Working for Peanuts and Beer

February 12, 2014 | By Felicity Cull

Have you ever thought about being a Zookeeper? Apparently, they have a really high level of job satisfaction. This is despite spending most of their days outside no matter the weather, shovelling poo and mucking out enclosures. Two researchers looking into ideological motivations for work said that “Working as a zookeeper felt like a personal destiny to many of them. They even shared stories about how events led them to the zoo, as if by fate.” For them, their work was a higher calling.

I’m impressed that a zookeeper is that satisfied with their work despite the high poo to work hours ratio. Thing is, most of us ordinary people don’t feel like our work is a higher calling. It might be fun or sometimes fulfilling or difficult, but we don’t feel like we are fulfilling a prophecy when we get out of bed on weekday mornings. So, a lot of us work to buy a lifestyle: yes rent or mortgage and bills, but also trinkets, holidays… and beer.

(I think I see my Dad in this ad)

Which brings us to why I absolutely loved the recent research that sought to find out how long someone on a minimum wage had to work in order to earn the price of a pint of beer in their country. That’s right everyone, we have a beer index. And it’s pretty interesting. Here in Australia, if you’re on minimum wage, it takes 0.3 hours to earn the price of a beer. In Puerto Rico, even less, at 0.2 hours. In the UK, half an hour. In China, 1.2 hours. 1.6 hours in Russia. 2 hours in Morocco. Kuwait, 4.6 hours. Bangladesh, 13.4.

I’m not sure if it’s going to help you with job satisfaction – I mean, if I were responsible I’d tell you to try something like Happify first – but I guess counting down the beers you’ve earned today might make you happier? Anyway. Is it Beer O’clock Yet? 

Photo by Tim Dobson.