Dec 052016
 

Finding the Appropriate Work-Life Balance

Benjamin Franklin once said that “time is money.” I think he was being metaphorical. Otherwise ATMs would also be called time machines. 😄 But time is certainly like money in many ways. When we have it, we don’t know what to do with it all. And when we don’t, there’s a million things we need it for.  😀

In the corporate world we certainly treat time as money, which is why overtime means more money. 🙂 But finding the proper work/life balance can be challenging for many people. If a new mother wants to stay home to look after her baby for 3 years then she could potentially leave $500,000 or more on the table.

Consider an American who starts working at age 22 and then takes a 3 year break from her career, where her salary is $50,000. According to this marketwatch article, “that 3 year break would cost her roughly $506,000 due to a combination of lost wages ($150,000 over those three years), lost retirement and Social Security contributions ($158,000 over the life of her career, assuming she retires at 66) and lost future wage growth ($198,000).”

Studies show a household with at least 1 stay-at-home parent is the ideal environment to raise children in. Many parents also feel their kids are better off if their first 5 years are spent close to their mothers. But on the other hand, $500,000 is a lot of money to pass up. 😕 Often people face the difficult decision between making more money or spending more time with their children.

16-12-playing-catch-with-children

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Feb 082012
 

Isn’t it frustrating to call up a bank, or insurance, or hydro, or internet, or any other service and be put on hold for 15 min or more before actually speaking to someone? *sigh* (-_-‘) Well as it turns out there’s a really easy way to bypass the long wait times >^_^<. If you are lucky enough to be living in Canada, you probably already know that we have 2 official languages in this country; English, and French (p_-)

Large corporations and all government services must provide services in both languages. This gives consumers more options when dealing with these private companies and government agencies. So the next time you call Shaw/Telus/Rogers/or Bell to change your plan or make a complaint, just press the number to talk to a french representative. *Most people choose the English option which is why the English phone lines are always packed and you have to wait a long time before getting through to someone. In contrast, less customers use the french option, so that line is not as busy, and is often left open, just waiting for someone to call in.

cat on a phone

image source: funny-pictures-blog.com

Don’t worry if you can’t speak le Francais. Chances are that everyone in the call center, including the representatives on the French lines, can all speak English fluently and will be happy to assist you the best way they can. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some employees work shifts for both English, and French phone lines. They were all trained to have same technical knowledge so there’s no reason they can’t answer your questions either. And you don’t have to feel bad about bypassing the lineup. Companies have to hire french speaking reps anyway, whom are usually paid by the hour whether people call in or not, so as a loyal customer, you might as well use what you helped to pay for. It also takes the load off the English language representatives who are usually swamped answering call after call…(>_<). You will also be cutting down the wait times for future callers by not becoming an additional number in the long English language queue. So everyone’s a winner, and the country is running more efficiently all thanks to you (=^・^=)

Most people – In most parts of the country, especially where I live (Western Canada) hardly anybody speaks french in public. But in other provinces, especially Quebec, more french is spoken than English, so depending on where you live, your mileage may vary. If you happen to have another phone near by, try calling both language lines and just use whichever one gets through first (^_^)

And lastly, the only reason this loophole exists is because not a lot of people know about it. So lets try to keep it that way and make this our little secret (^_~)