This isn’t really a new concept; the 40 hour work week, specifically the five 8-hour days, is very much an American invention, and in many parts of the world it’s not the norm. What gave me pause in thinking about this was how it is impacted by the growing wealth inequality, again especially in the US, but globally as well. It’s easy for me, someone with a cushy software-engineering job, to be all for shorter work-weeks. The tech industry, as with many white-color jobs, are salaried and many of them have very loose working hours. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least half my peers don’t already work essentially what amounts to a 32-hour workweek already. I’ve said many times, to anyone who would listen, that I would easily take decrease in pay to have he option of having every Friday off. I have been, however, rethinking this mindset recently.
With cities becoming more and more unlivable(except for the wealthy elite) and in fact, the San Francisco Bay area having 1 in 11,000 people being a Billionaire, I’m finding it harder and harder to justify advocating for more of my own personal freedom, but instead thinking about the people who choose to work 40(50,60 maybe 80) hour weeks because they have to. There’s no end to the list of reasons people are already working longer work-weeks beyond it just being the status quo. Maybe they’re struggling to make ends meet in these ever increasing expensive cities. Maybe they grew up in poverty, and can’t escape the mindset that they could return there someday no matter how much money they have. Maybe they think their career will provide them the satisfaction that social media promises is just around the next corner.</p>
I’m not going to provide any solutions because, well I don’t have any. But I am going to start try and reframe my ideas of my ideal workweek experience.
What I’ve been watching
Dear White People This is the TV series based on the movie of the same name. This show has the luxury of being able to film in and around UCLA and it really helps sell the atmosphere of being at a real university. The the dramatic tension built up here is fantastic, and the episode directed by Barry Jenkins is one of my favorite pieces of television.
What I've been reading
Circe A classic re-imagining of Greek lore! I really liked this book and devoured it right up. If you like Grecian myth, witches, or love stories, I would recommend this to you.