July 14th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Do you feel like you're a member of the burnt-out generation?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

We've got an overworked labor force operating in an under-performing economy... and it could be affecting our health.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/07/14/art.pencil.jpg caption=""]
A new study released by researchers in Spain finds that working for more than 40 hours a week leaves employees six times more likely to suffer long-term exhaustion, irritability and a lack of interest in their work and non-work lives. It's something called "burnout syndrome." And some of us have been suffering from it for years.

Workers who feel "under challenged" on the job, left to do what they feel are brainless, monotonous tasks, are also at risk of developing burnout syndrome. So are people who have stayed in the same job too long: Those with more than 16 years service in the same position are five times more at risk of developing burnout syndrome than colleagues with less than four years on a particular job.

With the economy in the state it's in, it's no surprise this is a growing problem. It has the potential to become an epidemic.

The Spanish researchers found that having a family, partner or a spouse to go home to at night helps people deal with burnout. I guess there is some benefit to being able to complain to someone when you get home.

But where does it end? Careers are getting longer, and retiring at 65 is not a reality for many of us. With 9.2 percent unemployment in this country, those of us with a job are lucky to have one. Some of us need to work more than one job just to pay the bills each month.

Here’s my question to you: Do you feel like you're a member of the burnt-out generation?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Cheryl in South Carolina:
Definitely, Jack. I am lucky enough to have a "recession proof" job, but I'm working much longer hours for less money than I made 10 years ago. We're about $50,000 upside down on our mortgage and there is no relief in sight. Burnt out is one way to describe it.

C.W. in Kansas City, Missouri:
Stomped on, run over, short changed, media manipulated, marginalized, confused, lied to, marketing targeted, sensory overloaded, trivialized, devalued, exhausted and yes, burnt out.

Age 64 and yes! Did everything right, worked hard, raised a family, paid the mortgage, paid the taxes. For that effort, I now feel like a hostage to the nonsense that is going on in Washington D.C. and I am feeling like I need to spend my time worrying about the collapse of the government. I am tired of seeing the powerful run roughshod over the rest of us. I am so sad for my country right now, and so worried about my children and grandchildren's future.

Mark in Oklahoma City:
Jack, I'm a teacher. I love working with kids. I love to teach. But, I am tired, very tired, and guess what - I ain't that old and I can't retire for ten more years. It is sad for me, my students and even my dog that I come home to every evening notices that I am just not the playful, happy person I once was. This was a GREAT question to ask and I just hope you don't get "burned out" any time soon. Your segments often give me something to smile about.

Jim in Denver:
Burnt out with work and trying to stay a step ahead of the bill collectors. You betcha! I'm working hard, but wage stagnation and increased costs for other benefits and household items are eating my lunch financially. I wish the politicians would realize the Middle Class needs a bit of relief here and that the 2 percent need to share in the pain we are feeling.

Curtis in Philadelphia:
Wow, déjà vu Jack! It's like you're my guidance counselor and it's 1981 all over again. Total flashback.

Filed under: On Jack's radar
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Loren

    Yes, but in deference to my parent's generation, I don't know what I'm burned out from. Maybe it's the false hopes raised by the Kennedy administration, or the failed dreams of the hippies, but either way, I'm tired of the cynical promises of our politicians, and the false hopes generated by Hollywood. As John Lennon sang, "just give me some peace, all I want is some peace."

    July 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    No, I do not think I am a member of the burn out generation but my grandson is definitely a member. He is a marine fighting in Afghanistan. When anyone starts to complained of being burnout they should walk in our servicemen and women's shoes who are deployed time and time again to a war zone that's has no end in sight.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Bob Snyder

    You betcha! The old brain is getting slower and slower as time passes. I'd definitely retire at 58 if I had the bucks.
    Cary, NC

    July 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  4. Vince

    Hey Jack,
    I'm a "Boomer" that just retired at 60, albeit on a shoe string teacher pension plan, but I feel really good for now. I think the politicians’ burn me out with all their lack of consistency. I plan outliving them all! I follow what I have as a bumper sticker on my eleven year old car ~ "To make your prayers come true, you have to get off your knees." Something our politicians should consider.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  5. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I don't know about "burnt out", Jack BUT I sure am glad that I'm retired. over the years I saw my profession, which was as a commercial pilot, go from being the greatest job in the world to being a chore esp after 9-11. just wasn't any fun anymore.

    on second thought, I guess that IS the definition of "burnt out".

    July 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  6. David Gerstenfeld

    At 72 & living(?) on social security I'm not burnt out at all. But I am thourghly disgusted on how my country has deteriorated with the lack of leadership & greed at every level from the president, industry, finance, & yes us, the American public that loved the cheaper goods manufactured in sweat shops overseas so WE could buy gas guzzling cars, larger homes that we don't need, & have more disposable income for iphones, ipads & toys-toys toys. Need I say more. And now here we are !
    David, Las Vegas

    July 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  7. Paul From Austin Texas

    Like wow man I went to High School in L.A. CA in the sixties so I was out there and burnt-out before everyone else got burnt-out. Now as I view retirement it looks like that will be burnt-out to and a cardboard box under an overpass may be my only affordable retirement home.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  8. Pete in Georgia

    Only when I'm at the beach and forget the sun screen.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  9. David of Alexandria VA

    In the past 15 years, I've gone through two stock market crashes, one terrorism attack aftermath, 11% unemployment, dangling chads, Bubba-Gate, ObamaCare, the longest war in our history, an impossibly polarized political scene, and now maybe our own version of a Greek Tragedy. If there's a burnt-out genration, count me in - Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns it's lonely eyes to you

    July 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  10. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Oh hell yes, Jack! I got a good education and served my country for over 11 years until I was down-sized along with 250,000 other Army folks after the Berlin Wall fell. I've worked until I lost my job in the Bush recession. I'm only 54 and willing to work but if my wife wasn't still working I'd just be another homeless Veteran.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  11. B. J., Quincy, Il

    No I don't , but I feel like the generation that has beenlied to, ignored, squashed ans stepped on, I use nice words in case you use this on TV.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Yes I do--I have been working since the age of 8 and would like to retire--but with the status quo of the nation and economy-I will have to delay that. I'm so burnt-out that I only eat "extra cripsy Kentucky Fried Chicken."

    July 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

    tampa, fl i had my mid-life crisis, burn out, and 2nd childhood years ago. at 59 i'm now in the used up period of my life and on disability with ex-employers and ex-wives getting the best portions of my life. and now they tell me the government is so broke it can't pay me, but it can continue to pay our politicians and keep 4 wars going. you know when your nose itches you are going to kiss a fool, ears burn someone is talking about you. me, my butt itches.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  14. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No, but Pelosi, Reid, McConnel, Boehner and Cantor are in my view. They need to go work at Walmart for a few months to see if they can live without food stamps or other outside help.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  15. TomInRochNY

    Burnt-out generations? How about ash generation.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  16. Denny from Tacoma

    No, but if I did feel that way I would be running for President on the Repubican ticket.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  17. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Wow, deja vu Jack! It's like you're my guidence counselor and its 1981 all over again, total flashback.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  18. Ed Hoffman

    No Never, Niet....etc.etc.etc.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  19. Robert Doman

    Good afternoon Jack and Hello World. Greetings from Sudbury Ontario. I was born in 1963 and do not feel burnt out at all. A bit exasperated by current events and the odd news story about unusual legal decisions, but not really burnt out. How about "Burnt out but still smoking" ? We are currently living in remarkable times, and it's exciting to be around to watch. Just from watching television, I have seen creatures that live near volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean. I saw a man walk on the moon. I've seen pictures from the Hubble telescope. Don't be burnt out, there is work to be done. I continue to be inspired by your questions and the people's comments that I read here. I was inspired by Ross Perot and his charts too though, and look how that turned out. Most of you ignored him. How many trillion dollars ago was that ?

    I recall reading that the Chinese symbol for "change" also means "opportunity". Have a great day everybody.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  20. Sylvia from San Diego, CA

    No... I am a member of the baby boomer generation and I have many more years to go before I feel burnt out!! I hope in the process I am burning out some of the cockiness of the next generations.....

    July 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  21. Bob D Iowa

    As a first year member of the baby boomers I am sorry that vasectomies were not made mandatory seeing what the next generation are doing to their parents and grandparents.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  22. Tina Tx

    I am from the baby boomers. We started out great but then we became what we feared the most the establishment. I wonder how many hippies are now running companies that are the problem?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  23. Jim, Denver CO


    Burnt out with work and trying to stay a step ahead of the bill collectors. You Betcha! I'm working hard, but due to wage stagnating and increased costs for other benefits and household items is eating my lunch financially.

    I wish the politicians would realize the Middle Class needs a bit of relief here and that the 2% need to share in the pain we are feeling.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  24. CAT in Missouri

    I think our politicians are members of a burned out generation. They can't work together, even to keep the government from defaulting.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  25. Dave...Oklahoma City, OK

    Hi Jack,

    You bet I do and at 60 years of age I'm darned proud of it. This burnt-out generation was born out of the strife of the '60's, matured through the 70's and has been shaking it's head in wonderment at what this world has become ever sence.

    For instance, lately I've been shaking my head at how a group of supposedly educated mature individuals (the gop) can waste the last 4 years acting like a pack of sore looser pre-adolecence on their grade school play ground instead of getting with the program and accomplishing something really great for this country. Go figure.

    Yes Jack, I may be 60 and pretty burnt-out, but, I have a long memory and I'm a registered indipendent who votes and in fact so are most of my friends.

    What's the old adage? Vote early and often!...and be done in time to make it to the early bird special at Denny's.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  26. Mr. D

    We are all members of the " burnt-out from government." generation Could we be any more fed up with the way the country is moving? Are the good times really over, for good?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  27. Peggy

    Age 64 and yep!
    Done everything right, worked hard, raised a family, paid the mortgage, paid the taxes. Lived through so much history I cannot even remember it all.
    For that effort, I now feel like a hostage to the nonsense that is going on in Washington D.C. and Iam feeling like I need to spend my time worrying about the collapse of the government, losing all money and having the government totally hijack the social security and medicare that is righfully mine and not theirs. I am tired of seeing the powerful run roughshod over the rest of us.
    HOWEVER, I am burnt out and don't have much left except words to fight it out anymore. I am so sad for my country right now, and so worried about my children and grandchildren's future.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  28. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Definitely, Jack. I am lucky enough to have a "recession proof" job, but I'm working much longer hours for less money than I made 10 years ago. We're about $50,000 upside down on our mortgage and there is no relief in sight. Burnt out is one way to describe it.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  29. KCLaw

    Stomped on, run over, short changed, media manipulated, marginalized, confused, lied to, marketing targeted, sensory overloaded, trivialized, devalued, exhausted and yes, burnt out.

    Crispy KCLaw in Kansas City

    July 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  30. Lori - PA


    I would like to be a member of the "burned-out" generation. I've been trying for over three years to get another shot at it. Do you know of anyone looking to hire in the PA area?

    July 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  31. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Jack, I'm a teacher. I love working with kids. I love to teach. But, I am tired, very tired and guess what......I ain't that old and I can't retire for ten more years. It is sad for me, my students and even my dog that I come home to every evening notices that I am just not the playful, happy person I once was. This was a GREAT question to ask and I just hope you don't get "burned out" any time soon. Your segments often give me something to smile about. Thanks.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  32. Annie, Atlanta

    Burn-out syndrome sounds, to me at least, like something made up by the pharmaceutical industry to create a new drug that we'll be seeing advertised soon on our evening news programs. We always get burned out doing the same thing over and over again. That's why there's vacation.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  33. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Yes. Vacation and sick leave need to be made mandatory for all workers, not just the highly paid ones. The work day is also too long. 6.5 hours is enough. Our health care needs would be cheaper with those little steps.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  34. Jeff In Minnesota

    We have done this to ourselves. In the 1980s we heard that we were not as productive as the Japanese and that we needed to step up and be more productive. Well guess what? All those productivity improvements they made trashed their economy in the late 1990s and we laughed and pointed to how stupid they were. 10 years later, it's the US and the West that have trashed their economies for much the same reason. We may have gotten more productive, but we took our eyes off of the real goal and that is to have a better life as a result of being more productive. Not being more productive, but not having a life.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  35. Karl in Flint

    Your question made me realize I am a victim of this affliction. I retired after 5 years of managing an apartment building which involved sitting in the office all day, staring at the Internet for amusement and answering your questions. I did have real jobs before that. Last November I decided to really retire, I moved back to my roots where my family resides, bought and paid for a nice home and what do I do now. I sit in my office all day staring at the Internet for amusement and answering your questions. My burn-out is self inflicted and I am going to get off my duff and start having a life with my grandkids and great grand kids. Thanks for waking me up.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  36. Ralph Nelson

    No. I feel like a member of the lost generation, because disability from war ended any dreams I had. I wanted to participate. I never thought I'd see what is happening to America over the past 40 years. Yet I am helpless to do anything about it.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  37. Ralph Spyer

    jack I was burnt out in Vietnam.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

    not so burnt out that I don't know who is responsible for trying to do away with my medicare and social security that I EARNED. steve-florida

    July 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  39. calaurore9

    My husband is a physician and works long hours. He's 62 and is not planning to retire for a long time. And he has to come home to me every night. Oy. He's burnt toast.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    July 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  40. Pete

    Jack, funny you should mention 16 years as the crisis point. for burnout. I had exactly 16 years with a major telecomm company when I realized that my job and work conditions would only get worse, and provided little expectation of improvement and/or advancement.
    So I retired within a month, and began what has been the happiest 8 years (so far) of my life. My advice – unless you like the idea of working your ass of for someone that doesn't appreciate you and then dying years early from a stress-induced heart attack, save up as much as you can as fast as you can, and RETIRE EARLY!

    July 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  41. Jim

    Not a burned out society but a "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" society. We love to claim we live in a society that practices Christian principles but are actually the most selfish society man has ever known.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  42. dave in nashville

    I'm burned out looking for a respectable job, not just any to escape the house. And always being self employed, I never collected a dime of benefits. Count independent contract status people in the mix, and unemployment doubles, but nobody reports us. Yep, you can say I am burned, but not out.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  43. Dan-Eustis,Florida

    I know I am part of a burnt out generation. Having been in the Service
    in the late sixties into the early seventies I saw just about everything smoked, snorted and ingested. The problem is all the drug crazed
    Hippies seemed to have grown into Politicians!!

    July 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  44. Bobby E.Lahmon Jackson MS

    Yes I feel very much burned out with the republican party in particular and their old antiquated ideas of what they think that the American want from them well Jack I'm an American citizen and all I want from the republicans is for them to go away forever they have already done enough damage to this country as it is and that is my political burn out

    July 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  45. Garrick, MN

    Well working can get repetitive and very boring. It's a job though. I'm just happy to get paid without smelling like french fries.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  46. Kevin in CA

    Yep ... been there, done that.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  47. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Wah, wah, wah!

    Overworked? You cannot be serious! I do agree that in some jobs people may be pushed to the limit. But in MANY jobs, particularly in those dull, monotonous jobs like clerical work and a LOT of government agencies, the people might be bored, but not overworked!

    I spent nearly 50 years working in office environments. If you take away the time the average worker spends getting coffee, chatting about their weekend just past or the weekend coming up, kids, lovers, favorite TV shows, sporting events, going outside to smoke, coming in late and leaving early, playing on their computer games and surfing the web, and sick time, what do you have left?

    Work hours, maybe two thirds of a weeks hours! And those hours ARE boring. But please do not say the workers are overworked! The average worker is a past master at doing little or nothing much of the time! And I was not even in management, yet I saw this every singles day!

    Overworked? In a pig's eye!

    July 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  48. Joseph Leff

    Jack, as long as you and Wolf are around, I'll never feel burnt out.

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    July 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  49. Burnout is Right

    Working in the Semiconductor manufacturing world in itself is a rollercoaster ride, yet surviving all the downsizing and factory closures is also difficult. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have this job. But, After 30 years of this and no end in sight I think I am getting burned out. We are helping aging parents and our grandchildren, therefore, kind of "stuck "working. I am not sure what the symptoms of 'burnout syndrome' are but I am not interested in my job, I count the hours until I can go home, I get spacey and my mind wanders throughout the day. I am 50 years old, have high cholesterol and pre-hyper tension.. so maybe I have it. Is there a cure? Hating the HEAT in Gilbert, Arizona

    July 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  50. marybeth, massachusetts


    Yes. At my last job, I worked close to 60 hours per week, thru lunch "breaks" (eaten at my desk), and often staying until 8 or 9 pm because we didn't have enough help. People were let go, with the excuse that they didn't have enough work to do, but their jobs were shifted to those of us who remained. That reason was later used on me, and I learned that now 6 people are doing the job I did. So much for me not having anything to do. I had a boss who wouldn't let me take any vacation, who dropped big projects on my desk at 5 pm with the demand that they be done for her by 7 am the following morning.

    Most employees understand that we may have to work longer during busy periods, but for the last several years it has been one continuous busy period. Management doesn't see employees as human beings, but as things to throw work at (whether it is part of your job or not) regardless of your other projects and deadlines. And when you show signs of burning out, or God forbid, ask for help, you're targeted and laid off or forced out.

    We're reverting to a work schedule that was common in the early part of the 20th century–16 hour days for peanuts.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  51. reynard

    I'm a member of the burnt out, student loan having, can't find a better job but can't make enough on the current job, gas too high, rent too high, income too low generation. why did i go to college? I could have just been a reality show cast member. They don't look burnt out unless you count sunburn...

    July 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  52. ASG

    My husband retired after 20 years of military service; now he works for a defense contractor and only gets home on the weekends (at least most weekends.) He's going to school full-time (never could be "non-essential" enough on active duty) and between that and the 60 hour work week, plus the 8 hour commute on the weekend...he's feeling pretty burnt. We're still trying to get the last kid through school, too. And this week, we're wondering if Congress will figure out how to pay him. At all. Burnt? Yes, and burnt off, as well.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  53. Renee Peoria,Ill

    So that's what it's called! Thanks for putting a name to the last 20 years of my life.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  54. Susan from Idaho

    Jack you and I had better burn out quick. I don’t know how much longer we can support the entitled generation and their kids.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  55. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Yes, I am burned out. But, the real cause was due to doning the work of two or even three people because of endless downsizing. Combine that with rotating schedules, low wages, and no benefits. There has been no opportunity for advancement, or even appreciation from employers for all of my hard work done for them. These conditions have also left me with no way to develope a social life. But, recently I got the day shift. I don't know what to do with myself except to check out all the new breweries that have opened. That's no cure for burn out, but it's the happiest I've been.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  56. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, I can't help but wonder if people are not so much 'burnt-out' as much as they are 'taxed-out'.

    A worker who grosses $1,000 a week actually takes home a tad more than $600.

    And when that worker watches a segment on CNN that says 50% of Americans pay no taxes at all, perhaps that is the real cause of the 'burn' that you are talking about.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  57. Woody Hoyt

    Absolutely burnt out. But my resolution was to retire recently at 62 – while it's there for the taking and while I'm alive to enjoy it.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  58. Jimmy

    After 29 years of a career, I just recently resigned. The last several years of staffing cuts made my physically ill and mentally exhausted. Im sure its not the best thing to do, but when you are faced with physical conditions as a result of the lack of staffing, sometimes you just need to realize "the company" is not going to return your health! Tough choice, but since, I have slept better than ever!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  59. Nick D. Neighbour

    Actually Jack; Since I so-called "Retired", about eight years ago, I've never worked so hard in my damn life!! Go figure!
    Nick. N.
    Pasadena. CA.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  60. Patrick, Pennsylvania

    How about being burnt out from all of the school I must have to be competitive in this economy? I have a bachelors degree, a masters degree, and I'm completing an international fellowship funded by the government- with no guarantee for a job after. I'm sure the education debt will burn through me before any career has a chance to even start doing that!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  61. Rick S

    I've always suspected what this study reports, and I do feel like a member... when I was working until recently. However, I don't know what benefit this study really provides. Ask any executive or manager if they care whether their employees are getting burnt out. They don't. They know if you won't work 50-60 hrs a week, there's a line of people on the street who will. In this job market, we're relegated to whatever an employer wants to inflict upon us or risk losing our homes and everything else. Since I'm not independently wealthy, there's not much choice for me.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

    Melt down in more like it when you are 77 yrs. female self employed.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  63. john

    No Jack, I feel that I'm part of the "Oh my god, look what we've become generation." This generation needs a good education MORE than ever!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  64. Ken in NC

    No Jack. My former employer told us we were going to work harder for less or hit the highway. Many of us hit the highway. Poor employer couldn't find qualified people so they hired most of us back at a higher rate of pay because they had to pay for our max. experience. LOL.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  65. Julie Hatt

    Yes, We are being worked to death . It is unfair . My husband and I both work and we are barely making it. We had a debt counsler tell us to make our 16 year old get a Job .......We are all slaves to the big Money in this country

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  66. Ryan, IL

    I cannot remember the last time I worked only 40 hours but I do not feel worn out, I feel needed.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  67. Brian

    I work 2 jobs 60hours and am looking for another. Im not burned out im on too much to caffene, redbull and those little red drinks to keep me awake. Just because I cant keep my hands still and require sleeping pills to go to bed dont mean nothing. Ant life Great!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  68. Derek, CT

    Staying fresh in our jobs is our own responsibility. Be resourceful, be positive and add value. I also work long days (more than 10 hours). The way I stay on my game is to keep fit and hit the gym at least 4 times a week. Up at 5:30 AM!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  69. John Dickey

    Thre are simple solutions to this.
    1. Start saving early for the years when you won't be on a regular payroll.
    2. Develop more than one vocation (something serious that you wish to do).
    3. Don't be afraid of moving on. Take advantage of the opportunity to do something else.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  70. Brian

    Absolutely. I work 14-16 hours a day, 6 days a week, and own my own business. I work my tail off, but it's by my own choice. The pay is good, but I'm suffering from burnout. I've been living out of hotels for the last 3.5 years. I have no family, but lots of friends all over the country, so that helps. When I did have a girlfriend for 3 months, it did seem less stressful, but she didn't want to travel, and I'm not ready for kids (I'm 34 and have always been single). I'm happy to have a six figure salary, but want to do something more meaningful for society. I'm currently investing in several start up companies using my own cash, and hope to create more jobs down here in Texas.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  71. Michael Ripoll

    Burnout!! Are you kidding me! People who are employed should be happy they are working. Think of the other alternative before you start complaining of burnout.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  72. John from Albany

    I'm burned out from working dead end jobs while getting my masters and post masters, even dipped my foot into a year of law school... im now 29 and work two $10 an hour jobs because I can't get an interview for anything reasonable. not only am I a member of the burnt out generation, but we're also a lost generation as well.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  73. Rick C.

    My job (mid level tech support) paid 18.00 (if you were good) in 2001.
    In 2010 that same job (under a government contract) paid 18.00 an hour.

    In 2011, employers are taking advantage of the market and that same job pays 12.00 an hour.

    Guess its time to start all over again. What fun!!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  74. Chris in WI

    What burns me out is the lack of truth and integrity in our society in general. In business, in politics, hell with each other!

    Deals used to get done with a handshake because your word meant something. Nobody believes ANYTHING the politicians say anymore and that's just sad.

    So am I burnt out? Yes, burnt out on caring about the future of this once great nation knowing that the leaders only care about their corporate donors and re-election efforts.

    Our founding fathers would be so ashamed of what we have become.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  75. vernita

    Yes of course, I am!!! I have worked with my company for 19 years and may have to work another 19 the way things are going Burnout!! More like burnt in. You said lucky to have a job ... I don't know if it is iucky or in purgatory rather than hell.... who knows?

    July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  76. Patrick in Boston

    Jack, yes. Not even to 30 years of age I feel burnt out doing the same mindless job 40 plus hours a week. I can only imagine what I might feel like in 20 years. I don't feel like being burnt out is a modern phenomenon though.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  77. Robert Mullins

    Yes I am burnt-out. Thirty years of sell-outs at GM and the CEOs / POLITITIONS I have lost faith in the American way. The burn-out syndrome has replaced the American Dream...

    July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  78. Dan Hite

    Burn-out syndrome really? I say if you have a job you better be working at it because there is another person right behind you ready to pounce given the opportunity. It's kinda the American way to hate your job. I say suck it up and think about your families and not so much about yourself. Make sacrifices, work hard and find ways to make your job enjoyable. I always tell myself "things have a way of working themselves out with a little thinking and hard work." I hate my job too but I hate not having bill money more.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  79. Ron

    I'm a tech and on the road 270 days a year,and work 6 days a week.
    I'm not burnt out, I'm carbon and a little more pressure and I'll turn into a diamond

    July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  80. John Laurence

    Hey Jack. My Uncle is without doubt a member of the burnt-out generation, but I have to tell his story because he works too much to ever have the time to tell you about it. He's a cop who's always worked as much overtime as possible, and often would only get about 15 or 20 hours of sleep per week. With a stay at home wife, three kids, two who've dropped out of college (and left him with the debt), two houses (one in foreclosure), and his job cutting back his overtime in these hard times, he's back to taking any jobs he can find to get by... bar bouncing, carpet cleaning... you name it. I worry about the man. Tell his story. Later Jack.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  81. Martine Cameau

    I was called "quite the multi-tasker" by the nurses taking my vitals after the delivery of my son, because I was working on my laptop within 24 hours of his birth. Left hand on the keyboard, right arm attached to a blood pressure machine, breast pump attached to my chest. You bet I'm part of the burnt-out generation. Constantly working and afraid to turn down work. And not making enough to properly employ a staff to help me.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  82. Muhammad Ahsan-Baton Rouge,LA

    Ofcource we are. with foreclosures, unemployment, prices high, and a huge national debt where else would we be? a person has to work 3 times as hard to pay bills that would normally had been 6 times less a few years back...lets hope it gets better soon...

    July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  83. Stephanie Angelos

    I was born and raised in the midwest farming country where many work seven days a week. I didn't experience a good economy until I moved to a large city in the Pacific NW when I was in my 30's. My husband thought he was about five years from retirement and now it's more like 10 or 15, thanks to our gov't who keeps trying to "fix" things. The idea that working 40 hrs a week is a hardship seems a little childish. It's great to have a job you enjoy but many of us don't. So what? As my husband told our son..."That why they call is WORK. instead of fun. If you aren't happy, aspire to something better. That's the great thing about America. At least for now, we have the freedom to better ourselves. THAT is the American dream, I'm tired of the whining and everyone thinking they have to start at the top without earning their way or that it's the gov't's job to make sure we have everything.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  84. Dr. Dan Campbell


    I have taught on the college level for twenty years at the same job, making less than thirty thousand, and feel whipped. I am now too old to work two jobs, which I used to do. I agree working too long at the same job doing what others tell me is physically and psychologically exhausting. The Spanish researchers were right. I feel my life has become a monotonous, meaningless bore, like Rupert Murdoch's.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  85. Charlie Mandelli

    Totally burned out with a job.
    No Paid Vacation. No Benefits. No assurance I'm even gonna make money next week the way I am paid, so it's stressful and tough. Wife even works and loves her job but it pays like crap, no raises, and she won't ask for one. Adult kids living at home, one working, one a problem costing me a bundle.
    We don't make enough to cover our bills even after cutting everything back, cutting up all credit cars. etc and have to dip into retirement finds that are rapidly dwindling.
    Time for God to come and get me and get me outta here. Not looking forward to the golden years at all.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  86. Wise One

    Burnt out generation is simply a product of the obese generation effect. Americans(especially seniors) are getting fatter and are bombarded by fast food. We already know this, yet we can't stop to think what we put in our body fuels our cells and brain. It also affects your mood. Even those that think they are eating healthy don't realize that cooking your veggies kills half of the nutrients! Organic farms are struggling to make it as government and drug pharma continue to collect the money. When will the media ever turn to the truth? Money and capitalism has certainly made us fat. Now, we have become lazy, fat, and broke. It's no wonder we owe so much to China. They eat better, work harder, and live within their means. What a utopic society, right?

    July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  87. Joe CE

    I an amember of the greatest generation – no burnt out, just very discouraged.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  88. Mindy VanKeuren

    Yes, I am thankful to have a job, but there is only so much one can do in 8 hrs. They do away with jobs, down grade jobs especially the ones that are front line or customer service but there is always money for the top people to get a grade hike. I work for the federal government and sometimes I feel as though they are not fair to the ones who have been there many years and have worked hard. All they want to do is pile on more work and expect it to get done. Where are the priorities any more!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  89. Lynne Calton

    My husband I are both burned out in the name of "productivity". It seems more action items are expected in job performance with less rewards. We both learned a work ethic of hard work and loyalty to your employer. Unfortunately, there is no job security regardless of performance, our government keeps raising the retirement age and who can plan for retirement anyway! For all we know, our government will find a way to take our 401k's too! We are wedged between elderly parents with health issues and young married children struggling financially. Burned out is an understatment!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  90. Stranger

    Burned out? I DON’T get married and have NO children so I don’t subject anyone to what my life has become. I know what it’s like to HATE my job, but feel trapped because there is NOTHING else! And then, it finally happens… you get fired. Not once, but twice from two different companies within six months and then to be unemployed for another six months. Yes, I was burned out, unhappy, and depressed. I started to skip the news entirely, and search for cartoons to cheer me up. I was unemployed for only six months (this is a sad fact when you think about it… “I was unemployed for ONLY SIX months…”), and now I am looking forward to my new job. I am in training now and will be deploying at the end of August. I am Counter IED and I am more proud than you can possibly imagine. Now I am SCARED TO DEATH those a-holes here in Washington will mess it up for me and not get the debt crisis figured out in time. Contractors are always the first to go. Our G.I.s can’t go without us. We keep them safe. You are the media, please help us. You are doing great with keeping the pressure on. Please keep it on and don’t let up. My safety nets are depleted and I know I’m not alone…

    July 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  91. Bob in Florida

    Burnout Syndrome manifests itself by increasingly more dead brain cells. Every time a brain cell dies, a hair falls out....Oh, oh Jack!!! Well, at least Wolf doesn't have to worry about it.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  92. mark b, lebanon ohio

    hell yes, evreyday. been working since 1967, born 1958

    July 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  93. Tia F.

    Today, those who are lucky enough to have a job are pushed to the point of exhaustion. The employers know how many people are unemployed and they keeping pushing their employees to the maximum... to the employer's benefit as they watch their bank accounts grow beyond belief. The possibility of burn out becoming an epidemic is a reality of today's world. Today, the normal work day is 10, 12 and in some cases 14 hour days! And, the employee had better not get sick ~ they might get fired. Shame on employers! God bless the employees – this is going to be a long hard road.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  94. Molly

    Hi Jack
    Yes, I do feel very much burned out. I worked nearly round the clock (literally) at a hospital during a large consolidation effort about 10 years ago. I was challenged, I was trusted, and I never felt so "on top of my game". Ten years certainly makes a difference age-wise, but now I find myself starting over at nearly 60 years of age after taking a job in another state and finding it was cookie-cutter work – I was bored, unchallenged, and became depressed. On top of moving and leaving all my friends and family in another state for this "great opportunity", my whole world fell apart. I became severly depressed and felt isolated. I lost my job and nearly lost everything over the last 6 months. I'm having a hard time finding work even tho my mental health has greatly improved. Financially, I have gone thru every dime I have and have no idea how I will pay the bills next week. But I'm not as depressed about that as I was over making the wrong choice at a critical turn in my life. My confidence shattered, I don't know if I will ever be the worker I used to be. I've even questioned whether I am a "good person" because how does this happen to a "good person"? I am living testimony to how important satisfying work is to our psyche. And how detrimental it can be when its not. Horrible feeling.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  95. Steve

    NO! I'm a 67 year old engineer. I love what I do and plan to keep at it until I drop in my tracks. I'm sorry for those that can't find work but unfortunately there are too many people that trained for jobs that just aren't there anymore.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  96. Joyce

    Definitely! I am 58, unemployed since 2008 and unemployment benefits running out. No one is hiring people my age and no one is talking about this problem in our country. My retirement money is gone and the future looks pretty bleak. Am I burned out? YOU BET! By the way, I am getting $198/wk in unemployment and I have to pay taxes. And yet, the rich feel threatened if they are asked to pay higher taxes–give me a break!!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  97. Mark Michigan

    Burnt out and Taxed out.......but the poor billionaire's got to keep their tax cut's ....Just raise my fellow middle class taxes a little more ....don't want the billionaire's to suffer none

    July 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  98. Jonathan

    I've only been working in my current federal government job for a year, but I already feel like part of the burnt out generation – must be the great energy required to deal through the tremendously daunting bureaucracy.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  99. Ozzie R. TX

    2 words. Syndrome Smyndrom. Spain must have something better to do. These are no brainers. If you do the same task for 60 hours a week for 16 years you get burned out. Most people don't do that. Untill a couple of years ago jobs were pretty easy to find. I don't believe my generation is burned out. We are smart enough to do something we enjoy. However if we don't create some jobs soon, this could become a problem. Thanks Jack.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  100. mathgranny

    Definitely part of the burnt out crowd. I've been teaching in the same school for 17 years.

    I often spend 10 to 12 hours a day at the school being available for students, but feel pretty unappreciated when a student complains that I am available to help at a time convenient for her and the administration sympathizes with the student.

    I definitely struggle to maintain a caring attitude and a positive outlook.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  101. Jeffrey

    A SPANISH STUDY? You must be kidding...those bums that like playing in the sun, drinking tinto while vacationing for 5 weeks! THEY ARE NOT AMERICANS!
    How can they make any study if they don't have any abilities whatsoever like we do?
    They are totally unable to be so efficient as we are after our hard worked 60+ hours per week!!!!!
    Just kidding.
    10 years ago I did retire early, moved to a pristine beach in Brazil and live the simplest life you can imagine with just one principle in mind: "today as the last day of my life".
    Do you want to know what I think about the banksters of Wall Street? or those 400 zillioners that earn the equivalent of 1/2 the Country?

    I thought so.

    Good luck to us...

    July 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  102. mike

    I'm not burned out...just dazed and confused like most americans.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  103. Michael C, Las Vegas NV


    After a company re organisations, and 18 years in the professional audio industry, I found myself with no choice but to look toward other avenues for employment.
    One would think the vacation ownership industry would be a great opportunity where executives/upper management would promote a positive work environment? Far from the truth. We as vacation counselors, we must exude a positive family experience. However, everyday each representative that walks the door of the resort is either subject to "rule by intimidation" tactics and verbal beratement. Not to mention, threats of being "fired" on a daily basis!?!? If this type of work environment wouldn't be considered to be "BURNED OUT", than I don't know what would be?????

    July 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  104. stefanie girlfriend of a railroader

    burn-out syndrome is nothing new... railroaders work between 60 and 84 hours a week ...retirement on average is 30 to 45 years of service ...they have noting left for family and friends...modern day slavery

    July 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  105. Hd


    I know a thing or two about burnout. I have to work longer and harder for less every year. On Friday nights I am too tired to think about doing anything for fun.

    I have been on more issues for over 24 hours straight than I care to count. If I do manage a 48 hour week, well, then I fall behind. When I get home I turn on the news only to see that on the whole we elect empty headed people to make our laws.

    Your next question ought to be "what the he'll is wrong with this country"

    July 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  106. Judith_NY

    I used to be, but I retired from my secretarial job 10 years ago and now I'm farming. I sure don't make much money, but I love what I do, and I'm in better shape than I was as a secretary. No longer burnt out. I look forward to every day and plan to live forever 'cause life's too good to leave.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  107. Nancy Bearg

    Work burnout is a huge problem, especially in this economy because those who are working are also doing work of people laid off in downsizing. Stress is high in all generations, including mine (Baby Boomer). I hope people find a way to take a break from work to reboot and revitalize. Some employers already offer it. This could be the way to stave off the epidemic of burnout and bad health that you mentioned.

    Nancy Bearg
    Washington DC

    July 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |