#215: 24

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

As every day passes the world becomes more and more enveloped in a serious logistical problem. Every day you sit in bumper to bumper 5 MPH traffic you should realize this. The concept of a 24 hour world should have been implemented years ago.

Instead of this five workday, nine hour business day, one hour lunch, two fifteen minute break life, we should broaden our life to include a different set of hours for normal operation. Instead of providing structure, this limited work week provides chaos. Rush hour traffic is a big enough argument. I should probably do some research into where the idea of such a limited work week came from to better understand it, but I feel it would not make sense regardless of where it came from.

If everyone works ‘business’ hours you run into the first problem. When am I supposed to go to the bank or the dry cleaners? If each business stays open until five or six and everyone (or a large percentage) works those same hours, how is anyone expected to visit the other business?

Companies that stay open for long hours or 24 hours usually have several advantages. For those who work normal business hours, they have the opportunity to get things done. Instead of making special provisions with your boss to get a few hours off, you can still do it before or after work. The companies that keep longer hours get the business of those who can’t make those provisions.

Aside from getting more business, those companies typically have time to do night stocking, cleaning, and merchandising all while making money. Between the additional time to work around the store and the ability to make more customers happy by providing your service, they come out on top.

The traffic during the rush to and from work is responsible for a good percentage of accidents. These accidents cause slow traffic as people do everything in their power to watch what is going on. In many cases I have seen traffic slow anywhere up to 40 MPH below the speed limit to watch the aftermath of an accident. The worst case was a sudden 20 MPH drop while people watched a single tow truck hook up a car. No police, no fire trucks, no ambulance, etc.

I currently live 70 minutes from work and it is all highway driving. Often times it takes more than an hour and a half to get there, and over an hour and a half to get back. Some trips have averaged about 40-55 MPH (the speed limit being 65-75) for large portions of the drive. If the population’s work schedules were spread out over a 24 hour period the traffic problems would thin out.

In my last apartment I kept running into a small problem that could have been avoided with longer work hours. Almost every morning around 7 or 8 I would be woken up by one thing or another. Some days it was the maintenance crew banging on one thing, someone honking outside of my window, or the cleaning people sandblasting the sidewalk. Not everyone keeps normal hours by choice.

Its not something I or anyone could prove without implementation, but I feel more people would be more productive and much more happy if the stress caused by such a chaotic lifestyle were removed. The stress of rush hour traffic, getting to work on time, rushing to pick up laundry or go to the bank, then rush home is often times overwhelming. Its time for a change… for the better.

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