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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time, Gentlemen

Raised on the formulas of Time is Money, There’s No Time Like The Present, and A Stitch in Time Saves Nine, the measurement of time strikes me as both crucial and futile. O, Second Hand, why do you taunt me so? The “one Mississippi, two Mississippi” of your existence carries such weight – so much power for such a slender little thing.

Like many people, I’ve been chasing the clock all my life. I learned it from my parents, who learned it from their parents, who learned from theirs, who seem to have brought it with them from Europe.

I would like to blame the Europeans, but so few of the ones that I’ve met seem to have an inflammation of Time – or perhaps they’re better at keeping their swelling under control when they’re not at work.

It wasn’t always like this. Does it have something to do with being an adult?

I personally seem to have two speeds: inertia and full-frontal multi-taskification.

Why is there always so much to do? Wasn’t the cell phone, the laptop supposed to ease our workloads?

I imagine when the wheel was invented, people everywhere rejoiced. Finally! No more pushing things! No more dragging stuff!

Why, with the wheel moving things so efficiently, I’ll have time to play cards with my friends!

No, you won’t. It’ll just give you more time to scrape hides, ward off predators, and make those groovy tooth necklaces.

And now that you have more time on your hands, why not get a job, too? I hear Zuk and Urg down at Zuk and Urg’s Wacky Inflatable Mastodons are looking for a receptionist.

But how can I complain? After all, compliments of the economy I’ve gone from a 40-hour work week to 32. That’s right, tomorrow is my Friday. Never mind the smaller paycheck, I’ve been given three-day weekends until September (and perhaps further into the year).

What will I do with this time? Will I plant more flowers? Will I write? Will I make one of those groovy tooth necklaces?

Just what does relaxation look like?

28 comments:

mbuna53 said...

Multi-taskification? New word?

I know the reduction in pay is not welcome, but try to enjoy the extra free time. Try to relax a little and don't fill it up with more work, I know how you are. I'll be watching.

Ignore the man behind the shrub, ignore the man behind the shrub...

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I love it when I learn new words on the internet.

I've heard rumors that Americans are the worse when it comes to scurrying through life and not slowing down to really enjoy and appreciate. But since I have not had the chance to travel it's mere hearsay...

Pearl said...

mbuna, I can see I'm going to need more shrubs. :-)
And yes. Multi-taskification.

Pseudonymous, I've heard the same thing, that the Americans are the ones running from place to place, trying to cram it all in. I've no doubt that that's true in 9/10 cases.
I wonder if it's inherent in our culture? Gold Rush, Land Grabs -- so much of our history has to do with being the first one there...

Douglas said...

Back in the days when I was employed (I'd say "work" but that isn't properly descriptive), I learned that if you accomplished any task (or tasks) in less than the allotted time, all that would happen was that you would be assigned even more tasks to fill up your time. That applies to anything which helps you increase what they like to call "productivity". In other words, things which free up time cause you more work.

Let's go back to shouting across the office and rid ourselves the enslaving "push to talk" cell phone cum radios and pesky spam filled email.

Well, you do that. I'm retired. snicker...

Sweet Cheeks said...

'Zuk and Urg’s Wacky Inflatable Mastodons...'

They're having a sale!

Buy one, get one on they're new Ergonomically Designed Clubs...guarenteed to effectively smash wild beasts and unruly cave women, whilst relieving stress on the wrist.

Also, first 100 shoppers get a free rock.

I'm so there....
:)

Bee said...

I'm frightening good at relaxing. Send me an email if you need some tips.

BTW, those Europeans are STILL taking all of August off -- plus the odd ski week. Americans messed up the vacation concept big-TIME.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Hey! Sorry to hear this, Pearl. I mean, I'm sorry and at the same time envious....
but, you know what? You're right! If I had free time, I would spend it in front of the laptop with the washer and the TV running in the background! What's the point?!!

darsden said...

LOL an Ode' to Mississippi in there too..gotta love ya for that one. Hey I am going to be in West Virginia you need a road trip :-)) I will be there a week! Happy extra day Pearl. Maybe now you can catch the alley flower thief!
I am a great multi tasker too..only way I roll is with a full plate otherwise I get lost in the chair going what to do ..what to do..look outside at those 16 acres...what to do ...what the F**K I got do that...crap...

♥ Braja said...

Write.
While wearing tooth necklaces.
And drinking a beer.

Well hell, you're the boss, right?

Eskimo Bob said...

EBL is a perfect place for relaxation . . . [What's that? . . . of course I can plug my own bl. . . She doesn't mind. . . no really].

[Ahem]

(In a stiff cadence)Hi. I just wanted to express how much I enjoyed this post. I especially was moved by the European movement. [What else did you want me to say? - Well why don't YOU say it?!?!]

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why! said...

I find that work and "stuff" always expands to fill all available time plu 30 minutes. We are definitely slaves to the clock. I get back at the clock by not caring. They aren't going to start without me if I'm late to work!

Crazy Mo said...

It seems the more we learn to run the faster we want to go. Personally, I think the invention of the BlackBerry is the worst thing on the planet. I own one, so I can say that. But from the standpoint of a legal secretary (that's me) it's the dawn of a new living hell. There was a time (pre-BB) that I came into the office and was able to get at least one or two hours' worth of work before the boss came in. Now I get to work and there are at least a dozen message from the boss giving me tasks to do before he gets in. Arrrgh! Doesn't this man sleep?!

La Belette Rouge said...

I find that the less I work the more I am tired and have more things to do. The bad thing about not working is that you never have anytime off. I am looking forward to going back to work so I can get a vacation.

I hope your three day weekend doesn't exhaust you!;-)

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

For me, relaxation usually looks like it involves partial nudity, most likely toplessness. Alcohol can be included, but since the whole gall bladder lacking thing, I don't drink so much anymore. But if there's relaxing to be done, there's no shoes nor socks and usually no shirt.

Please, please, if you are throwing up in the back of your throat, don't tell me.

MVD said...

Well, Pearl, I've been unemployed since November. And aside from taking the census test, I can't say I've filled it well. Unless you count relaxing in a terrycloth bathrobe with bottomless cups of instant coffee and Lean Cuisine a useful time management technique.

Ina romantic way, it's almost European in its simplicity. Except Europeans would never drink instant coffee.

f8hasit said...

I use all my extra time making new lists of things to do when I have the time...

Keeps the chaos at bay. Until tomorrow.

Thanks for the post! Now where did I put MY groovy tooth necklace....

Not The Rockefellers said...

Gosh Pearl, the world is your oyster. :)

I say you can accomplish all of the above
And learn about small engine repair
And learn all of the words to every song you just know the chorus to
And crochet jaunty hats for Liza Bean
And find out how many licks it really does take to get to the middle of a tootsie pop
And find out if 1000 flushes it true to their name...

Uhh, I have more...If'n ya need....

Peace - Rene

Mandy's Kidding said...

I totally know what you mean by having two speeds: Full throttle or full couch. That's me.

Chris @ Maugeritaville said...

Pearl, you rock. Multi-taskification? Zuk and Urg's Inflatable Mastodons? Bloody brilliant.

Great job. I say you use the three day weekends to remind people to visit Maugeritaville, where everybody knows your name.

mapstew said...

I'm starting my annual two weeks work next Monday! (My kid brother runs his own small company, which I have the pleasure of running every summer while he goes to Spain with his family.)

(But I still do my own 'work' at the weekends!)

Enjoy the time off, looks like you don't have a choice. Do something fun that costs nowt!

powdergirl said...

Thanks Pearl, that was delicious!

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

first? run naked through the yard.

you'll figure the rest out later.

Eric said...

I like your idea of toothy necklaces... *getting out diamond drill and weaving supplies*

Chrissy said...

You could make those groovy tooth necklaces and sell them on eBay!

ladyfi said...

You'll probably relax in front of your blog! Right? Or in front of ours...

mo.stoneskin said...

The sad truth is that none of the modern technological advances have eased our workloads. Or at least, that is how it feels! Oh to be a saxon living in a tent with just hunting and cooking and fighting to do...

Comedy Goddess said...

You nailed it! Nicely done.

SweetPeaSurry said...

I vote for the tooth necklaces, you could sell them on ebay and make up the difference in lost hours! Win-Win!