess so.. :)


                      10. How many days of your holidays have you used?
                      Can have a holiday when I want.


                      11. How many sick days?
                      None.


                      12. Genuine or faked?
                      Not applicable.


                      13. Do you get a yearly pay rise?
                      I will do when I keep building up my team, the company will pay me a team builder bonus which will (hopefully) keep rising if I keep on track... only I can really cause my payrise so that's quite a good motivating factor.


                      14. Do you socialise with your colleagues?
                      Yes. Sometimes we work at events together and sometimes like I said we go to events to socialise, there are special gala dinners and awards ceremonies throughout the year.

                      15. Are you qualified for your job?
                      My job doesn't officially require any qualifications. However I am extremely enthusiastic about what I do, friendly with children, love books, have an A at A level Business studies and English Language... , can use a computer and basically try to have a 'get up and go' attitude, so it all goes well..

                      16. What age were you when you left school?
                      I left school at 16 with 10 GCSEs, went to college and did 4 A levels (English Language, Business Studies, Photography and French), then went to university and did two years of studying BA Photography, Video and Digital Imaging (inc. studying abroad in Australia!), however I became ill and took a year off, and am going back to finish it in September when I will be able to carry on doing my Usborne work as well.


                      17. Did you always want to do what you're doing now?
                      I have always wanted to be self employed so doing this at aged 21 is fantastic :)

                      18. Are you the main earner in your household?
                      At the moment i'm living at my parents cause i've taken that year off from uni, however i'm moving to my own place in about 3 weeks time and yes, i'll be the main earner ......ahhh!


                      19. Are you a member of a union?
                      No


                      20. How often do you get paid?
                      When I work...commission upfront. I also get my team builder bonuses once a month into my bank account :)


                      21. Are you content with your salary?
                      Yes... and hopefully it's gonna keep building, i'll need it when i've moved out again!


                      22. How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?

                      Obviously I can choose my own hours. I sometimes work events during the day, sometimes I sleep in until later in the morning and then work until later in the evening. At a guess i'd say overall at the moment I work about 20 hours a week including work at events and from home.

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                        17.06.2009 14:09
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                        Interesting job and I get to meet lots of people and time normally flies in.

                        My working week

                        In the past I have had numerous jobs ranging from bar man, to an engineering officer on a ship. All jobs have there pluses and minuses for instance the job on the ship involved loads of travel but I often had to work in excess of 80 hours a week. I got sick of the sea and decided to retrain and now work as a Chartered Surveyor.

                        What is a Chartered Surveyor?

                        I get asked this quite a lot when people ask me what I do. A surveyor's role is wide and varied and can be anything from a building surveyor to an environmental surveyor. I am a Valuation Surveyor. Basically I work for the government and if they need any properties or land valued then I receive instructions to provide a valuation for them. This can be anything from large factories to small houses and can be for a whole multitude of purposes such as buying and selling, compensation and benefits. The Chartered part of the title relates to the fact that I have sat a very very tough exam set by a regulatory body. My passing the exam I am now able to put the letters MRICS after my name and it's a recognised symbol for customers who like to have reassurance that they are dealing with someone who is regulated to high standard.

                        My working week

                        Overall I have it pretty good. I work for the Government and they positively encourage a healthy work/home life balance. We also have the added benefit of being able to work flexible working time. Ultimately I have to work 37.5 hours every week. I can work any hours with the flexi time to make this target. Generally I tend to work from 830 to 1630 every day with about 30 mins for lunch which I normally take at my desk. However, over the past few weeks I have been working extra say to five most days. This gives me 30 mins per day which I can then build up and take off at my own leisure. This is one of the biggest perks of my jobs as I can often save up days for long weekends of special occasions. We are allowed to build up a maximum of three days a month but it would take a massive amount of self discipline to do this. We can work up 7.5 hours any time between 8 and 6. I have to be in work in core times which are 10-12 and 2-4. So in theory if you felt rough you could work 10-12 take a two hour lunch break and then 2-4. This would mean you only worked 4 hours so you would then owe the company 3.5 hours which you could work back at another time.

                        As part of my role I am usually out in the field inspecting properties or land at least once a week. This is my favourite part as I enjoy getting out and meeting people and hopefully trying to get things sorted for them so that both side are happy.

                        The holidays with the government are very good. I get 25 days a year plus all bank holidays and in my role I can apply for holidays at pretty short notice and normally always get them.

                        In summary my job is very interesting. Its quite complex in times, I get to use my degree and the work/life balance is very good indeed. On the downside wages in public sector are not as good as colleagues working in private sector and with it being Government that can at times be a lot of bureaucracy which can be soul destroying. However that being said I would recommend this job and it can produce a high level of job satisfaction.

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                          14.06.2009 06:54
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                          my job is perfect for me

                          Now I have had many jobs through my life so far and yes I can say I do think that many of us work too many hours for too little.

                          I became part-time worker when I had my children. I cant say that I could not work and be a full time parent that is alot of hard work I still need my break.

                          I have worked 2 jobs when I was younger a 9 till 5 that took and hour travel each way so that always made me feel as if my working day was much longer then to a pub at a night time that didnt close till 1 in the morning. After a few months of this I found I was always tired I still didnt have any extra money because of paying for taxis home and food when I finished work and I know people like to work a few extra hours to gain a few pennies. Think long and hard before you do is it really worth running yourself in the ground?

                          I now work in a betting shop the job is great you work with a small team and I am lucky that they are all nice people to work for. However the hours are a bit of a problem you will work till ten and you will almost always work atleast 1 weekend day which is hard when you have a family that is usually the only time you get to spend some quality time with them. My bonus is that it is only usually for 4 hours a day then I get to go home but the nights are daunting.

                          I do love my job and cant wait to go back after maternity my job is perfect for me.

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                          09.06.2009 15:42
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                          Wouldn't dream of doing any other job

                          Even though I don't go out to work these days I am busier than I ever was when I was employed so after reading lots of these reviews I thought what the heck, and decided to conduct one of these little interviews myself!
                          Here goes..

                          *Where do you work?
                          In my home as a wife, mother, cook, cleaner etc..

                          *Job title?
                          General dogsbody

                          *Job description?
                          Erm, lets see. Mug? No! Can't think of a title but I do just about everything so that covers it!

                          *How long have you been in your current employment?
                          I gave up full time work when I had my first child- almost 6 years ago now scarily. I worked part time until just before Christmas last year before becoming a "housewife" so about 6 months.

                          *Are you happy at work?
                          Yes. Sometimes my boys drive me mad, but for me being a mum is the best job in the world.

                          *Is it the job for you?
                          Definitely! I never thought I'd enjoy it so much.

                          *Who do you get on best with?
                          My family as they 'work' with me.

                          *Anyone you don't get on with?~
                          There are a couple of mums in the school playground who think they are better than anyone else, but that's where it gets left- in the playground.

                          *Do you like your boss?~
                          I am the boss!

                          *How many sick days have you used this year?~
                          You are not allowed to be sick when you have kids!

                          *Were they genuine or faked?~
                          Wouldn't matter- you don't get much sympathy just have to plod on till you collapse!

                          *How many days holiday have you used?~
                          I get holidays?? Why did no one tell me????

                          *Do you get a yearly pay rise?~
                          You're joking now aren't you?

                          *Do you socialize with colleagues?~
                          Every day!

                          *Are you qualified for your job?~
                          Is anyone? I think I do a good enough job but I have no trophy's nor even a single certificate to prove it.

                          *What age were you when you left school?~
                          17

                          *Did you always want to do what you are doing now?~
                          Subconsciously, yes.

                          *Are you the main earner?~
                          No, hubby has a 'proper' job that pays the bills!

                          *How often do you get paid?~
                          Again this is a joke right?

                          *Are you content with your salary?~
                          Well I my little boys are worth their weight in gold so it's a yes.

                          *How many hours per week do you work?~
                          It's a permanent shift of 24/7! Monday to Friday I take my children to nursery and school, which includes several trips a day on foot for me. One day per week I also clean for my husbands elderly aunt and run errands for her. The rest of the time I have just 2 spare hours per morning in between school runs so I try and cram in the housework, Dooyoo and about a million other things before collecting the boys from school. Sometimes I work nightshifts if the boys are ill so it's a pretty demanding job, but well worth it!

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                            29.05.2009 13:29
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                            A valuable and worthwhile occupation

                            1. Where do you work?

                            I work in a university library.


                            2. What is your job title?

                            My job title is Assistant Subject Librarian and I look after a variety of subjects, including Performing Arts; English language and Communication Studies; and Religion.


                            3. What is your job description?

                            Essentially, I support the teaching, learning, and research activities of specified subject areas. In more detail, this entails:
                            * Advocating and promoting library services
                            * Good ol' shelving
                            * Keeping up to date with relevant professional developments
                            * Liaising and working with academic staff over a range of matters, such as new course developments.
                            * Participating in working parties, project teams, team meetings
                            * Preparing and providing appropriate printed and electronic publications to support user needs
                            * Providing enquiry services, drawing on a range of information resources.
                            * Providing formal and informal education and guidance for library users
                            * Providing support to the issue desk
                            * Selecting, relegating, and maintaining a variety of print and electronic materials


                            4. How long have you been in your current job?

                            I have worked in the library sector for three years and became a qualified librarian in 2008. Since then, as is typical for many newly qualified librarians, I have been doing maternity cover positions. This latest one began in March.


                            5. Are you happy at work?

                            I do enjoy my job the majority of the time. I find that the work can be very rewarding. By making information accessible and available, librarians play a valuable role in helping many people develop new skills and interests.

                            The major downside I feel is that in an academic setting, the role is very seasonal. During summer time, there is very little to do and this can be a little frustrating. However, it does provide an opportunity to embark on major library projects, such as book withdrawals (and believe me, as a book lover it does sound worse than it is. Weeding helps keep a library collection alive and dynamic. If you are lucky, as I am, I work for an institution that is very responsible when it comes to book disposal; e.g. they make them freely available to charities or students, or will recycle them.)


                            6. Is it the job for you?

                            I am happy in librarianship, but I do have an inclination towards Special Collections, particularly rare books. These areas are not particularly easy to get into so the path to this may be long and difficult.


                            7. Who do you get on best with at your work?

                            Thus far, I would like to think I get on very well with the majority of people. There is, however, one lady that I work with and I think we get on well because of our circumstances being similar (same types of worries in relation to money etc.). There is mutual understanding and trust. In some ways, she is like another mum to me.


                            8. Anyone you don't get on with?

                            As a new member of staff, I will admit that I have yet to come across anyone that I haven't enjoyed working alongside. There is one person though that slightly winds me up because she has a tendency to 'dump' responsibilities on other colleagues, e.g. a customer's problem, and walk away as if nothing is wrong with the world. I do find this annoying, but this is only a minor frustration.


                            9. Do you like your boss?

                            Yes. Although at first she appears very hard to read (you cannot gauge her emotions from her expression as she's very closed off), I find that now I have worked with her for a while she is a very professional, honest and sincere individual. She is someone I feel I can respect as an individual as well as my boss. If anything, there are times when she is not completely aware of what's going on. For example, she may arrange a meeting for an inappropriate time - when there are staff shortages.


                            10. How many days of your holidays have you used?

                            I have just over two weeks leave to take during this contract and I have already taken three due to a family visit (I had to relocate when I got this job).


                            11. How many sick days?
                            None.


                            12. Genuine or faked?
                            Not applicable.


                            13. Do you get a yearly pay rise?
                            My wages rise in increments (I think every six months) until I hit the top of my level. I imagine that pay rises are taken into account. To be honest, I've not really had much time to investigate this.


                            14. Do you socialise with your colleagues?
                            Not really, although we do occasionally go to the nearest park for lunch if it's a nice day.


                            15. Are you qualified for your job?

                            Yes. In the U.K., it is now extremely rare to obtain a librarian position without having a post-graduate qualification in library and information science. Even then, many permanent posts require you to have a year's professional experience - hence, all the maternity cover positions.

                            Once qualified, you can then register with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (C.I.L.I.P.) to obtain Chartered Status, for which you have to have been a professional for twelve months (full-time) or 2 years (part-time) and this is aside from the months it takes to put together a portfolio. Debate over the need for this is prevalent: it is a very expensive thing to do. You have to pay to join C.I.L.I.P., pay to register as a candidate for Chartership, pay to submit your portfolio, and lastly, pay to bind and send your portfolios (yes, you need to have about 3 copies). To top this off, from what I've seen and heard, there is little financial recognition for this status afterwards, although many employers put Chartered status as being an essential criteria on job descriptions. Some may argue the value is not in financial recognition but in the reflections on your professional experience. It's a very individual thing.


                            16. What age were you when you left school?

                            I left school at 16 with 10 G.C.S.E.s and then went on to do four A-Levels until I was 18. I then went on study history at university. After graduating, I worked for three years, eventually obtaining a trainee position in a library and then in 2007-08, I worked for and obtained a Masters in Library and Information Management.


                            17. Did you always want to do what you're doing now?

                            No, I always thought I would do more things with history, such as being an archaeologist or work for the National Trust. Being a librarian is a related profession however.


                            18. Are you the main earner in your household?

                            Yep, I am the only person that lives in my house. As some of you know, being on your own can cost twice as much!


                            19. Are you a member of a union?

                            No. I ought to renew my C.I.L.I.P. membership, but it's not really a union.


                            20. How often do you get paid?

                            Monthly, on the last working day of the month.


                            21. Are you content with your salary?

                            It is far better than I expected at this stage.


                            22. How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?

                            I am paid to work 37 hours per week, 08.45-5.00. However, this is on a flexitime basis, so as long as I am at work for my core hours, I have a little leeway. Flexitime is a brilliant system, having never worked on it before, and it has demonstrated to me how much extra employers get out of you when the system is not in place, e.g. simply by starting/finishing work five minutes earlier/later each day, or leaving lunch early etc. Over a period of eight weeks, I have given an extra 10 hours to my job that I haven't been paid for simply because I've given a few minutes now and then! At least I know that I will get this time back.

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                              26.05.2009 20:47
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                              More hours result in more money

                              On average, people in the UK work far more hours than those in the rest of Europe. Why is this? Is our history as a nation of shopkeepers more deep-rooted than I thought, meaning that we work ourselves to the bone in order to succeed?

                              As I work for a Local Authority, I think my views on this subject will vary somewhat from the majority of people. My working week is only 35 hours, compared to an average of approximately 43 hours a week! In addition, I work flexible working, meaning that to an extent I can work around personal commitments.

                              My core hours when I must be in work are 9.30am - noon then 2.30pm to 4pm, but I can start any time after 8am, or work on until 6pm. If I wish I can take a 2 and a half hour lunch break, perfect time to catch up with friends or pick up some bits for dinner.

                              Rather than having to work 7 hours a day, I need to work a minimum of 140 hours over a four week period, with any additional hours being carried forward to enable me to take flexi days as and when I require. I can take up to 2 of these flexi days in each 4 week period, or 26 days a year.

                              I also get 28 days annual leave and a further 12.5 days of public holidays each year and we close down for 2 weeks over Christmas (although we do have to use our own leave). I can take these holidays at a time that suits me, rather than having to plan ahead to ensure that my holidays don't clash with colleague's holidays.

                              Now I know what you're thinking -"bloody council workers; no wonder my council tax is so high!"

                              And I can see your point, but what you need to consider is that I could get a far higher salary in the private sector. Yes, I may work longer hours and have fewer holidays, but I would have more money to do exactly what I want.

                              I have friends doing similar jobs to myself who work the traditional 9 to 5, but often have to stay on to complete tasks before deadlines. One friend in particular rarely gets out of work before 8pm, without getting paid any overtime. In saying that his salary is nearly twice mine so I think his salary takes account of the additional hours that he has to work.

                              Likewise I receive a lower salary, but in return I am expected to work less hours, and although I would love a higher salary (who doesn't) I also love the flexibility that my job affords me, allowing me to leave early if I've got arrangements for that night, or perhaps start later if I fancy a lie in.

                              Perhaps the reason that the average working week is as long in the UK stems from the fact that home ownership is as high in the UK. Monthly outgoings will be fixed and so we need jobs in which we can afford to service our debts, and if working longer hour's results in a higher salary, I can imagine that this is a sacrifice many are happy to make.

                              Overall I am happy with my work/life balance, believing that I have found the perfect balance between my working life and my leisure time. After all, what's the point in working extra hours to get a higher salary if you don't have the free time to enjoy it?

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                                25.05.2009 19:46
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                                Working 9-5 what a way to make a living......

                                As its a bank holiday and I am off work today I have decided to write about my job as I love it so much!

                                Where do you work?

                                I work in an office in a town called Ampthill about twenty minutes drive from my home.

                                What is your job title?

                                Fleet Administrator

                                What is your job description?

                                My company looks after other companies car fleets (including a well known company who make beans and tomato sauce) and I speak to drivers over the phone booking their cars in for mechanical issues, services, MOTS and send out tax discs, fines and fuel cards to drivers as well as handling accident claims.

                                How long have you been in your current job?

                                Since March 2004.

                                Are you happy at work?

                                I don't hate it but it can get stressful when its 6pm, I have a driver stranded with 2 flat tyres and no rental companies are open to supply him with a replacement and I want to go home!

                                Is it the job for you?

                                At the moment it is but its not something I can see myself doing all my life, would love to work with animals or children.

                                Who do you get on best with at your work?

                                I like everyone but my manager can do my head in sometimes, he likes to make jobs longer than they need to be..

                                Anyone you don't get on with?

                                Not anymore, the person we all disliked left last month.

                                Do you like your boss?

                                Yes most of the time.

                                How many days of your holidays have you used?

                                I have used 13 so far (2 for funerals!)

                                How many sick days?

                                I have had 7 this year, 6 off in one illness as got flu.

                                Genuine or faked?
                                Genuine

                                Do you get a yearly pay rise?

                                I have to ask but the credit crunch has already been mentioned this year even though my MD has taken on 3 new members of staff as well including a director....

                                Do you socialise with your colleagues?

                                Nope only at Christmas.

                                Are you qualified for your job?

                                Nope I started as a junior at 19 and still there now, I only have GCSES.

                                What age were you when you left school?

                                I left school at the age of 15 (nearly 16)

                                Did you always want to do what your doing now?

                                No I wanted to be a journalist!

                                Are you the main earner in your household?

                                Me and my boyfriend earn about the same.

                                Are you a member of a union?

                                No.

                                How often do you get paid?

                                Every month,on the 25th or before it falls on a weekend or bank holiday.

                                Are you content with your salary?

                                No would like a few more grand!

                                How many hours do you work per week and what shifts?

                                Monday - Friday, one week 8.30am - 5pm or 9.30am - 6pm so 37.5hrs.

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