Saturday, May 25, 2013

Is The 3-Day Weekend in Danger?

It's Memorial Day weekend, and time to consider the traditional opening of summer.  For the most part, schools are out, many Americans are laying-back and enjoying the privileges and comforts of life, but for many of us, it's just another day, or three days, depending on your perspective.  Police, firefighters, medical personnel, soldiers and sailors, they're all standing the line.  As are the guys who work at the myriad businesses that stay open, increasingly, on a 24/7 basis.
Meanwhile, government data from 2011 says 35 percent of us work on weekends, and those who do average five hours of labor, often without compensation—or even a thank you. The other 65 percent were probably too busy to answer surveyors' questions.
And, for those of us who are ostensibly "off work" this weekend, there is always that leash that ties us to our employer, the smartphone.  This device tugs at our belt, keeps us connected to the outside world, hampers our free time, and intrudes on our personal lives in ways that we don't often realize.
 "It's like an arms race … everything is an emergency," said Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for Reboot, an organization trying help people unplug more often. "We have created an expectation in society that people will respond immediately to everything with no delay. It's unhealthy, and it's unproductive, and we can't keep going on like this."
Like most of us, my smartphone is at my side almost constantly.  The convenience of having it on my belt is also a hindrance, because people can get in touch with me.  In our increasingly connected lives, finding time to decompress is increasingly difficult, because we're always connected.  Many companies and agencies buy smartphones for their employees, with the expectation that the employee will answer the phone if called.  That's a burden.  I'm fortunate that I don't have an agency phone.  I don't want the burden of being that  closely connected to the office.  Lots of folks don't have that choice.


Old NFO said...

Sadly true, and I'm as guilty as most...

Rivrdog said...

In States with a higher percentage of Government workers, the three-day weekend is in no danger at all. When times are tight, those workers have to take Furlough Days, and they've cleverly decided to attach those days-off to the present holidays, taking the preceeding Friday of every Monday-holiday weekend off, so now Government is off-duty for FOUR days every holiday weekend!

Gerry N. said...

In general, the more time Gov't is off duty the better. If only we could get the Fed.Gov to work only five days a week we'd be in better shape.