New Labor Department jobs report is out. Average work week is 33.8 hours. Geez, I easily work twice that some weeks, and never fewer than 50. What a life to work only 34—or even 40 […]
When reading that Gartner predicted the end of the 40-hour work, I assumed more hours. Not the case. The analyst firm proclaims the 20-year work week will come by 2015. Say that again?
“As the need to employ skilled staff from demographics unable or unwilling to work 40 hours a week increases, Gartner believes the ’20-hour-per-week job description’ will emerge—a role that can be successfully accomplished in half the normal time…Rather than a draconian measure to halve the working hours of all employees, the 20-hour job description, as suggested by Gartner, is an approach to help increase an organisation’s ability to attract and retain skilled and highly qualified workers”.
I am among the guilty.
Today’s New York Times story “The Rise of Shrinking-Vacation Syndrome” cites a startling statistic: “40 percent of consumers had no plans to take a vacation over the next six months—the lowest percentage recorded by the [Conference Board] in 28 years”. A May Gallup poll found that 43 percent of Americans planned no summer vacation. I’m among them.
This morning, as I stood in line at Wendy’s, something troubling occurred. The male manager—maybe store, maybe shift—slid his palm around one of the female cashier’s midriffs as he stepped around the counter and out into the restaurant. He slid his hand around her waist across her tummy. It was an affectionate touch, the kind a man might give a woman he loves. But she didn’t react as a lover might. Rather, she slightly stiffened, as did the casher next to her.
Of course, I observed a fleeting action, with very little context. But the touch troubled me. I left greatly concerned for both women and maybe others. For all I know, the boss is touchy with everyone, just a helluva friendly guy. But the cynic inside says there was more going on.
Are we all really so busy, that “the act of canceling a meeting or dinner date can constitute the most precious gift one busy professional can bestow on another”. That’s apparently the way of the modern business world, according to story, “Pencil It In Under ‘Not Happening’“, appearing in tomorrow’s New York Times.
“In an overscheduled world, are there any words more lovely than, ‘Can we reschedule?'” writes Alex Williams. I won’t deny that some cancelled meetings are cause for celebration. The Times quotes psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell: “With cellphones and BlackBerries, people are too reachable. We sign up for too much. So when fate intervenes, it’s better than found money. It’s found time“.