Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Doctor not with a Patient? You're Not Working!

  • The evening news anchor only works for 20 minutes a day.
  • The cable news show anchor only works 40 minutes a day.
  • The lawyer is only working when in the courtroom or during arbitration.
  • The doctor is only working when seeing a patient.
  • The salesman is only working when he is talking to a customer.
  • The radio host with a three hour talk show only works two hours a day.
Not including commercials, Diane Sawyer only works for twenty minutes a day? Rush Limbaugh only two hours? Their time preparing for these shows don't count as work? The time a lawyer spends alone in his office building his client's case doesn't count? The physician who takes some time to read the latest research on a patient's medical condition can't count that as work? 

These assertions sound absurd, right? People in these professions would be extremely angry to hear someone make such claims about their work. Yet people frequently say these things about teachers. They only consider time spent with students to be actual work. They feel that planning periods, teacher workdays, and duty-free lunches are just ploys by teachers unions to lessen the amount work its members have to do. To the contrary, this allows teachers time to grade papers, prepare future lessons, hold conferences, etc. For most teachers, the forty or fifty minutes a day of planning is certainly not sufficient, so they end of volunteering a lot of their own time to create the best experiences for their students. As with all things, all good work takes planning. Though your doctor, lawyer, keynote speaker, media personality, etc. may not bill you for preparation time per se, please be assured that time used for preparation is factored into the cost of the product they are selling or the service they are providing. 

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