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extreme jobs

作者:admin    文章来源:盐田区外国语学校    更新时间:2017-12-29
      Two million professionals are working in “extreme jobs”. These are jobs that require more than 60 hours a week of work, often involve extensive travel, tight deadlines and round-the-clock availability to clients. A study that looks at these jobs finds that most who have them love them. Still, many workers, particularly women, find the hours impossible.

  有200万人正在从事着所谓的“极端工作”。这些工作要求员工每周投入60多个小时的时间,还¾¬常要四处奔波,日程安排十分紧密,而且还要24小时都能让顾客找得到。一项研究发现,大多数做这种工作的人都乐此不疲。然而,也有很多人——尤其是女性——觉得工作时间太长了,她们无法忍受。

  Debbie Watkins, a software consultant in upstate New York, traveled all over for 20 years, but two of those years were the worst. Seventy-five hour workweeks, extensive travel, only a day and a half with family each week; it was the hassle of modern air travel that finally did her in1.

  “One day I realized that I actually could take an oozy in the airport. I walked in my house and I told my husband I quit.”

  She still works hard, perhaps sixty hours a week. But now she’s cut out the travel, so she actually knows the names of the streets in her town and says her greatest achievement was keeping her marriage together through those years. There’s something about working in what experts now call “extreme jobs” that mirror extreme sports. Alexander Southwell is a federal prosecutor in New York.

  “I often think of trials as basically a marathon at a full out sprint pace. So if you can imagine trying to run a marathon while you’re sprinting, that’s what a trial feels like.”

  During the heat of a trial, he says he can work ninety hour weeks subsisting on…

  “…coffee and Diet Cokes, sometimes I won’t eat all day.”

  Or take Eric Kaye, a managing director in mergers and acquisitions at the global investment bank UBS. He says he often doesn’t put the Blackberry down until eleven or twelve at night.

  “Ya know for us, our competition is negotiating against another bank and you really have to feel like that’s your game day. And what you see in our business is if that’s a negative stress for people, they get out.”

  The study looked at professionals who worked more than 60 hours a week and often did extensive travel and had tight deadlines. The study found two million people in the US falling into this category, an elite yes, but not a tiny upper crust2. And of those two million, only four percent were women. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the president of the Center for Work Life Policies, says women told them the long hours in these jobs made them impossible. Many had childcare and eldercare responsibilities. What’s distressing, says Hewlett, is that women have flooded into many professions and done very well…

  “…and just when they were getting real traction in the upper reaches, uh, we redefined what it took to do a top job.”

  Doing significant work, being a player, having stimulating colleagues, these are the top reasons men and women love these jobs. But the risk is burnout and threats to family life and relationships and since companies want to retain good workers, they are trying to find ways to make these jobs more sustainable. And they’re experimenting. Mona Lau, Global Head of Diversity for UBS, says that twenty percent of their female workers at their headquarters in Switzerland are on flex time. High performers, men and women, can customize their workload.

  “What we call ‘customized intensity’, ya know, while the deal is going on, you work very, very, very long hours, and then you get a block of time off. So you can address other issues in your personal life.”

  While more women than men have been leaving these high pressure jobs, most executives say this is not just about women. In the same way people play professional sports for a limited time, eventually most people, young, old, men, women, don’t want to work this intensely all the time. So companies are slowing coming up with new models to accommodate at least some of them.

        戴比•沃特金斯是纽约州北部的一位软件顾问,她四处奔波了20年,其中有两年是最糟糕的。在那两周中,她一周工作75个小时,四处奔波,每周只有一天半时间和家人在一起。频繁的现代航空旅行最终让她筋疲力尽。

  “一天,我意识到我实际上可以离开机场。我走到家里,告诉我丈夫说我辞职了。”

  现在她仍在努力工作,也许是一周工作60个小时。但是现在,她不再四处奔波了,所以,她也知道了她所住的小镇上的街道名称。她说,她最大的成就是这些年来保住了完整的婚姻。专家们所说的“极端工作”和极端运动有些相似。亚历山大•索思韦尔是纽约州的一位联邦检察官。

  “我常常觉得审判从根本上说是一场全速冲刺的马À¬松。那么,如果你可以想象试图以冲刺的速度跑马À¬松,审判就是那种感觉。”

  在审判进行到最激烈的时候,他说他可能一周要工作90个小时。

  “在那段时间中,我只顾得上喝咖啡和健怡可乐,有时侯一天都不吃东西。”

  或者以埃里克•¿¬为例,他是全球投资银行瑞银集团的并购部总¾¬理。他说他¾¬常是到了晚上十一二点才放下黑莓手机。

  “你知道,对我们来说,我们的竞争就是同另一家银行谈判,你不得不把那当成是你的比赛日。你可以看到,在我们这一行中,ˬ要是把这看成是负面压力的话,他们就得被淘̬出局。”

  这一研究着眼于每周工作60小时以上、¾¬常到处奔波并且受严格期限限制的专业人士。该研究发现美国有200万人都是这类人,是的,是精英阶层,但并非微小的上流社会。在这200万人中,只有4%是女性。西尔维亚•安•休利特是工作生活政策中心的主席。她说妇女们告诉她,这些工作需要投入的时间太多,这让她们难以忍受。很多女性都要照顾孩子和老人。休利特表示,令人苦恼的是,大量女性进入到了许多职业中,并且做得相当好¡¬¡¬

  “¡¬¡¬就在她们快要进入高层的时候,呃,做好一份顶级工作的要求发生了改变。”

  做重要的工作,做积极的参与者,有激励他们的同事,这些是男性和女性热爱这些工作的最主要Ô¬因。但他们要冒的风险是筋疲力尽,家庭生活和关系受到威胁。因为公司想要留住优秀员工,所以他们正在想方设法使这些工作变得更加可以忍受。他们在进行试验。瑞银集团全球业务推广部门的负责人莫娜•劳说,在他们的瑞士总部工作的女员工中,20%的人拥有灵活的工作时间。高效人才,不论男女,都可以根据需要改变他们的工作量。

  “我们所说的‘定制劳动强度’是指,你知道,在忙的时候,你要工作很长、很长、很长时间,然后呢,你可以休息一段时间。这样,你就可以处理你个人生活中的其他事情。”

  虽然放弃这些高压力工作的人中,女性比男性多,但大多数主管表示这不仅仅与女性有关。同样,人们只能在有限的时间内从事职业体育运动,最终,大多数人,男女老幼,都不想一直从事如此高强度的工作。因此,公司们正在慢慢地想出新的模式,至少让某些人可以适应。

  1. do sb. in:(1)<非正式>使筋疲力尽;(2)<俚>杀死。

  2. crust /krVst/ n. 硬外皮,硬外壳。upper crust指“上流社会”、“上流阶层”。