Skip to content

Is this the best we can do?

"One day the bottom will drop out."-B.Marley Some things simply aren't discussed.

"One day the bottom will drop out."-B.Marley

Some things simply aren't discussed. Like why is a funny bone funny, do inflatable gorillas really sell more cars, and who decided we should work five days on with only two off?

This last one is a particular britches burner that inevitably leads to frustration and shouting of ol' timey phrases like "What in Sam Hill is going on here? You're telling me, we can pretend to put a man on the moon yet we can't have more than 48 hours a week to live? That there is a load of pucky."

This isn't just new parent talk either. Granted, the gargantuan time suck that is an extra mouth to feed, clothe, and entertain certainly highlights the lack of living time in a week. Yet even those untethered by munchkins know that two days off is not enough to do the chores and actually rest.

The majority of people work minimum 80 hours and the schedule is always the same. Get up go to work, get home, get ready for tomorrow's work, fall asleep to a movie started too late. Traditionally this takes five days until the fridge is bare, leaving you 48 hours for the things on your procrastination list like groceries, housework, yard work, and paperwork. Then, just as you have time to raise your feet, you realize you work tomorrow and you have just enough time to get lunch ready.

Is this why we exist? Isn't there a better way? A shorter week makes sense when you think how productive everyone is after a long weekend. Since traditionally the first day of the work week is a slog and at the end everyone is burned out with their minds on the race to the weekend.

Henry Ford knew this and he also knew it was a tough sell: "If people have a shorter work week production will be sped up because the people consume more in their leisure than in their working time. This will lead to more work, more profits and more wages. The result of more leisure will be the exact opposite of what most people might suppose."

Unfortunately this is one of those huge social shift projects that will never get the approval of those making millions on the status quo. The last few decades have seen absolutely Jetson-like advancements in almost every sector. From the leaf blower to computers, these tools should have allowed us to finish work far faster for more leisure. Instead, it simply increased the amount of work we were expected to accomplish in the same time, leaving only those at the top of the corporate pyramid scheme to benefit. The average working stiff barely has time to admire the uppercrusts' bling and shiny trophy SUVs that scream "Nya-nya, I have more money than you, nya-nya-nya."

Until the day we collectively wake up, I suppose I'll just continue clinging to the hope that only an unchecked lotto ticket can bring.