Saturday, March 28, 2009

Are you a workaholic?

Easy ways to spot the workaholics lurking among us

Are you a workaholic? Many lurk among us. They secretly enjoy business trips. They stay late in the office even when they don't have to. They LIKE Monday mornings. I discovered one in my own family when I asked my brother-in-law how his family camping holiday went, and he said: "interminable." (They hate holidays.)

I was shocked to learn from a scientific publication (a women's magazine) that you can find out whether you are a workaholic by counting how many days of holiday you lose because you have not taken them, but your employer won't let you carry them over.

One to three is troubling. Four to six shows you have a problem with work-life balance. Seven to nine makes you a serious work addict. Ten or more can be used in divorce proceedings. (I lost eight days' holiday on my last contract, which puts me in the "serious work addict" category).

But I'm not the worst. I know at least three individuals who live only for their jobs. What gives them away is their terminology. Here are 14 signs that you are a workaholic.

1. Your spouse gives you a dark look and says: "We need to talk." You reply: "I'll schedule a performance appraisal session at the earliest opportunity" - and then arrange a business trip that takes you away for two weeks.

2. You refer to your child's pocket money as "the weekly cash injection."

3. Your spouse complains that you are deeply in debt to the bar near your office, and you reply: "I'm not in debt, just highly leveraged in the beverage sector."

4. You refer to your grandfather's death as "a family downsizing."

5. Your spouse complains that you do not take enough interest in the children, and you say: "Okay, fine, where's the feedback form?"

6. The message in the Valentine's Day card you write to your spouse has bullet points.

7. Your child informs you the child next door has a new bicycle, and you reply: "The quota for capital expenditure is full for this financial year."

8. You think of your Sunday afternoon family walk as a "team-based bonding activity."

9. You go to school for a meeting with your child's teacher and your first question is: "So, what are his core competencies?"

10. When your child's teacher explains that your child is failing four of his nine subjects, you shout: "What do you expect when you give him such an overdiversified portfolio?"

11. When your daughter announces that she is getting married, you ask her whether she is ready to "undergo such a major paradigm shift."

12. Just before you start your speech at your daughter's wedding reception, you ask her to take minutes.

13. Your speech starts with the words: "Any apologies for absence?"

14. You always choose horrible holiday destinations, because your sole criterion is whether the country's currency has plunged recently. For your daughter's honeymoon, you've booked a cholera hospital in Zimbabwe.

One of the worst workaholics I ever met was a woman who once said: "I don't have friends. I have contacts." I told her she was a work- obsessed automaton devoid of human feelings. She replied: "You say that as if it was a bad thing." That day, I left the office early.


  1. I liked this one very much. I really can not say if it was funny or I became little serious after reading this.
    I think I should put each of my emotions in an Excel sheet and then categorise them, then give each of them weigthage and out of that I should calcuate my final reaction.

    ;-) You can see I stood pretty late in office today.

  2. this is really cool n funny!