外刊笔记——working overtime

文章首尾呼应,逐一分析“加班”的利弊,原因解释与举例相辅相成,内容略有删减,但是不影响学习文章的谋篇布局和词句的用法。


12-Hour Days Are No ‘Blessing.’ 每天工作12小时并不是“福气”

①day 工作日;学习日

——the time that you usually spend at work or at school

    a normal working day正常工作日

    I work a seven-hour day.我每天工作7小时。

     We're having to work a six-day week to cope with demand.为了满足需求,我们将不得不每周工作6天。



…founder of the e-commerce company …, is a big fan of extreme overwork. He recently praised … practice, so called because it refers to those who put in 12-hour days — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — six days a week. This “is not a problem,” he said in a recent blog post, instead calling it a “blessing.”

founder of the e-commerce company… 电子商务公司…的创始人

a big fan of 狂热推崇者

extreme overwork 极度过劳工作

a recent blog post 最近的一篇博客文章

……practice/culture refers to those who put in 12-hour days — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — six days a week

……的模式/文化是指那些每天工作12小时的人——从上午9点到晚上9点——每周工作6天。

例句:

     He was working 12-hour days and could only take one day off a month.他每天要工作12个小时,每个月只能休息一天。

     The employees are working 12-hour days and six-day work weeks. 员工们每天工作12小时,每周工作6天。

     She is putting in 12-hour days in preparation for the upcoming 2010 Miss Universe Competition. 每天都要花费12个小时的时间来准备即将到来的2010年环球小姐大赛。

②day off 休息日

——a day when you do not have to work or do something that you normally do

     I won't be in on Thursday - it's my day off.我周四不在——那天我休息。

     She's taking three days off next week.她下星期休假三天。

③put in 花费,投入(时间、精力等)

——If you put in an amount of time or effort doing something, you spend that time or effort doing it.

     Wade was going to be paid a salary, whether he put in forty hours or not. [VERB PARTICLE noun (not pronoun)]

     They've put in time and effort to keep the strike going. [VERB PARTICLE noun]

     If we don't put money in we will lose our investment. [VERB noun PARTICLE]

the response from…was swift 来自…的反响/回应很迅速

enforce a … schedule 严格执行/(强制)执行 … 的工作日程

argued on the same platform(指前面的a recent blog post所在的博客平台)

prompted a response from state media 引发了官方媒体的回应

④prompt --verb [ T ] (CAUSE)引起;导致;激起

——to make something happen

     The bishop's speech has prompted an angry response from both political parties.主教的发言激起了两大政党的愤怒回应。

     Recent worries over the president's health have prompted speculation over his political future.最近对总统健康状况的担忧引发了对其政治前途的猜测。

the mandatory enforcement of … overtime culture ……加班文化的强制执行

reflects the arrogance of business managers 反映了企业管理者的傲慢

unfair and impractical 不公平和不切实际的


Managers who think like Mr. … can be found the world over. Here at home, Elon Musk, a co-founder of Tesla, has argued that “nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.” Uber reportedly used to use the internal mantra “Work smarter, harder and longer.” (It’s now just “smarter” and “harder.”) The company has also rebranded second jobs as clever “side hustles.” WeWork decorates its co-working spaces with phrases like, “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you are done.” Other tech and business gurus try to sell us on “toil glamour.”



Managers who think like Mr. … can be found the world over. 像…先生一样思考的管理者可以在世界各地找到。


Other tech and business gurus try to sell us on “toil glamour.”其他的技术和商业大师试图向我们推销“劳动魅力”。

⑤guru(精通某一领域并给出专业建议的)专家,权威,大师

——(informal) a person skilled in something who gives advice

     a management guru管理界泰斗

     a lifestyle guru生活专家

⑥toil --noun [ U ] (尤指体力上的)苦工,苦活

——hard work, especially work that makes you feel physically tired

     Lindi has achieved her comfortable life only after years of hard toil.林迪在做了多年的苦工后才过上了舒适的生活。

     (humorous) Well, after a day's toil in the office I like to relax a little.好啦,在办公室劳累了一天后我想歇一会儿。

mantra 口号

     The British fans chanted that familiar football  mantra: "Here we go, here we go, here we go..."人群反复高喊着那个熟悉的足球口号:“加油!加油!加油…”

The company has also rebranded second jobs as clever “side hustles.” 公司还给第二份职业重塑形象为聪明的“副业”。


The truth is that they’re all wrong. Workers certainly suffer when forced to put in extreme hours. But business fares just as poorly. No one benefits from people pushing themselves to ********* of exhaustion.


suffer 受苦,受折磨

be forced to put in extreme hours 被迫加班

But business fares just as poorly. 企业的境况也会很糟。

     Low-paid workers will fare badly/well under this government.在这届政府执政期间,低收入工人的境况会很糟/很好。

No one benefits from… 没人能从…获益

people pushing themselves to ********* of exhaustion 把自己逼到精疲力竭的边缘的人们

⑦to/on ********* of 到达/处于…边缘

     Extreme stress had driven him to ********* of a nervous breakdown.极大的压力使他处于精神崩溃的边缘。

     These countries are on ********* of a disastrous famine.

     Many companies are on ********* of ruin.

     Negotiations between the two countries are on ********* of collapse.

⑧exhaustion --noun [ U ] 精疲力竭;疲惫不堪

—— the state of being extremely tired

     She felt ill with/from exhaustion.她过于劳累,病倒了。

One of the reasons Mr. … says he supports … culture is people who work longer get the “rewards of hard work.” But they are apparently not in store for monetary rewards: A group of academics just released research finding that working longer hours than someone else in the same job doesn’t earn you more money;  instead it leads to a 1 percent decrease in wages. Another analysis similarly found that after 40 hours a week, there isn’t a clear financial return to clocking more hours. Excessive work effort has even been linked, perversely, to worse career outcomes.



people who work longer get the “rewards of hard work” 工作时间更长的人们会获得“努力工作的回报”

in store for monetary rewards 为金钱回报做准备

A group of academics just released research finding 一群学者刚刚发布的研究结果

working longer hours than someone else in the same job doesn’t earn you more money 比同一岗位上的其他人工作更长时间并不会让你赚更多的钱

instead it leads to a 1 percent decrease in wages 相反它会导致工资减少1%

after 40 hours a week, there isn’t a clear financial return to clocking more hours 一周工作40小时后,再工作更长时间并没有明显的经济回报

Excessive work effort has even been linked, perversely, to worse career outcomes. 过度的工作努力只会事与愿违地和更糟糕的职业结果相关联


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned that putting in extra hours is associated with poorer health, including weight gain and higher alcohol and tobacco use, and increased injury, illness and even mortality. Health researchers have found that overwork is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.


the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 疾病控制与预防中心

putting in extra hours 加班

is associated with 与…联系在一起的

poorer health, including weight gain and higher alcohol and tobacco use, and increased injury, illness and even mortality更差的健康状况:包括体重增加,饮酒量和吸烟量增加,以及受伤、疾病甚至死亡的增加。

health researchers 健康研究人员

overwork is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke 过度工作会增加患心脏病和中风的风险


went so far in his (blog) post as to say… 在他的(博客)文章中极端地说…

⑨go so far as to do sth 做…走极端

——to be willing to do something that is extreme

     It's good, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's great.挺好的,但是我不会极端到说棒极了。

put in long hours 加班

shooting himself in the foot 搬起石头砸了他自己的脚

⑩shoot yourself in the foot (无意中)搬起石头砸自己的脚

——to do something without intending to which spoils a situation for yourself



There’s a ceiling on how much more someone can get done by simply spending more time at work. After about 48 hours a week, a worker’s output drops sharply, according to a Stanford economist. Other research has appeared to support this finding. While there may be an initial burst of activity from overworking, people who work more than 55 hours a week perform worse than those who go home at a normal hour and get some rest.



There’s a ceiling on how much more someone can get done by simply spending more time at work. 一个人通过在工作上多花时间来完成的工作量是有一个上限的

(11)ceiling --noun (LIMIT)(通常指钱款的)上限

—— [ C usually singular ] an upper limit, usually relating to money

     They have imposed/set a ceiling on pay rises.他们给工资的增加额度规定了上限。

After about 48 hours a week, a worker’s output drops sharply 在每周工作48小时后,工人的产量会急剧下降

Other research has appeared to support this finding. 其它研究似乎也支持这一结论

While there may be an initial burst of activity from overworking, … 尽管工作过度可能会导致最初的活跃度增加,…


(12)burst --noun [ C ] (INCREASE)(尤指短期的)突然增加;迸发    

——a sudden increase in something, especially for a short period

     a burst of speed/applause/laughter突然的加速/一阵掌声/一阵大笑


people who work more than 55 hours a week perform worse than those who go home at a normal hour and get some rest  (但是)每周工作超过55小时的人比那些在正常时间下班回家休息的人工作表现更糟



There are other costs to employers. An elder-care facility in Sweden that tried a six-hour workday reportedly found that nurses took fewer sick days and were more productive. Fatigued workers cost employers $100 billion in lost productivity.


There are other costs to employers. 雇主还要支付其它成本

an elder-care facility 一家养老机构

a six-hour workday 每天工作6个小时

took fewer sick days 病假更少

more productive 工作更富有成效

fatigued workers 疲劳的工人(=tired) 

fatigued workers cost employers $100 billion in lost productivity 疲劳的工人使雇主为损失掉的生产率付出了1000亿美元的代价



This all became obvious to the American business community long ago. As strong unions pushed for a 40-hour workweek in the 1800s, business leaders who acquiesced found that their companies became significantly more profitable and productive. In 1914, Henry Ford took the lessons of these natural experiments to heart and cut shifts in his plants to eight hours without reducing pay, leading to an output boom. By 1938, that 40-hour workweek was enshrined into law by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires time-and-a-half pay beyond that threshold.


business community 商界

strong unions pushed for a 40-hour workweek in the 1800s 19世纪,强大的工会推行每周40小时工作制


business leaders who acquiesced 默许的商界领袖们

(13)acquiesce --verb [ I ]/ˌæk.wiˈes/ 默认;默许;默然同意 (formal)

——to accept or agree to something, often unwillingly

     Reluctantly, he acquiesced to/in the plans.虽然很不情愿,他还是默许了这个计划。


their companies became significantly more profitable and productive 他们的公司明显变得更能盈利和更有效益

took the lessons of … to heart 把…的教训铭记于心

cut shifts to eight hours without reducing pay 不降低工资的情况下,把轮班时间缩短为8小时

leading to an output boom 导致产量激增

40-hour workweek was enshrined into law 40小时周工作日被庄严载入了法律

(14)be enshrined in sth (政治或社会权利)被庄严载入

——If a political or social right is enshrined in something, it is protected by being included in it.

     The right of freedom of speech is enshrined in law/in the constitution.言论自由的权利被庄严载入法律/宪法。


by the Fair Labor Standards Act 根据《公平劳动标准法》

requires time-and-a-half pay beyond that threshold 要求超过这个标准的工作时间需要支付1.5倍的报酬



The strength of the law has been whittled away over recent decades, however, to the point that millions fewer Americans are guaranteed extra pay for extra work than in 1979. That allows employers to push more employees to put in more hours essentially free. … proposed an update in 2016 that would have offered new or strengthened overtime protection to over 13 million workers; it was struck down by the courts, and …’s version, proposed in March, will help 8.2 million fewer workers, thanks to a lower salary threshold and a failure to index it to inflation.



the strength of the law 法律的效力

has been whittled away 被削弱了

guaranteed extra pay for extra work 保证为额外工作支付额外工资

That allows employers to push more employees to put in more hours essentially free. 这使得雇主让更多雇员基本上免费加班。

proposed an update 提出了更新法案

offered new or strengthened overtime protection to… 提供新的或加强的加班保护

struck down by the courts (提出地更新法案)被法院废止了

thanks to a lower salary threshold 由于更低的工资标准

a failure to index it to inflation 未能将工资标准与通货膨胀挂钩

(15)index --verb [ T ] (COMPARE)将…与…挂钩;使指数化

——to change a system of numbers according to each other or a fixed standard

     Living expenses will be indexed to/in line with inflation (= to take inflation into consideration).生活费用将与通货膨胀挂钩。



Business leaders seem to have forgotten the lessons they learned in the past: Humane schedules benefit employee and employer alike. 'A' may have its … culture, but 'B' doesn’t fare much better. Nearly a third of us put in 45 hours or more each week, while nearly 10 million clock 60 or more. The average European puts in between 7 percent and 19 percent less time on the job.



Humane schedules benefit employee and employer alike. 人道的工作日程对员工和雇主都有好处。


'A' may have its … culture, but 'B' doesn’t fare much better. A也许有…文化,但是B的情况也并不好。


Nearly a third of us put in 45 hours or more each week, while nearly 10 million clock 60 or more. 我们中近三分之一的人每周工作45小时或更长时间,而将近1000万人达到60小时或更长时间的周工作日。


The average European puts in between 7 percent and 19 percent less time on the job.欧洲人的平均工作时间要少7%到19%。




Policies like a strong overtime rule can help us return to a world where everyone does better by working less. Business leaders like … have to get with the program, too. Glorifying those who sacrifice nearly all of their waking hours at the altar of work harms everyone, from the chief executive to the custodian.


a strong overtime rule 严格的加班规定

everyone does better by working less 每个人通过减少工作时间做得更好

get with the program 更新观念

(16)get with the programme 接受新的思想;对现在的情况多加关注

——(informal)to accept new ideas and give more attention to what is happening now

     They've been playing the same old music for ten years now - it's time to get with the programme.他们放同一首老音乐达10年,现在是更新的时候了。


Glorifying those who sacrifice nearly all of their waking hours at the altar of work harms everyone, from the chief executive to the custodian.赞扬那些几乎把所有醒着的时间都奉献在工作祭坛上的人们,会伤害到每个人,从首席执行官到看门人。


最后小结一下:

(a)第一段用了 praised, 最后一段用了glorifying, 都是“赞扬”的意思

(b)过度工作

extreme overwork

excessive work

working longer hours

(c)“加班”的说法:

put in extreme hours

put in more hours

put in long hours

put in extra hours

spending more time at work

working overtime








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