When Your Work Ethic Lets You Down

“American Works,” circa 1860. From the collections of The Henry Ford.

My sister and I throw around the acronym DPPWE: “It’s 6:30 and I’m still at work, cause DPPWE,” or “I’m technically off today but finishing this report from home — thanks, DPPWE.”

DPPWE stands for “Damn Parents’ Protestant* Work Ethic,” part of the set of values our parents instilled in us as children. This specific grouping includes the understanding that you should always do the best job you can, that…