June 16, 2008

Burning Out the House

Justin Katz

As one who flirts often with the edge of burnout, I hear the hum of truth in this:

Burnout has been long associated with being overworked and underpaid, but psychologists Christina Maslach and Michael Leiter found that these were not the crucial factors. The single biggest difference between employees who suffered burnout and those who did not was the whether they thought that they were being treated unfairly or fairly. ...

Their research on fairness dovetails with work by other researchers showing that humans care a great deal about how they are being treated relative to others. In many ways, fairness seems to matter more than absolute measures of how well they are faring -- people seem willing to endure tough times if they have the sense the burden is being shared equally, but they quickly become resentful if they feel they are being singled out for poor treatment.

Without doubt, the lesson applies in the civic arena, as well.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Gee, you think people are burning out on the whole Rud-y-luhn experience? You don't say...See your previous article on middle class exodus from the Ocean State.

But since burnout is involved, perhaps that makes the exiles victims, or even a class of victims, who could seek compensation...

Posted by: John at June 16, 2008 12:38 PM

Those who seek joy from their work will receive misery from it and probably burn out eventually.

Those who put joy into their work will receive joy in return.

So those who sit around complaining about the RI experience deserve the misery. Those who go about their civic duties for whatever is in it for them, will eventually come up empty.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to know that my little part will eventually get the boulder to the top of the hill.

We have a great state, lets have fun fixing it!

Posted by: George at June 16, 2008 5:14 PM
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