The plan was to sleep in on this Saturday morning at least till 8:00, but instead I’m sitting at my laptop, writing this blog. Why? Because my poor husband had to go to work this morning once again on his day off and it kind of infuriates me. Not because we had any plans (I am not even going to be home today), but because it’s not fair to him.

You see he’s the toll operations manager for toll departments in both Canada and the US. His shift is supposed to be 8-4:30, Monday to Friday. Unfortunately, he usually works from 8 to anytime way after 4:30, especially at this time of the year as traffic (trucks mostly) are backed up. This means he puts in way more than 40 hours a week. Sometimes he has to work a double-shift, sometimes he has to work on the weekend, even though he had plans.

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My husband does not get overtime pay, instead he gets comp time on top of his already six weeks of vacation time he has amassed over the years. Every fall, starting from about mid-September, he books off every Thursday and Friday until the end of the year. Guess what? He usually ends up having to go in to work, earning even more comp time. While he can carry over 80 hours of vacation time every year, comp time has to be used up. Last year he had to request that his comp time be carried over as he had so hard 4

Each employee gets 80 hours of sick time every year, which if not used, can be banked. The cap off for the banked sick time is 1400 hours, after that you cannot bank any more time. Guess who has 1400 hours and has been at that for a number of years? Why? Because my husband doesn’t call in sick unless he actually is sick – imagine that. hard work 2

He started out as a toll collector over 30 years ago, but back then the work ethic was different – people actually worked.  I remember how much I hated him working shift work, especially when the kids were young. But when he was promoted and finally went to straight days, it was great.  Things have changed a lot since those early days. Things have changed a lot since the people coming into the work force have less of a work ethic than ever before. What’s going go happen when the people who actually work, retire?

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I believe the work ethic starts in the home. Kids see parents calling in sick when they’re not. Parents allow their children to stay home from school just because they say they don’t feel well. I remember never being allowed to stay home unless I had a fever. I did the same with our kids. If they got sick at school, then I picked them up. Kids join groups, activities, sports programs, clubs and after a couple of weeks they decide they don’t like it. Parents let them quit. work ethic 3I told our kids they had to finish what they start. If they were in a sport, they had to finish the season. If they were in a club they had to finish the year. They didn’t have to go back for another term, season, or round, but they always had to complete the cycle. My kids aren’t perfect, but I can guarantee that when they get out in the work force full-time, they will be reliable employees. After all, they have a perfect roll model in their father.

“Hard work breeds success, laziness produces mediocrity.”

– Rich Grosso