More Money Less Time
Today, while working away at yet another temp job I could care less about, I pondered over the concept of Time is Money. It was an easy job to lose oneself in thought; we were cleaning up spilled garbage from the local dump. We filled over 9 industrial garbage bags. This is after a full day’s work yesterday, and leaving enough garbage for a full day’s work on Monday. We are disgusting, wasteful creatures.
Picking up garbage is mindless, boring, but important. Better in the bags, than the Ocean as my roommate said. They’re right; and it pays almost as much as laying asphalt, or setting up scaffolding. That rational makes it hard to complain about the job. I love easy money.
“Man I wish I knew how to work as slow as you. You really know how to make these bullshit gigs last. Me. I’m too honest, I see a job and I get it done.” My coworker laughed over his comment. He was right. I worked so slow there was no sweat, despite working 9 hours in the sun wearing long high visibility clothing, a hard hat, and industrial gloves.
No Sweat, So What?
While he and my coworker worked like devils, I knew there a possibility of a half-day. Due to recent COVID employment measures in New Zealand I’ve long lost ‘steady employment. Yet major corporations always need a fill-in for some meaningless task that will likely be automated within the next ten years.
At first, my French co-worker was annoyed with me. Approaching me to work faster. I gave zero fucks; he didn’t write my paycheque. “They don’t care how long it takes us, as long as it gets done. Standing around gets us sent home, so just keep yourself from standing around. Dig out the trash. Focus on the small wrappers, and always walk to the furthest garbage bag. If we finish early and stand around, they send us home and pat themselves on the back for spending less money than they expected. It’s not their money, as long as we’re busy, they’re happy.”
His eyes widened at this thought. “But… Don’t you want to come back here? Maybe we can get work next we-” “How many hours of work have you gotten this week?” “If we get a full 8 hours today… I’ll have 15, and it’s always like this man…” “And how long have you been in Nelson?” He never answered that, but he got frustrated quickly. Joining me on slowly and thoroughly. I showed him how several places he had already worked still had trash behind the bushes.
Working methodically, something we could have realistically been done in 4 hours took us 9. Sure enough, we were both called into more work for Monday.
Ok? Your Point
Well, time is money. The longer it takes you to do something for someone else, the more they have to pay you. At least, that’s how it works if you’re unambitious, or without means. I have a car, and my counterpart has a bike, meaning I have the means to reach further job sites.
After being told we were coming back to work on Monday, I was instructed to arrive at an out-of-town location. My partner would be returning to the dump to collect more trash.
He cussed and spat at the ground. “Putah! Putah! Monday will be a waste of my fuckin’ time! We want you back Monday because you’ve already been safely inducted. Fuck that! They want to force me to have a half-day of work, so they can save one hour of pay for training. THIS IS BULLSHIT!”
While time is money, the value of that time differs greatly from person to person. My time Monday will see a 2$/hr pay raise. While my colleague stays stuck at the same pay rate, getting sub-optimal hours on a day, to ensure the company saves value on one hour. One hour for the company was seen as more important than a full-productive day for my coworker, and I was benefited for having a vehicle.
Classism in action. The company/investor class is cherished, the middle class/asset holder is given opportunity, while still having their labor extracted and the poor class is exploited.
The Point Rephrased
Because there is no goodwill, or vested interest, my approach was to milk the easy job for as long as I could. Maximizing my monetary gain from a simple task.
Sitting in my car I realized the benefit of twelve hour days when you live on an hourly wage, opposed to commission, salary, or piece rate. in two days, I hade achieved as many hours as three days. four days, would net me more hours, and over time, opposed to a five day week. This schedule could allow for increased income and a 3 day weekend. Conversely, those twelve hour shifts left me exhausted and drained. Its only since switching back to ten and 8 hour shifts, that I feel compelled to write on here once more.
And so while you gain money from giving your time to others; you lose the ability to add deeper value to your own time and projects. In a sharpe double edged sword, balancing the security of serving others, and the risks meeting fulfillment building one’s own dreams and desires.
None the less, when utilised perfectly, time will passively make you moeny. THrough dividends, royalties, business sales, rent, and what ever other cashflow streams one can build themselves.
Take it from me; with the exception of dividends from the stock trade. Building passive income is grueling; never guaranteed, and a process not meant for impatient people.
GOOD THING I’M STUBBORN AND A SLOW WORKER ACCORDING TO MY COWORKER. I’ve got all the time in the world to ensure I don’t have to work past 35.
A photo of Cove Bay, it costed me no money, but lots of time to get here.