Americans Work Too Long and at Strange Times

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 88 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Join us and participate via our Tip Jar. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current target.

Yves here. Can someone please send this VoxEU post to whoever is in charge of the American oligarch class? Of course, as someone who works too long and at strange times myself, I can’t hold them responsible. Or should I? Working these bizarre hours is necessary for me to have a viable business. So the boss me is mean to the employee me. Many of the expectations (and margins) for what I do are socially determined. But not only do extreme and off-cycle hours lead to stress on families, they also leave little (as in no) time for community and civic activities. The resulting weak social ties look like a feature, not a bug.

By Daniel S. Hamermesh, Professor of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London and Elena Stancanelli, Associate Professor, Paris School of Economics. Originally published at VoxEU

American employees put in longer workweeks than Europeans. They are also more likely to work at undesirable times, such as nights and weekends. This column argues that the phenomena of long hours and strange hours are related. One possibility for this is cultural – Americans simply enjoy working at strange times. Another, more probable explanation, is the greater inequality of earnings of low-skilled workers in the US, compared to Europeans.

The Facts on Work Hours and Timing

The average US workweek is 41 hours, 3 hours longer than Britain’s and even longer than in Germany, France, Spain, or the Netherlands (see the Table below).

  • 32% of American employees work 45 or more hours, compared with 18% in Germany, and 4% in France.
  • Only in the UK does the percentage of employees putting in these long hours approach the US one.

Over a year, the average American employee puts in 1,800 hours, which is more than any other wealthy country, even Japan. What is remarkable is the change during the past three decades. In 1979, Americans looked little different from workers in these other countries, working about the same number of hours per year as the French or the British, and many fewer hours than Japanese. Since then, employees in other countries have begun to take it easier, to enjoy their riches, but Americans have not.

The picture is even bleaker than these numbers suggest. Not only do Americans work longer hours than their European counterparts, but they are much more likely to work at night and on weekends.

  • 27% of US employees perform some work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • In France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany the comparable fractions are much lower. Even in the UK, only 19 % of workers are on the job at night.

Work on weekends is also more common in the US than in other rich countries, with 29% of American workers doing some work on weekends, far above Germany, France, Spain, and the Netherlands; and even in the UK only 25% of employees do some work on weekends. But despite their greater likelihood of working at these strange times, those Americans who work then put in no more hours per day than the smaller numbers of European workers who are on the job at nights and weekends.

Table 1.  Characteristics of work hours in the US and elsewhere: Amounts and timing

 weekly hours table too long

Source:  Hamermesh and Stancanelli (2014)

Why These Facts Matter

Weekend and night work is not attractive to most workers. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it generates, on average, higher pay per hour than work at ‘normal’ times—wage differentials that compensate for the undesirability of working at unattractive hours (Kostiuk 1990). Also unsurprisingly, it attracts workers with the least human capital. In the US and Germany, young workers, those with less education, and immigrants are more likely than other employees to work at these times. In the US, minorities are also more likely to perform weekend and night work (Hamermesh 1996). The burden of working at unpleasant times falls disproportionately on those who have the least earning power.

Are the Phenomena Related?

If Americans’ workweeks were shortened to European levels, would their likelihood of working at these strange times drop to European levels? Do the American labour market, institutions, and culture make night and weekend work more prevalent independent of the length of the workweek?

To answer the titular question of this section, we examine the determinants of the probability of night work using data from various time-diary surveys for the US and France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. For the US, we relate these probabilities to workers’ weekly work-hours and a large number of their demographic characteristics—age, immigrant and urban status, educational attainment, and others.

  • Compared to those working 40 hours, American employees putting in 65+ hours per week are 44% more likely also to work on weekends, and 37% more likely to work at night. The phenomena of long hours and strange hours are related.

If we simulate what would happen to the probabilities of weekend and night work if the US had the same distributions of weekly work-hours as each of the 5 European countries, not surprisingly, those probabilities would drop — but not very much. Even with France’s short workweeks, 25% of American employees would still be working on weekends, as high as the highest percentage in any of these 5 countries; and 22% would still be working at night, well above even the highest percentage in Europe. Even if no American worked more than 45 hours per week, the percentage performing weekend work would fall only to 24, and the percentage doing night work would fall only to 25.

Even with a reduction in American workweeks that lowered American work-hours down to European hours, Americans would be doing more night and weekend work than Europeans. Looking at time-diary data from the mid-1970s, this result should not be surprising. For example, at that time 26% of American employees worked on weekends, whereas only 14% of Dutch employees did so, both about the same as today, even though the Dutch and American workweeks were then much closer in length than they are today.

Why, and What to Do (if Anything)?

Why are Americans so much more likely to work at strange times than Europeans? The results here show that it is not because Americans work more than Europeans.

  • One cause might be the greater inequality of earnings in the US that induces low-skilled workers — earning relatively less than low-skilled Europeans — to desire more work at times that pays a wage premium.
  • Another possibility is cultural, so that Americans just enjoy working at these times more than their European counterparts. But citing cultural differences is an easy way to avoid thinking or doing anything about an issue.

Many European countries impose penalties on work at nights and on weekends, with some of the penalties being quite severe (Cardoso et al. 2012). The evidence in Cardoso et al. (2012) suggests that imposing penalties on night and/or weekend work will reduce its incidence. Work at different times of the week is substitutable, and employers are responsive to changing incentives to alter the timing of work. But that evidence also shows that even substantial incentives do not produce huge changes in work timing. If we really want to reduce the amount of work that occurs at times that are viewed as unpleasant, the solution may be to revert to the shop-closing laws (Blue Laws) that prevailed in the US years ago. No free-marketer would like this, but it may well be worth reviving these laws in order to get the US out of what might be a low-level, rat-race equilibrium.

Please see original post for references

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. jrs

    “One cause might be the greater inequality of earnings in the US that induces low-skilled workers — earning relatively less than low-skilled Europeans — to desire more work at times that pays a wage premium.”

    Well I think that some workers who have some say over whether and how much they work overtime late nights or weekends do choose additional overtime because they want or need the money. And 2nd or 3rd jobs are another factor. But of course working overtime nights or weekends is often a condition to keeping a job, you might rather have the time off than the money, but if you don’t agree to the overtime say bye bye to your job altogether. You may not ” desire more work at times that pays a wage premium” at all, you may just desire not to find yourself unemployed.

    “Another possibility is cultural, so that Americans just enjoy working at these times more than their European counterparts.”

    yea, yea that’s it, we do it because we enjoy it /sarc [the 19th century version of this must talk about how slaves really love their slaving]

  2. run75441

    One probably could add 1-2 hours per week just in air travel time back and forth to Asia or Europe besides the time spent there on the weekends. This sucks up a lot of my time. When overseas, the time spent conducting business is longer also. There are no early dinners or late lunches as you cram schedules.

    Back home it is the 7 to 5 day plus the car-driven distances.

  3. Danny

    I work too much. That’s what my company and industry require. :-\
    When I find myself working much more than usual at nights or on weekends it’s generally because i took advantage of flex time for appointments, car repairs, child care, job interviews, etc.
    I think it’s as much about our legal and political system as it’s cultural. My French co-workers seem to work a lot, too, but have an easier time saying no and don’t report the extra time. They’re protected. I’m not.

    1. Garrett Pace

      I’m pondering why your French colleagues wouldn’t brag about how much they work to their managers, and the answer is right in my face – they don’t want anyone to realize that they would ever work late.

      Also cultural – it’s not a sign of virtue to spend so much time laboring to augment some MOTU’s wealth.

  4. Clive

    Some more or less random observations, merely based on personal experiences.

    Japan: speaking only for office work (“real” work in manufacturing operations was I suspect different), an awful lot of sitting around doing busy work (preparing reports which would not be read, speaking on the phone with colleagues in other offices to find out what was happening there without specific aims to the conversation, sitting in meetings where you were expected to listen, nod at the appropriate time and only speak when you were spoken to). The real work got done in a coffee shop where you’d go with a colleague or two to resolve a problem (not done in the open office) or discuss how to handle a client who was being tricky. A lot of emphasis placed on after-work socialising, but as a foreigner you were excused that if you wanted to opt out. The section chief though was always expected to arrive first and be the last to leave — in both office and after-work situations. But generally people left more or less at the end of their normal hours, the socialising thing after work was at most a once a week thing and if anyone needed to leave work right on time, so long as you played the politeness game (heavy on the “this is inexcusable”, “I’m being so remiss”, “I am sorry to give you the burden caused by my leaving now” sort of dialogue) honour was satisfied.

    US: Never worked in the US or for a US company but dealt with a lot of US corporations in Japan. The US employees approach always stuck me as a little odd. They expected a supplier (in my case, finding accommodation for US workers of the company being based in Japan) to be at their beck-and-call. All sorts of odd hours — very early in the morning “before work”, very late at night “after work” (which was rather a strange way to phrase it when they (and I !) were definitely working. Okay, they were they customer, it was their party, so fine, yes, I’ll show you the apartment then. You’d try to advise them that — especially for their employee — it really wasn’t a good idea to view accommodation at irregular times. That block which was actually a little shabby looked borderline romantic in a Blade Runner-esque sort of way bathed in Tokyo’s neon glow. That 20 minute walk to the metro station was delightful on a quiet Saturday morning at 7 o’clock but a trial of endurance in the heat and humidity of a Japanese summer in the afternoon or evening. And I soon learned to dread the inevitable family feud when viewings were done by only one half of a couple (usually the woman) because the other half couldn’t make it as they were constantly busy whose ideal of a (rare in Tokyo) single family residence was great for her, but a special circle of hell for the other half of the couple stuck with a 2-hour commute. If I ever suggested the idea that people could take — shock, horror — time off from work to sort out this essential component for a good quality of life it was like I’d advised them to cut off their right arms. It was only US employees with this attitude. Europeans were quite happy to arrange viewings (sometimes several) at different times of the day, to make sure they got a representative idea of what they were considering.

    UK: A clear dichotomy. If you’re trying to climb the greasy pole in the big corporation workplace, you have to put in plenty of facetime and, perhaps more importantly these day, never not answer the phone or respond to the email ping immediately, no matter what the time of day (or the day). But if you’re willing to signal that you don’t care about such things, you can do your contractual hours and no more. You won’t get promoted or made employee of the month, but the company stops expecting to try and own your life. Merchant banks in the City however don’t offer that deal. Endless hours spent at your desk either doing productive work or just sitting their trying to look busy is essential — unsurprisingly perhaps, these are US companies by and large. The EU Working Time Directive makes it very difficult for any company to force employees officially to work beyond 48 hours per week and this is mostly the case in UK companies (despite the UK allowing opt outs supposedly at the employees choice). Part of the game played by employees in the Merchant banks is to make a huge commotion of demanding that you be allowed to opt out (to show how absolutely essential you are and how much work you have to do). Perversely, if you genuinely are useful, the request is often denied as they don’t want to burn you out. If you’re just a numpty, then you’ll probably be allowed to opt out and work yourself into the ground, being given more work that even you are willing to try and do.

    In a one line summary then, lots of differences across the world — but the one common theme is there’s all sorts of games played by both employees and employers. Work definitely fits that description “kindergarten for adults”.

    1. Eric377

      Spent about a year in Tokyo and office work was very long and yet they also seemingly had more staff doing it than comparable activity in US or Europe (where I spent 14 years working). Some people were enormously productive and most everyone else felt compelled to hang around the office late…the boss did it for years moving slowly up the system and was not about to encourage any nonsense of work-life balance. I remember reading an article in Japan (translated) about Retired Husband Syndrome that was bedeviling wives who were not so happy suddenly having a lot more time to spend with him.

  5. proximity1

    “I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.”

    I dropped out of regular work-life and took the consequences–which, for quite some time, weren’t that bad; they allowed me to study full-time and get all the sleep I needed. After years of doing that, I found that in the intervening time, the changes which my study and reflections wrought upon me have made it impossible for me to go back to the status quo ante or to want to go back to it–which I found comes to the same thing. For all practical intents and purposes, I’ve become, I’ve sort of made myself, unfit for further use in the economy as it is in France, in Britain and in the U.S.

    1. Banger

      This is something new. When I was young you just showed up, they hired you and you worked if the bosses liked you then you stayed and got promoted–not so much emphasis on paperwork and resumes unless you were going into high end occupations. The economy was more varied and there were more small and medium sized concerns that hired on “gut” feelings. Today if you have been out of work for a long time either voluntarily or not people won’t hire you.

      1. diptherio

        When I gradumacated from college in ’04, the general consensus was still that you could go bum around a little after school, sow your wild oats, and then fall back into the career-track labor force whenever you decided it was time to grow up. That might once have been the case, but no more. You don’t even have to have a period of unemployment to get summarily rejected from most jobs–a resume which includes post-college low-wage/skill jobs is enough to get your resume tossed in the round file at most places.

    2. just bill

      My last job in a big company was in 1976. The company was so fat people got in one another’s way, often had no significant responsibilities, were forced to pretend they were doing something. Everyone hit the elevators at 5:30. All promotions were political. People fought ruthless turf battles. I simply quit. After that I became unemployable, thank God. Finally stopped playing that ridiculous game, found ways to make a living outside the big business racket. I suspect that’s harder now. Good luck to anyone else trying it.

  6. Larry

    I wonder how much of this is due to legal rules. I am a New Englander through and through. I can remember when shopping on Sunday was something that you couldn’t really do. Our old Puritan roots had made it so most (not all) stores were closed. We’re now in the situation where Sunday is a full on retail day. Store hours nearly mimic every other day. I don’t know how this contributes to these percentages, but it certainly must be true that we’re simply open for business more. And obviously people are not paid well enough or have enough other options to turn down these jobs.

  7. David Hamilton Koch

    Another difference being: without access to mass transit, US workers require dependable transportation, especially for shift work & seldom, if ever are compensated for the dozen or so hours, sitting in unnecessary traffic, burning-up the vehicle they’re going to be paying-off on usurious EZ Credit/ PayCheck Loans. Some of us are still awaiting Obama’s ’07 1099 misclassification law?

  8. D. Hamilton Koch Esq

    Another difference being: without access to useable mass transit, US workers require their own dependable transportation, especially for shift work & seldom, if ever are compensated for the dozen or so hours, sitting in unnecessary traffic, burning-up the vehicle they’re going to be paying-off on usurious EZ Credit/ PayCheck Loans. Some of us are still awaiting Obama’s ’07 1099 mis-classification law?

  9. economicminor

    Last I read, the bottom 50% income earners in the US now own/control only 12% of this nations wealth.

    When you read as much as I do about what has been going on in this country it is not hard to understand why people in the US work more and get less for it. The majority of the money made by companies does not filter down to their employees for the most part. There are more and more part time jobs and contract work vs. real employment. Companies are withdrawing from providing pensions and health care. They expect you or the government to take care of that. Companies don’t train their employees much any more, they expect the government thru Community Colleges or even Universities to train them.. There is no loyalty from either employers or employees in the US any more. And then with so many responsibilities put on the worker or the government, the corporations pay less as a percentage of their actual income than almost any where else in the world. It doesn’t matter that we have the highest marginal tax rate, we also have millions of loop holes for these same corporations. Only the little guy get hammered.

    For most people this is truly a dog eat dog world and I won’t be surprised when this erupts into some form of civil war. There really has been a class war going on for decades and it has been the elite and the CEOs against the middle class and the poor. Our courts and our government work for the oppressors and in most communities so do the police. This is not how our founding fathers saw the USA. This is not what our government and society was suppose to be like and I do not believe it will end well.

    1. lightningclap

      “Companies don’t train their employees much any more, they expect the government thru Community Colleges or even Universities to train them.. ”
      This point has been raised here before. It used to be that one could be hired by having a reasonable level of skill at the required tasks, with the potential to grow to the level required for the position; maybe even move into a position that is a better fit after one’s abilities are recognized. Today one is expected to fully research a position and the company, be over-qualified and ready to perform required duties with no training. Oh, and as a contract employee!

    2. Banger

      Class war, barring major disaster is not possible in the USA. The middle, lower-middle and upper lower classes all blame the underclass and immigrants and the odd hippie for everything. CEOs and rich people with big houses are respected, generally, by the hoi polloi. It’s just the way America is. We believe that if you think positive enough thoughts you too can be rich–and if you’re not then its your fault. Interestingly the idea has moved from “working hard” to “being positive.” As I’ve said before, we are moving into the world of magic for better or worse.

    1. Banger

      One of the prime movers of real-estate values. In a sane society education would not be based on real-estate or vice-versa.

  10. JohnnyGL

    Expensive, private child care in the US has got to be a driver on the lower rungs of the skill/income ladder.

    Also, I’ve got to figure longer hours among the upper-middle class (who at least make decent money) probably have a knock on effect for the lower, less skilled strata. You put in 50+ hours this week? Kind of kills the desire to cook your own (and maybe your kid’s) dinner, doesn’t it? What’s the answer? More fast food/restaurants that employ the low-skilled and are open late to meet your demands that have been created by the employer of the upper-middle class!

  11. Larry Barber

    Another factor: fear of unemployment. Workers in Europe generally have far stronger employment projections. Here you get told “if you won’t work whenever the hell I tell you to, I’ll find someone who will”. I recently had the “pleasure” of being forced to work to work weekends to patch servers against the ‘shockwave’ bash bug, even though waiting for the evening/weekend meant the servers were vulnerable in the meantime and patching the servers would not cause any disruption. I didn’t, or couldn’t, tell them to “f-off” even though I dearly wanted to because I can’t really afford to be unemployed at this stage in my life.

    1. proximity1

      “Workers in Europe generally have far stronger employment projections.”

      That’s what I used to think. Then I learned how wrong I was. There is one seemingly important difference in U.S. employment relations and those in much of what we think of as non-anglophone Western Europe ( thus, not the U.K., where things more resemble the U.S. “at-will” employee –France, Germany, Italy, etc. But my personal experiences are limited to France (and Britain): continental employees generally have some sort of contractual form even if its rather basic. It’s written down and signed by both parties. If one is in an effective labor union, things can often be even much better. But even the shop clerk has an employment contract with obligations spelled out.

      However, that’s the formal picture only. In actual practice, the supposed protections do not work in anything like the oft supposed manner. European employees worry–with good cause–about being demoted or dismissed without good cause. In France, in such cases, an employee can sue his former employer before a dedicated tribunal which specialises in such matters—I did. And my experienced adversary dragged things out as long as possible–for years–at the end of which I’d won in the first instance and twice on appeals brought by the former employer. I hired an attorney to represent me. At the end of the ordeal, I toted up all I’d spent over the period and what I was awarded for being dismissed “without serious cause” :
      + 1.00 Euro–yes, you read that right, one Euro.

      Let’s put some myths to bed:

      European labor relations are today far inferior to what they used to be sixty years ago.

      The U.K.’s National Health Service is under siege and being systematically gutted. It is not wonderful. Rather, it’s often horrendous–people die waiting in ambulances parked outside hospital emergency-rooms because there is no space in which to admit them. Nursing home residents are subjected to cruel neglect and abuse. Infant mortality is among the worst in Europe. Mental health care, already a national disgrace, is due for even greater cuts.

  12. Jesper

    It seems that the modern US hero is the same as the old Soviet hero – work until you drop. More than a few posts and comments have been about how a person working ridiculous hours is a great person. Bragging about being important by bragging about the numbers of hours worked. If that is the public message then a person has to be strong to resist that message and work to live instead of doing what the US heroes does and Soviet heroes did – live to work and working themselves into early graves.

    I’ve never been impressed by people who are so bad at prioritising, organising and planning their work that they constantly work unpaid overtime. I’ve been there, never been so miserable in my life.

    & modern managers ability to prioritise, organise and plan?
    The concern is if overtime has to be paid, if there is no need to pay for overtime then who cares about how bad the manager is in managing employees time and skills?
    Strangely enough a sure way of being seen as a good manager is the ability to get employees to work unpaid overtime….

    Weak negotiating positions often leads to poor agreements like low pay, short vacations, no paid overtime etc etc. Organise for strength. American workers don’t organise, the result is what it is.

    1. Banger

      I have been in work situations where workers bragged about putting in long hours as a badge of honor as if that made them virtuous. The fact is that these people were working stupidly. Also, a fact born out in recent research, when I worked long hours or stayed up for two days to meet a deadline I did work less efficiently even though, at the time, I thought I was doing just fine. Later, I realized I had wasted much of that extra time chasing my tail.

      1. hunkerdown

        Or, weren’t working at all? Putting in hours is only loosely related to production. I remember reading in the SF Chronicle (I think?) an article which quotes one tech grunt to the effect of, “If you say you left the office before 8pm, everyone sort of sneers at you.” (Of course, if you eat, sleep and breathe tech, if you have a half dozen antique Unix workstations scattered about your home running name servers and whatnot, you might accidentally work for free for the fun of it, and you don’t get quite as much pressure wrt face time… and if you have kids, you pretty much get a pass to leave at 5pm; the childless exist solely to pick up your slack.)

  13. ep3

    Yves, maybe if US citizens’ basic needs were taken care of without having to work, then you would find plenty of ppl willing to do work for you for a small cost; versus you having to hire someone to do your IT at $65k a year or whatever.
    Why do you work so many hours Yves?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      If you think this site can afford to hire an IT person or for that matter any full time person at $65,000, you are smoking something very strong. I am not independently wealthy and blogging is not a road to riches.

      I have to work this hard to keep the site going. I am not making that up.

  14. craazyman

    what if people were paid not to work at night or on weekends? Common sense would tell you that’s a solution, but if you think about it long enough, you’ll realize that would defeat the purpose, since if you’re being paid, you’re working!

    It may seem futile to pursue this line of reasoning, given the evident dead end just reached, but it’s worth a try . . .

    some people would not call that work, but lots of people get paid for not doing anything and they call it work. Why shouldn’t it count as work when new people get paid not to do anything?

    They may have to stay home or, at the very least, not engage in anything that could be construed as productive activity outside the home. That leaves more work to do for others who don’t have enough work.

    Some people might want to get paid full time not to work. And have that be their full-time job. They’d have to be careful, because they’d be under close observation. That would create new jobs, for people to work as monitors, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t work.

    You could employ millions this way. It’s worth a try. Why should only some people get paid to do nothing? Imagine how productivity would soar if you could get paid to lay around. It’s hard to argue with logic like that.

  15. ChrisPacific

    I think employment law, at-will employment contracts and the decline of unions all have something to do with this. When I was in the US I definitely had the impression that your job was to do whatever your employer asked of you, including working extra hours if needed. If you didn’t like it then you were free to leave and work for a company that treated you better (if you could find one).

    By contrast, in other countries it can be quite difficult to fire someone unless it’s for failing to fulfill a responsibility that’s explicitly laid out in their employment contract – and even then, you are legally required to give them a chance (or several chances) to correct the deficiency before you are allowed to terminate them. Working hours are a great example. If it says in an employee’s contract that they have a 40 hour work week, and they work 40 hours per week, it’s not at all easy to (legally) fire them because they didn’t follow the unwritten rule about being expected to work 60 hours a week.

    I also had the sense that Americans defined themselves in terms of their jobs much more than people in other countries did. As a result, people who work long hours are much more likely to be admired for it than in other countries (where they might be seen as neglecting their families or lacking balance in life).

  16. tongorad

    Long hours + Job Insecurity + mindless distractions = The American Dream
    Or, at least the new normal.

    To do a bit of a riff off of George Carlin, did you ever notice how we use the word “work?” It’s the one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. Even our leisure time has been subjected to work regime, as in going to the gym to work out. Even our relationships are deemed to require work.

    Ask an American about the value of work. You’ll get the usual platitudes I reckon. Ask that same person, what is Love? Joy? Beauty? Peace?
    You’ll get crickets, I bet.

  17. washunate

    Just saw this today. Great exploration of this topic.

    “But not only do extreme and off-cycle hours lead to stress on families, they also leave little (as in no) time for community and civic activities. The resulting weak social ties look like a feature, not a bug.”

    Spot on.

    One quibble or disappointment with the article is the lack of mention of social insurance. The ‘What to Do’ is actually pretty simple at a basic level. Implement universal health and unemployment insurance so that workers can survive the transition involved in changing jobs.

  18. Demeter

    My career was heavy-going (woman in a man’s field in a dreadful time- late 70’s) and then completely derailed by the birth of a severely disabled child. Financial security destroyed by divorce (father couldn’t see why anyone with a severely disabled child couldn’t work full-time, or at all)…(note: do not marry psychopath, and never get divorced in New Hampshire–they are at least 100 years behind the times.)

    My family came through for the kids in many a crisis. I started night work when post-divorce anxiety woke me up at 3 AM. I decided if I was going to be awake anyway, might as well get paid for it.

    Started a business just in time to get wiped out by 9/11 shutting down travel and tourism and Pfizer shutting down its acquisition Parke-Davis (formerly a major employer in town). Hired a detective to find deadbeat dad (software guru, knew how to wipe himself off the internet and out of records). It’s been a life, and kids and I have survived, but at what cost?

    Finally “retiring” from night work…the pay’s been cut, the hours have been cut, and there’s a day job available….

Comments are closed.