5 day work week? EEK! Tell me it’s not true!
Since I’ve been completely spoiled for the past few weeks working only 4 day weeks, I guess you can say that I, like (I’m assuming) so many others, am not looking forward to the full 5 day work week ahead of me. It got me thinking…who was it that decided on whole “9 – 5” concept? I looked it up and turns out that back in the 30’s the U.S. government decided on a 40 hour work week, with anything over that 40 hours being paid time and a half. At the time, they came very close to going with 32 hours, but other countries were adopting 40 hour work weeks, so the U.S. more or less just went along with it. Way to be a follower U.S.. Can you imagine? 32 hour work week? That would either A. make our days nice and short or B. make our weekends nice and long…either way, I’d bite that bait.
I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that it sure is convenient that although the US decided to follow suit as far as how much they can make their citizens work, they have not chosen to do the same in the areas of vacation time or maternity leave. In both of these areas the United States falls far below the norm of what other countries offer. This makes me sad, but also it makes me want to move to Italy, where the average starting vacation time for a young professional is 42 days, or Australia, where the average maternity leave is 9+ months. Shoot, there are even times that I think moving to Spain and enjoying a daily siesta would be fantastic. My 5 paid vacation days are lookin’ pretty sad by comparison!