unemployment

Let’s Link—Week 4

Are we already on week four? I can hardly believe it. But I love link posts, so I hope there will be many more!

Let's Link!

Young and Educated in Europe, but Desperate for Jobs. This post hit close to home, as I know many young and educated Spaniards without jobs. Many have had to go outside the country. It seems there are just no jobs here.

IU Dance Marathon raises record $2.6 million for Riley Hospital for Children. I am so proud of my alma mater for their dance marathon! They raise more and more money every year for Riley Hospital, a children’s hospital that does great work in the state of Indiana.

Tom Hussey’s Reflection Photos Give People a Chance to Look Back on Life. I loved seeing these photos of the elderly looking back at pictures of their younger selves. We are all young once. Let’s not forget that.

Thanksgiving 2013: This Year’s Big Trends. What’s out?: cauliflower and kale. What’s in?: appetizers. The big trend?: Bruléed pumpkin pie.

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La Ofi

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Ah, la oficina—the office. So many of my fellow Americans come to Spain, desiring to escape the droll forty-hour workweek. They’re so brave. Or not. I can’t help but feel a bit of disdain for those who travel and blog, urging their readers to “Leave it all behind!”

Americans often idealize the European lifestyle, thinking that they just “get it,” because they work fewer hours, pay higher taxes, and enjoy greater health-insurance benefits. It’s not always true. For the most part, the eight-hour workday is quite common in the United States, and a few more hours aren’t so bad in the end. In Spain, the country of sun and siesta, you would expect fewer hours, more enjoyment, and a somewhat less stressful workplace. You’d be wrong.

I’d like to use a rather personal example. My husband, Mario, works at a fairly typical Spanish office in Madrid. He’s the hardest worker I know, so I don’t expect anything less of him, but he often goes in at 9:30 or 10 a.m. and leaves around 10 p.m. He arrived home at 12 a.m. two weeks ago, though, and he’s arrived at 11 p.m. more than once. It’s not atypical. He doesn’t complain, but there’s no question that this type of schedule is stressful. No matter if your job is easy or not, staying at the office for a full twelve hours isn’t healthy or fun.

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Especially not if these people are your coworkers

Mario is not the exception; he’s the rule. We have another friend, a Spanish woman, who works for a national company. Having worked in another country for many years, she returned to Spain to be a big boss and earn the big bucks. That she does, but she also is under a lot of stress and works more hours than seems humanly possible.

I realize that this is all anecdotal evidence, that I’ve yet to cite proven statistics. But Mario and I, along with other friends, have formed a sort of hypothesis—Spain lacks work, yes. But the work it does have is quite poorly distributed. Those who do have a job work twelve-hour days, while those who don’t spend months and years earning nothing. Maybe they should hire more eight-hour-shift workers. Maybe then the burnout rate would drop dramatically. Who knows?

What about the Spaniards you know (maybe disregarding funcionarios)? Do they work too much?