Coping: Crooked “Holiday” Thinking

Health and Environment:  This is a terrible morning.  Not because I have another week to go before my endodontic/walletectomy consultant can fix my bothersome tooth.  And, no, not because is snowed on a good part of the Northeast delivering the White Christmas. (Tho’ a nice touch…)

What makes it terrible is that it’s a short enough work-week to verge on uselessness.  Sure, the stock market will be open “regular hours” but the bond traders get to be the Long Island Expressway rush Friday by blowing out at 2 PM.  But, mainly thre week’s a drag because everyone’s “head” will be anywhere but “in the game.

In other words, for people in semi-routine jobs (planning, software, accounting, and that sort of thing), this will likely be the week with the highest error rates of the year and lowest quality output.  For a number of reasons…

(Continues below)

 

For one, people will be talking way too much.  I don’t mind a bit of social chit-chat, but from my time in the “cube farm” regions, often, the worst aspect of the job wasn’t the actual labor:  It was listening to boring, unwanted, time-wasting blatherspeak from people who just “have to share.

Gush not, bore not.

After-Christmas Grinchly of me?  Yeah, maybe.  But Ure’s truly is deadly-serious when working.  I am a work hard, play hard, study hard, focus, focus, focus type.  Even on Christmas morning, my to-do list and it had sixteen items on it. Of those, BTW, getting the turkey loaded for the bake was #12. I thought about putting “Relax” in as item #17 but thought it a bit OCD.

Sure, if you work at a job where “the score” doesn’t result in any change to your paycheck, chat away.  But in sales (my forte) there was (and is) ALWAYS something to do that can bump-up your batting average – and that batting average is directly related to income.

I could go on about time-wasters at work (and how everyone’s compensation should be tied to business success) but I’d be preaching to an empty church.  Especially today.

Second main reason this week’s a waste has to do with late arrivals, early departures, and ridiculously long lunches.  In many companies, what is nominally an 8 hour work day turns into a couple of hours at best.

Third?  Well, let’s just say my list goes on for quite a ways, but I don’t to break your holiday cheer, if I haven’t already.

Instead, I offer a modest proposal:

THE NATIONAL VACATION WEEKS

Idea’s simple enough:  Since no one really works (except fire, police, medical, military, and such) why not just close down the whole country for 9-days at the end of the year?

I mean EVERYTHING.

No mail.  (Means no bills will arrive)

No Banking.  (Means no hold-ups and ATM’s will run out, which would remind people that there is only a fairytale appearance of unlimited plenty in the world without people actually working. Works gets a terrible bad-rap from the lazy and the young…if you can distinguish.)

No regular work: (Means there will be HUGE savings on gasoline and diesel and the roads will be vacant for all but recreational travelers.  Could infrastructure last 4% longer?

Sure,, there will be problems with it:  But what’s the point of Making America Great Again if all we get is another 2,200 hour work-year and a few crumbs for the effort?

I have a sneaking suspicion that like the mythical Social Security increases (all but $10-bucks of which was eating up by Medicare going up for us), when comes down to it, time-off is a lot more useful to people than an office party.

I mean, if we want to talk entitlements, this is something the LLL (lousy liberal left) ought to throw its arms around.  Why, two 9-day National Vacations a year (one over the week of the 4th of July, the other between Christmas and New Years) would give all those down-trodden working poor, a chance to claim one of the real prizes in Life. Time off.

On the other hand, the RRR (repugnant repulsive right) could go for the idea, too…since it would end all the vacation discussions in comp packages and would let RRR’s claim it’s all thanks to their party. In other words, if the idea takes off, both parties will claim credit, and if it doesn’t work?  The other party is to blame.  It’s a winning political football.

I know you have many “happy returns” to get out of the way over lunch, or when you do the 4 o’clock slide today, so we’re tightly focused.

Think about it: National Holidays: Each  9 days in length, twice a year.  18-days of people time.

America is almost 250-years old. Isn’t it about time we start acting like dignified adults?  And take more time off?

Holiday Communication Overhead

If you were thinking of calling us to tell me how your holiday went, here’s my thought-process  so you’re warned in advance:

If you had a great time, I will ask you: “So, why weren’t we invited?”

And if you had a crappy time, I’ll ask  “Why are you telling me this?  I wasn’t there…so why does it matter?

Hope Elaine answers, not me.

I believe ALL communications overhead by 2/3rd’s by applying “Ure’s Law of Direct Communications.”

This law says “Only deal with the person you’re dealing with – NOT THIRD PARTIES.”  Jeez, that’d be the end of FB, wouldn’t it?  Ibid tweets.

Under Ure’s Law, you could call and say “I had a very nice Christmas and I appreciate the check you sent…”

But,, my patience ends with conversations that go…  “I had a very nice Christmas except my (brother, sister, mother, father, uncle, aunt so-and-so, and Trump and….whozzit… did this…and THEY (someone else on the list) did that and...Did I tell you about so & so? OMG they….”  (See all the excess verbiage?  Verbiage is time.  Time is money.  You can figure it from there.)

A lawyer would third-party references hearsay?  Circle back to “If it mattered, you’d invite us…OR.  If I wasn’t there, does it matter?  Doubly- especially if I have direct contact with the mentioned people being reported on?”

My life is complicated enough dealing with people one-on-one.  Spare me third-party damage reports…Let’s you and me focus on the two key people in our conversations and emails:

You and me.

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Comments

Coping: Crooked “Holiday” Thinking — 18 Comments

  1. Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and misfortune of others.Our own share of miseries is sufficient,why enter then as volunteers into those of another. Jefferson in his grinchy years.

      • Also. No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.To myself it brings nothing but increasing drudgery and the daily loss of friends. I wonder what Trump musings will make it to az quotes.

  2. In Europe, the normal yearly vacation time is six weeks.

    In China, they have two long holidays. National day fires off Golden week in October. Chinese New Year is the first day of Spring Festival and that runs for 14 days. Most people are off work for these celebrations.

    Regarding OM2 and his suggestion of 4/10, some counties in New Mexico have their employees on this schedule. It seems to work. I’ve worked 5/10 and 6/10, but never 4/10.

    I still think there’s a place for the office party, IF they let outsiders crash, and IF we understand that rules will be broken and what happens stays there. If you’re married, don’t go unless you go together.

  3. Here in China, the first week of October is called Golden Week, and it’s a national holiday for the entire week. Shops close, banks close, but not retail. When I lived in Germany, Christmas was a two-week vacation period where most everyone stayed home and rested. We really are missing out with what the rest of the world does.

  4. George;
    At white sands Missile range they do 9 hour days for 5 days monday thru friday next week monday thru thursday so get every other weekend is a 3 day weekend. Many people love that schedule too..

  5. I think (and have for some time) that many industries should go to a 4/10 work week. That is, four 10-hour days and a 3 day weekend.

    In my industry, we already have to deal with the service companies working 8-5 M-f while the clients (oil companies) work 6-3 M-f and that Friday is essentially half a day. Nobody gets much done on Friday other than to prep for things to maintain over the weekend.

    My son has been working this way for several years, and it is less stressful – less commuting, less disruption in actual completion of work tasks and the three day weekend actually allows for a trip on the weekend or some serious hobbies or chores.

    Outside of retail, this could likely work just fine. Within retail, things will be changing anyway due to the Amazon model. I think what may well evolve is a brick&mortar distribution store to pickup online purchases. Within the brick&mortar would be seriously competent “wizards” for complex items, like digital controlled items or digital items. That way some level of customer service exists outside of a warehouse type operation.

    The best thing about online is that for many things, you do not actually need a sales person. Yet for things where knowledgeable sales persons are beneficial, the brick&mortar is the only place to find help that speaks native english and has the background knowledge.

    The closest existing model to this is the Apple Store, and while I am not a fan of I-tech (except their computers), their model of buy online and pick up same day at the local store seems to be the best hybrid, and reduces that final shipping leg of Amazon, which is the most expensive anyway.

    Now, that type of retail could easily work 4-10 hour days and 3 day weekends – so we all save gas, reduce commutes and gain 3-day weekends.

    • god..Boy was I in the wrong business.. we couldn’t and they still can’t take a whole five days off for vacation. They hire in the point.. point ten says they will guarantee you ten working days every two weeks most are point one to point five. I was a point five. full time but only guaranteed five days. I took two days off vacation the next payday I got my check and nothing on it for the days I was on vacation you see I worked my five days..in the end I was giving two weeks of vacation to coworkers that were out sick.. and because I worked for a company that let you bank your vacation I had a six month vacation built up and almost three years of sick time… LOL LOL LOL I have heard that now they have done away with the banking of vacation pay to more than six weeks the same with sick time.. and they did away with all retirement funds.. right now they have a mandatory schedule. You can’t call in.. if you call in you are in essence telling them your quitting. you can’t ask for days off and you can’t schedule a vacation until further notice.
      high pay for the position I had is still at fourteen dollars an hour most are making ten to twelve I only have met or know one person that makes the top she has been there for almost forty years now and if it wasn’t because she has so much time in they would get rid of her because she is at top wage.

    • And you wouldn’t actually need a staff or online because you could have like a Google search for any questions about the product and about how to use the product and also you’ll find different ideas and suggestions that will improve the demand for a Google type source who may not be too busy to answer your questions and who may have more answers than you have questions that’s what I see could happen

    • For all its size Amazon is 10 or so % of retail sales. Their effect appears to be the scope, interlocking pieces, and willingness to take a lower margin to drive growth. Ordering from a warehouse and picking up at a location was a thing Mongomery Wards did…..say, where are THEY now?

    • Quite a few hospitals here in the PNW actually have their nursing staff on 3/12 work week- that is 3 days together, not spread out. Have been in the hospital when nursing staff is at the end of their 3/12 shifts- and I fully understand why they are tired and cranky by that time….

  6. Before your let your dentist (any dentist!) near your mouth, do yourself a favor and read “The Toxic Tooth” and/or “The Roots of Disease”, both available from Amazon.

  7. george if possible open mouth and use red leds on it. Have had some amazing results with the red lts. Sometimes 20 30 mins. Good luck

  8. I don’t know if it’s still current, but wasn’t there a study a few years back about who are ‘supposed’ to be the happiest people in the world? And sir, didn’t the ‘Danes’ win? And here you are doing your “Alas poor Yorick, I knew him” routine?

    When I was working I liked short weeks – same amount of nonsense packed into a shorter time frame – things weren’t so static – and since ‘the boss’ usually their mind focused on other things – not so much hassle.

    Bah humbug!

  9. Sounds like your tooth is making you a little grumpy today. Don’t forget the stock market is open today. A short position in the near future may be profitable. Not sure if it will be Jan or Feb & have not checked the charts yet which probably won’t tell me anything new. I will be looking forward to Peoplenomics chart day tomorrow & any new insights you may have noticed about the markets. Don’t let your tooth slow you down.

  10. Like your “End of the Year” 9 days! Having been there and worn out the T shirt, I agree. Do hope that all is well and a Healthy New Year to all.