“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

I came over that quote while reading a book on my Off-Sunday laying at the beach. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as it brings quite some truth with it. Somehow It could have been be said on a TV-show just yesterday or 10 years ago.

It made me thinking a couple of years back when I left Germany. At that time people were demonstrating for the 35 hour week and retire with 60… I never had that. I was working in the music-business 14 – 18 hours daily since I was 19 and spend all weekends, Christmas, new years-eve, birthday’s somewhere in a crowd or a dark backstage area. I still loved my job and still don’t wanna miss a second.

Since I am 12 I write diary. As a typical German I also wrote down my working hours, places where I have been and a lot of statistical stuff. For example in 2000 I had 21 off-days the whole year and spend some of them in the outskirts of Bari, probably on of the ugliest towns in lovely Italy…

I quit my job and company early in the 30 to move to the Philippine. When I went to my tax-officer in my hometown I could not resist to tell him that I have already more working hours than he will have in his entire life with his 8am to 4pm job (37 hrs-week, and I know in English it’s a 9to5-job) in case he will live that long and can retire one day with 62.

His face expression was that of a deer standing frozen on a lonely road in pitch-black night, facing the fast closer coming bright headlights of a 40-ton-truck.
(Btw, you can get the same face-expression asking a local beauty if the moon or Berlin is closer to the Philippines… hmmm I can see the moon, but Berlin ? anyway what is that…)

When I went to the Philippines I reduced my time on Job to about 12 hours a day with 1 or two off-days a month and 10 days vacation (of course unpaid). Even now I easy beat the 40 hours a week on job.

So lets put my taxman in numbers for a year (365 days, 5 working days or 37 hours a week)

104 days weekend
30 days vacation
7 days sick (average in 2006, when I left Germany it was 9.5 days sick a year)
10 public holiday (normally 17 but some are on Sundays or fall depending on a year on a sunday)
3 other (days like Christmas eve where people work only half day and other stuff like socialising trips of the company and celebrations where nobody works)

That means there are 211 working days left, or a total amount of 1,561 working hours in the whole year. I reached this number in the year 2000 in less than 100 days.

There is obviously a reason why I can read a book at a beach surrounded by lovely people and pretty girls, great diving and cold beer. For my part, I won’t accept if my tax-officer whining around that he need to pay more money for his medicine and other stuff.

oops, sorry I almost forgot about it.

The quote above is more than 2000 years old and from

Marcus Tullius Cicero – 55 bC

Deja Vu