14 Oct Time millionaires: meet the people pursuing the pleasure of leisure
via the Guardian by Sirin Kale
In every job he has ever had, Gavin has shirked. When he worked in a call centre, he would mute the phone, rather than answer it. When he worked in a pub, he would sneak out of the building and go to another pub nearby, for a pint. His best-ever job was as a civil servant. He would take an hour for breakfast, and two for lunch. No one ever said anything. All his colleagues were at it, too.
When the pandemic began, Gavin, now working as a software engineer, realised, to his inexhaustible joy, that he could get away with doing less work than he had ever dreamed of, from the comfort of his home. He would start at 8.30am and clock off about 11am. To stop his laptop from going into sleep mode – lest his employers check it for activity – Gavin played a 10-hour YouTube video of a black screen.
One might reasonably describe Gavin (not his real name) as a deadbeat. In economic terms, he is a unit of negative output. In moral terms, he is to be despised; there are antonyms for the word “grafter”, and none of them are good. In religious terms – well, few gods would smile on such indolence. But that is not how Gavin views things. “I work to pay my bills and keep a roof over my head,” he says. “I don’t see any value or purpose in work. Zero. None whatsoever.”
Gavin’s job is an unfortunate expediency that facilitates his enjoyment of the one thing that does matter to him in life: his time. “Life is short,” Gavin tells me. “I want to enjoy the time I have. We are not here for a long time. We are here for a good time.” And for now, Gavin is living the good life. He’s a time millionaire. “I am delighted,” Gavin tells me. “I could not be happier.” He is practically singing.
And his boss? “My boss is happy with the work I’m doing,” he says. “Or more accurately, the work he thinks I’m doing.”
First named by the writer Nilanjana Roy in a 2016 column in the Financial Times, time millionaires measure their worth not in terms of financial capital, but according to the seconds, minutes and hours they claw back from employment for leisure and recreation. “Wealth can bring comfort and security in its wake,” says Roy. “But I wish we were taught to place as high a value on our time as we do on our bank accounts – because how you spend your hours and your days is how you spend your life.”
And the pandemic has created a new cohort of time millionaires. The UK and the US are currently in the grip of a workforce crisis. One recent survey found that more than 56% of unemployed people were not actively looking for a new job. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that many people are not returning to their pre-pandemic jobs, or if they are, they are requesting to work from home, clawing back all those hours previously lost to commuting…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE