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To really dislike the expression "I've worked hard all my life"

(114 Posts)
Kendodd Tue 11-Mar-14 14:45:57

So what, haven't most people, and what do you expect, to be able to put your feet up all your life.

whineaholic Tue 11-Mar-14 14:56:57

I see nothing wrong with it. Plenty of us do work hard all our lives and plenty of others don't!

Those that do deserve a better standard of living than those that don't and that's how it pretty much pans out.

SomethingProfound Tue 11-Mar-14 14:57:21

YABU - for many its not an expression but a statement of fact, my father for example is 74 has worked hard all his life and continues to do so.

How does stating this fact imply that people want "to put their feet up" all their lives? I think it implies I have worked hard and deserved to enjoy retirement/have a holiday/or what ever else.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 11-Mar-14 14:57:49

Yabvvu it's just an expression!

Mintyy Tue 11-Mar-14 14:58:57

Yanbu. Can't stand it! The wife of some banker was on the Radio yesterday whining about the amount of tax he pays. She came out with that cliche within the first 20 seconds. I bet he doesn't work as hard as someone caring for a severely disabled child, not for one moment.

eurochick Tue 11-Mar-14 14:59:09

YABU. It's a statement. People say it because sadly there are freeloaders who are happy for others to work hard to pay for their lifestyles. (NB I am not including those unable to work in that.)

KellyElly Tue 11-Mar-14 14:59:59

Why does saying that imply some kind resentment that they haven't been able to put their feet up? Bizarre notion. It means what it means. Some people don't work hard, some work really hard, if you have worked throughout your entire life and say this then it's true isn't it confused

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 11-Mar-14 15:00:44

It pisses me off when it's used as a justification. To some or other entitlement, I think because it sounds so self righteous. It's particularly annoying when used by a 30 something who presumably was in education for about half of their life. In my experience people who have genuinely worked hard all of their lives don't tend to go on about it.

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 11-Mar-14 15:02:35

Depends on context.

I know a few babyboomers who could do with being reminded that being busy is not the same thing as working a 60 hour week.

Judging those who can't work, not so much.

Snatchoo Tue 11-Mar-14 15:02:41

Was just coming to say the same as Testing!

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 11-Mar-14 15:05:18

^agree with mintyy.
Hard Work doesn't always mean paid work. Caring is often the hardest work but people still see unpaid carers as not working.

lolaisafuckertoo Tue 11-Mar-14 15:06:31

I know people who have literally slaved all their lives. For family and all that. been the back bone of a family and for what? shit care in old age. because they are old and no one listens, use whatever fucking expression you like to buck up those who think they have it harder.

Not sure if any of that made sense as I am here working hard for my family with a sick kid at home who has said "mummy mummy mummy" abut 40 times this morning. HOw can I translate that into "worked hard all my life" please. Is there a formula.
Might cry now.

LoonvanBoon Tue 11-Mar-14 15:07:32

Those that do deserve a better standard of living than those that don't and that's how it pretty much pans out.

The 2nd half of this is just obviously untrue - think of all those people working at subsistence farming, or in sweat shops, & people who started working when they were kids. They don't end up with a better standard of living, FFS!

Even in our country, someone like my grandad was out working on farms from the age of 14 until well after retirement age & still had to survive on a state pension.

As to the original point, I agree with somethingprofound - for loads of people it's a statement of fact. It might well be irritating if said by someone much younger, admittedly.

BrianTheMole Tue 11-Mar-14 15:09:05

I don't mind it. Some people do work hard all their lives. Others, not so much. <shrugs>

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 11-Mar-14 15:10:28

It's usually used to bash those on benefits, well I've certainly on MN anyway.
Many people work hard all their lives in some of the shittiest poorly paid jobs, they don't tend to be the people who say it though.

Nomama Tue 11-Mar-14 15:11:59

Mmmm! Hard work is life consuming. Muscle aching. Brain cell destroying. Unsociable hours. Emotionally crippling and probably lost of other things too. May or may not be paid employment, as others have said.

Hard work is not sat in an office, tapping at a keyboard and filling out forms, it is not a job with little or no responsibility. It is not a job where the hardest choice you have to make is tuna or cheese!

And I use it a lot as I have worked hard all my life. I have supported myself since I was 16. Put OH and myself through University on our 30s and are now in less physically demanding but more stressful jobs. Unlike SIL who has worked hard for about half of her working life and insists we agree that she had a right to go part time in order to have the time to do the ironing!

Thinking about it, I don't think I have ever said it out loud other than to her!

Kendodd Tue 11-Mar-14 15:17:01

Also it's often trotted out by people who have benefited massively from house price rises, the implication being that somebody who worked as a hospital cleaner all their life should of worked harder so that they too would have been able to afford to buy a house.

whineaholic Tue 11-Mar-14 15:17:13

Well, my MIl has never done a days work in her life. Had two kids who she semi dragged up whilst she read or walked the dog.

Now spends her old age moaning about how shit it all is having no cash and living in a rented crap hole. No shit, Sherlock..

HoleyGhost Tue 11-Mar-14 15:18:06

It is said by my baby boomer relatives. They worked 9 - 5, retired early on generous pensions and were able to benefit from massive inflation in property prices.

They genuinely have no understanding of the hours professionals work now.

whineaholic Tue 11-Mar-14 15:18:44

I hear it said by genuie, decent hardworking people who deserve the treats they can now afford. Never by people lucky enough to have ridden the house price wave. How odd confused.

HoleyGhost Tue 11-Mar-14 15:23:39

Don't we all deserve treats?

It is usually a dig at someone perceived to not be working hard enough. It is annoying when they don't recognise that they were lucky as well as having worked.

littlemslazybones Tue 11-Mar-14 15:27:24

I hate it when use this phrase to minimise the other advantages that they had in life to perpetuate the level playing field myth.

Dahlen Tue 11-Mar-14 15:36:12

I agree with most of the posts on here. Most of the people who use this phrase seem to be either over-privileged and out of touch, or bitter about what they perceive as other people's easier lives when they themselves are obviously so much more deserving. hmm

Those I know who have really worked hard their whole lives and are decent people never seem to use it at all.

TheCrackFox Tue 11-Mar-14 15:36:43

It is generally uttered by people who actually had quite cushy jobs and were lucky enough never to have suffered any periods of unemployment either.

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 11-Mar-14 15:41:56

Totally depends on who's saying it. Frequently used by tory politicians: "worked hard, done the right thing" means "had a high enough income to buy a fucking great house and benefit from rocketing house prices". They don't give a fuck about the people who slog their guts out at minimum wage to send their kids to school with shoes on their feet and food in their stomachs, but have nothing left at the end of the week to save for a mortgage, or for retirement.

Life doesn't reward hard work. It rewards privilege.

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