Wednesday, September 23, 2009


WHO NEEDS OXYMORONS?


The three-day weekends plus Wednesdays off I've been enjoying since my "retirement" have convinced me (as if I've ever felt any doubt about it) that the three-day workweek is ideal for the various aspects to which life in fact pertains, such as lying back and looking at the clouds, forgetting what day it is, dozing off, picking an apple before or during that task you've set for yourself...

A five-day workweek, in disturbingly stark contrast, leaves only two seemingly half-hour days in which to make work appear to have been worthwhile only as a means of getting you to this gasp of a weekend, but it just isn't enough, it just doesn't work out: by the time you slip at last into the near-realization that you're actually not working, you've got to get back to work! That makes a five-day workweek basically indistinguishable from a seven-day workweek, which is the same as death unless you live to work, which is a big oxymoron, like a former boss of mine.

I think we'd all agree, if we weren't so busy at the moment or late for work or running for a bus or getting a license or something equally mazy, that we all need more time in which to ponder and create methods by which to minimize the noxious need for 'gainful' employment, thereby leaving us free to enjoy what is clearly the most important thing in life: i.e., life itself, in all its measures, not just from here to the office-- which enjoyment is, as I see it, the prod that gets us going to work at all, so that maybe now and then we can do a little living.

Trouble is, it takes about 40 years of jobsurvival to at last get even a taste of that freedom, if you do it like everyone else does, which bureaucracies, corporations and governments simply love everyone to do. And by then, if you do make it, you've lost that youthful glow, and totter into your hard-earned freedom leaning on a cane. I got there quicker by living first and working later.

And on the basis of my experience, I hereby formally propose the universal three-day workweek as the solution to the growing problems of unemployment and less-than fully-lived lives, as well as to those outrageous executive pay packages. Moderate employment for everyone, and a moderate salary, for a small workweek and a large life, fillable with the actually good things.

Think those big oxymorons will ever stop to listen to an apple-eating fellow who spends so much time looking at clouds?

4 comments:

wgaw said...

yes, yes and yes

Frankie said...

Hello,

I live near Milan, Italy, but I know many retired people that don't know what to do with their spare time. Actually retired people that want to work part-time are penalized and not encouraged. I think people in pension feel useless to society. I think that's a bad thing. I heard that in Japan the government is encouraging retired people with skills (artisan realted jobs) to teach youth people. I think that is well possible also here in Italy. The sindicates brainwash people making them belive that reaching the pension is the ultimate goal. I believe pension should not even exist. By the way, I still have to work 20 years to reach the so-called pension of paradise. Take care. Francesco

Maggie said...

Three days with benefits....yes. Retirement is heaven here. But did I miss an episode where you officially retreated to three days a week?

R. Brady said...

wgaw, thanks for your positivity!

Frankie, I agree with you completely; retirement is an artifice that should be done away with, and natural time flexibility reintroduced. What a waste, all that experience! Unless of course the person can't wait to get out of the job, which is even worse...that should be changed, too; a 3-day week might be just the thing. As you say, they are turning it around in Japan, in many ways. I hope something fulfilling awaits you, 20 years from now...

Hi, Maggie-- I went on the 3-day schedule a couple years before I started this blog; I don't think I would have had the time, otherwise...