Work It

loverboy“What is the meaning of work?” a guru asked his friend.
His friend replied, “Well, son, it happens when your wits have reached their end.”

Life is work. Work is life.

Some people, I like to think of them as motherfuckers, would have us believe shit like this.

What is work? Is it something you do in order to survive? Or is it the meaning of life itself? It seems to me that maybe, just maybe, your perspective might be based on who you are. For example, if you are The King and lounge around all day with your turkey drumsticks, your opinion that servants should pursue a life of labor just might be biased. Ya think?

Me? I’ve never been all that enthralled with money and I was born and raised into a culture where work is something exclusively done in the pursuit of money. To me money is something that enables a standard of living and some of the stuff I want. Beyond that? Who gives a shit?

So I guess it’s not too surprising that my work ethic follows suit. I don’t work for fun. I don’t work because it is its own reward. I work because I have to. Period. No other reason. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. I simply see no other choice. How many non-work life paths are there and which of them could meet my needs?

Basically the only reason I work is so I can enjoy the times I’m not working.

And, right now, at this moment in my life as a citizen of the United States, I currently enjoy the maximum number of vacation days as required by law.

Zero.

chart-paid-vacationIt’s true. Some people among us feel that people who work for a living are not entitled to paid vacation days.

These people are known as bosses.

When the United States was young there was basically no such thing as the eight-hour work day. In fact, in 1791, Philadelphia carpenters went on strike for a 10-hour day.

By 1905, although some labor unions had won a shorter day, the “vast majority” of Americans worked 12-14 hour days.

Then, in 1914, the Ford Motor Company doubled worker pay (from $2.50 to $5.00 per day) and cut shifts from nine hours to eight. Rival companies were initially not happy about this, but most soon followed suit after Ford saw productivity gains.

In 1916 the first U.S. law that regulated the hours of workers in private companies was enacted. The Adamson Act applied to railroad workers and established an eight-hour work day with additional pay for overtime.

Most of us today, though, owe the concepts of eight hour days and 40-hour work weeks to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937 which was part of the New Deal. It applied to about 20 percent of American workers, established a 40-hour work week and overtime requirements.

In all this time, however, in the United States, paid vacation has been left to the whims of the employer.

I’d now like to introduce Glenn Grothman, a Republican state senator in Wisconsin. Besides asserting the sex ed makes kids gay and that money “is more important for men” he once tried to roll back a Wisconsin law that required employers to give workers at least one day of rest per week. He called the law “goofy.” To him, the issue was one of “freedom.” Apparently that means the freedom of employers to require employees to work seven days a week.

Right now in Wisconsin, you’re not supposed to work seven days in a row, which is a little ridiculous because all sorts of people want to work seven days a week.
–Glenn Grothman

Wow. Look at him go. He’s really on the side of employees who want the seven-day work week. I’m sure they’re the ones who lobbied him for this, right?

Grothman recently won the Republic primary for the 6th district congressional seat. As that district is overwhelming Republican, Grothman is well on his way to becoming a member of Congress where he’ll have a bigger pulpit to wield and enforce his bizarre views.

Aw, shucks. Who needs weekends?

I’m not clear which song to include as the soundtrack for this post: Working For The Weekend by Loverboy or Eight Days A Week by The Beatles. I’m pretty sure they’ll be coming after that next. I’ll give you the freedom to decide for yourself.

Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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