Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Split in Half

Posted by hyperpat on August 29, 2006

Americans are lazy. Everyone says so. And they also work more hours than the average Japanese. Huh?

This dichotomy seems to be caused by several factors. First is the tendency of many Americans, when the work day is done, to become instant couch potatoes when they get home. They rarely read anything, they don’t bother to get involved in their local community, they don’t investigate the latest political issues and candidates, few vote, and many display an abysmal ignorance of what’s happening in the world. The TV has become their god.

But when they get up in the morning, and hidey-ho off to work, at least some of them transform into eager beavers, working steadily throughout the day, and at least sometimes going well beyond the ‘normal’ end of the work day to make sure that project is finished, that all the files are updated, that the ‘to-do’ list has every item scratched out. At least some of this is due to the attitude of the management: if you don’t perform at 110%, you’re likely to be on your way out. And job security is something that seems to be very precious to most Americans. And there is still some of that ‘Yankee work ethic’ hanging out there in the cultural milieu.

Seems to me there needs to be a better balance between the two halves of people’s lives. More fun in the workplace, at a less hectic pace, and more attention paid to what you can and should do at home. Maybe we should have a national week where all the TV broadcasts are turned off, and a mandated 20 hour work week during that same week. I wonder what the effect would be?

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