EARLY SPRING RECAP

一、早春回顾


A couple of weekends ago we went to the 100 days party of our friends’ baby. He was born in mid December so he is 3.5 months younger than Baby A. but they already weigh the same! We even got a hand-me-down onesie that was too narrow for him and that Baby A. can wear!! I don’t know what’s in Chinese women’s breast milk to produce such big babies! My downstairs neighbour has a baby two days older than Baby A. and he weighs THREE MORE KILOS.

几个周末前,我们参加了朋友家宝宝的百日派对。他出生在12月中旬,他比我的宝宝小3个半月,但他们的体重已经一样了!我们还买了一件连体衣,对他来说太窄了,但我的宝宝可以穿!我不知道中国女人的母乳里有什么特殊物质,能生出这么大的孩子!我楼下的邻居有一个比我的宝宝大两天的婴儿,他的体重比我的宝宝重三公斤。

Another day we went to bury Nico’s ashes. It was about time. We buried them under a tree in a little park that should be safe from any construction works as there is a big high voltage tower in the middle. Nico’s neighbour for eternity is a friend’s dog who is also buried there.

另一天,我们去埋葬尼科的骨灰,是时候了。我们把他们埋在一个小公园里的一棵树下,这样就不会受到任何建筑工程的影响,中间有一个高压电塔。我们的邻居有一条狗,是尼科的朋友,也埋葬在那里。

Last Sunday it was a blue sky day and those days are not to be wasted as they are so scarce. I noticed our district is full of cherry trees. Are they new? I had not noticed them before. Maybe they were planted so Chinese people don’t feel the need to go to Japan on holiday, hehe.

上周日是一个晴朗的日子,这种日子是如此稀少,不能浪费。我注意到我们的地区周围到处都是樱花。它们是新种的吗?我以前没有注意到他们。也许种植这些植物是为了让中国人觉得没有必要去日本度假了,呵呵。


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THE 996 CONTROVERSY OR CHINA’S 72-HOUR WORK WEEK

二、中国的996工作制争议


A few days ago, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and one of China’s richest people (also #21 richest person in the world according to Forbes) made waves when he openly supported the 996 working system. 996 means working from 9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week, and it’s common in China’s tech industry. Yes, you’re reading it right. That means working 72 hours per week. It’s important to note that this is not even legal in China as, according to the labour law, labourers shall work for no more than eight hours a day and no more than 44 hours a week on average. Also, any overtime should be paid, but guess what, in most cases it’s not.

阿里巴巴创始人、中国最富有的人之一马云公开表示支持996工作制,这引起了轰动。996意味着每周工作6天,从早上9点工作到晚上9点,这在中国的科技行业很常见。是的,你没看错。这意味着每周工作72小时。值得注意的是,这在中国是不合法的,因为根据劳动法,劳动者每天工作时间不得超过8小时,平均每周工作时间不得超过44小时。此外,任何加班都是有报酬的,你猜怎么着,加班在大多数情况下没有加班费。



“Thanks to your overtime work and sleepless nights I’m driving a Ferrari. That’s what you young people have to do, gain experience. I brought you some apples”.

“多亏了你们的加班和不眠之夜,我现在开着一辆法拉利。这就是你们年轻人必须做的,这样可以获得更多的工作经验。我给你带了些苹果。”

In China there is also a third reason why you would stay in the office for longer, apart from the two that I mentioned before (being a slacker or having too much to do): it doesn’t look good to leave the office before your boss does. I hate this so much. I’ve seen it many times: people that have literally nothing to do, but stay past their hour playing games or shopping in the computer until the boss is ready to leave. But what’s the point of staying if you don’t have anything to do?

在中国,除了我之前提到的两个原因(懒鬼或有过多的工作要做)之外,还有第三个原因:在老板离开办公室之前离开看起来不太好。我很讨厌这样。我见过很多这样的人:他们实际上无所事事,只是在电脑前玩游戏或购物,直到老板准备离开。如果你没有任何事情可做,留下来又有什么意义呢?

Being a good worker is not living in the office. Working smart and being productive in the 8 hours you have per day is what makes you good! And working regularly for long hours doesn’t make you better in any way; in fact, attempts to quantify the relationship between hours worked and productivity found that employee output falls sharply after a 50-hour work-week, and falls off a cliff after 55 hours (quote from here). So, uh, this might seem counter intuitive, but… Jack Mas of the world, your businesses would perform better if your employees worked less hours, as their work would be of a better quality!

做一个好员工不是住在办公室里。聪明地工作,在每天8小时的时间里保持高效,这才是你的优点!事实上,试图量化工作时间和生产力之间的关系的研究发现,每周工作50小时后,员工的产出急剧下降,55小时后就会断崖式下降。这可能看起来有点不符合直觉,但如果你的员工工作更少的时间,你的企业会表现得更好,他们的工作质量会更好!

I guess I will never work for one of those huge fancy companies that expect people to put up with everything just for the “honour” of working there, but you know what? I’m totally fine with it. Work is important, but what’s the point of living to work?

我想我永远不会为那些大公司工作,这些公司希望人们为了工作的“荣誉”而忍受一切,你知道吗?工作固然重要,但活着又有什么意义呢?