It also affected their attitude about work. My mother was a homemaker. My dad worked in a factory. They both believed that if a company was willing to pay you a salary and provide you any benefits whatsoever, you should respond with gratitude, and a whole lot of hard work. My dad's mantra was that if the Company paid you for 40 hours a week, you should work at least 45 hours, because you probably screwed around at least a few hours during the week.
In today's world, that may not be an option for most hourly workers whose employers won't allow them work overtime due to budgetary constraints. When I was an hourly worker, I routinely worked ten hours of overtime a week, and I often worked twice that. I'm salaried now, and I don't have to worry about requesting authorization for overtime. I still work a minimum of ten hours a day; most weeks I work considerably more than fifty hours.
That may make me something of a nut, but I have a job. In the worst economy I ever remember, I've got steady, well-paying job. I can assure you, I will be working a lot of extra hours and going to even more extraordinary lengths than usual in the coming months because my father impressed upon me the fact that nobody owes me a living. I'm lucky enough to have an employer who is willing to pay me for my services. They don't owe it to me. I have to earn it -- every day.
One of my biggest problems with Gens X, Y, and Z (or whatever the Generation after Y is) is that they approach getting paid as an entitlement, not a gift.
I view everything about my life as a Gift. For me, getting paid for my services (both salary and benefits) falls into the category of Privilege/Gift as opposed to an entitlement.
In the worst economic times since the Great Depression that so permanently scarred my parents' psyches, I have a job that pays a living wage, and then some.
Am I grateful? You bet your ass I am! And I will do whatever it takes to maintain the status quo. I have a family to support, including a kid in college.
I have a job. Thank you, God. Please, help me to keep it.