23-Jun-2007

Saturday musings

Recently I met a friend who complained about how bad work was. However, she smiled and added that she had a secret weapon to keep her morale up. Every Monday morning she just tells herself ‘It is only till Friday. It cannot be bad’. No, she is not one of those corny people who read Chicken Soup books and see the positive side of things. It is just that in her earlier job she had to work 6 days a week, sometimes spilling into 7. It was not a glamorous, highly paid job. But the nature of the job demanded that she give it that kind of time.

I immediately thought of those long hard years of my life (admittedly only six) when I had to work 5.5 days a week. In my first job, Saturday was a holiday and you could come in if you had work. Unfortunately it turned out that everybody had work on Saturdays and hence came it. Infact everybody had work till 11 p.m. everyday and had work on all days of the year except Sundays. This meant they did not even taken any vacations. All this of course looks suspiciously like people were really inefficient or the work culture mandated that people ‘should be seen to be working hard’. Most times, the truth was there was some work or the other. And the rest of the times you turned up so you did not look like the only one without enough work to do. When I moved to my second job, atleast there were no pretences about Saturday being a holiday. You had to come in on Saturdays and bear the yoke.

All this changed last year when my office decided to give Saturdays off. So these days, I wake up at 11 a.m. on Saturdays, potter about the house nibbling at food, reading the newspapers and checking mail. By lunchtime, I have mustered the strength to have a full, wholesome meal. After this effort I need to rest with a quick nap. Evenings I go out for a walk or watch a movie. Then I go to bed thinking ‘I can do the same thing again tomorrow!’ Though more often than not, on Sundays I have the energy to go out and meet people, do shopping, read more serious stuff, pursue some hobby and think about what I want to do in life. Earlier on my Sundays used to be like my Saturdays and by the time I rested and recuperated, Mondays would be upon me. Life would be one constant blur with just one long sleep day in between.

Anyone who works Saturdays ought to seriously think about it – is it really worth it?

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