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Comments on Tuesday 30 December 2008:
Here is an interesting thing of cognitive dissonance - some time ago, when I briefly had a job, before I left over a contractual dispute, one of the issues I had with it was that I had been led to believe the hours were half an hour shorter than they actually were going to be according to the contract. When I said that I was not happy about this, but it could be remedied with money, they immediately offered a pro-rata amount. So if, say, the error was an increase from 8 hours to 8 and a half, they would have offered a 6.25% increase in pay to compensate for that.

Consider that for a moment, without reading any further - would you accept it?

I would not. I wanted quite a lot more than that, which they thought was really weird and unreasonable of me. But now think about it more - if, say, you were working 8 hours a day for $30000 a year, would you really be willing to work 16 hours a day for $60000 a year? If you're totally crazy, and answer that yes, how about working 24 hours a day for $90000? Now you're definitely not answering that one with a yes unless you work in some sort of sleep-research field.

So where is the line? At what point does a proportional increase become obviously nonsensical? I think for most people it is well before a 16 hour work day - if all you do is work and sleep then what use have you for money? But I also think that most people wouldn't notice the wrongness of increasing the work day by half an hour and offering merely pro-rata. (Certainly people at that job didn't follow my objection at all without the 16 hour day analogy.)

For me, the hourly rate has to go up significantly at the point at which the work starts making me unhappy in a way that extends outside of the work hours. There are amounts of money that can offset it, but the further you impede my happiness the more money I want in exchange (for me to exchange for future happiness). [03:59]
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