Should everyone work as hard as the Chinese and Americans? No. Nuh-uh. Nope | Helen Lewis | Comment is free | The Guardian

The fuss about Jeremy Corbyn’s recent holiday is ridiculous. Every human being needs a break

Source: Should everyone work as hard as the Chinese and Americans? No. Nuh-uh. Nope | Helen Lewis | Comment is free | The Guardian

When the idiot George Osborne talked about Britons working as hard as the Chinese, I thought, er, “What an idiot.”

As far as I can tell, the only people who work hard in China are migrant workers, peasant farmers, and foreign teachers on international programmes. As one of the comments on the article said, there’s a lot of presenteeism here from the women in supermarkets who stand around gossiping all day to office workers who only do anything when the boss turns up to school librarians who sit around making sure no one goes near the books themselves.

In China, it’s all about the outward appearance of hard work, but this is really a culture of minimalism. At school, pupils do as little as they possibly can to complete work (e.g. responses to text types – write it once to perfection!), an attitude which follows them through their lives.

When I go back to the office after class, I inevitably have work to do; and even when I’ve finished that, I’m usually thinking about what I need to do next. There is occasional faffing about, but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

I also hasten to add that the age of retirement for women in China is 55, and 60 for men, and that’s followed by a lifetime of pension payments (though not necessarily for everyone). And so for a lifetime of turning up at work inhumanly early in the morning (well, to a point; we’re still in a lot earlier than the admin staff), taking 90-minute lunches, and avoiding hard work, there’s a nice little reward at the end.

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