School operates Monday to Friday, roughly from just before 9am and up until just after 3pm. School excludes Saturday and Sunday, making the ‘weekend’ something to look forward to.
Grown ups, however, are only lucky enough to have a similar ‘workday’ and work-free weekends if they are deskjockeys in the public sector. Or, maybe if they are fat cat bankers in the private sector.
Everybody else, the larger number of employees and self-employed, has to work when and where they can, following all different forms of shift patterns. These days shifts merge times and days so that there is no set ‘time off’ akin to that enjoyed by children and the lucky public sector.
Strangely, media is geared to the old fashioned view that nobody is working on a Saturday or Sunday or any weekday after 5pm. TV schedules fill Saturday and Sundays differently to the rest of the week. Radio barks about how everybody is getting fresh for the weekend, and of course plays dance and celebratory music on a Friday evening. “The weekend starts here” is the phrase in the earphones of the solitary cleaner doing their rounds cleaning after the ‘9 to 5’ brigade have gone home, or over the radio in the security guard’s office. Meanwhile, the checkout assistants won’t get to hear the phrase, they are far too busy. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of workers are still working even though media is telling them all that it’s ‘the weekend’, ‘yay’, and that means something different to ‘the week’.
There was a time, maybe up to 50 years ago, when everything did wind down on a Friday. Everywhere was closed as people tucked themselves up at home. The number of people working was minimal and the exception to the ‘9 to 5’ rule which, well, ruled. Even TV and radio switched off overnight.
So, here we are in a 24 hour day 7 day week reality. Yet, we still like to promote the old fashioned structure that we left many decades ago. Why do we do that?
I can understand doing it for the kids who aren’t yet attending schools outside of the old fashioned structure, but is it fair to impose the concept on those who have to work and have a structure that doesn’t adhere to the old outdated values?
Add to this that Friday is the Muslim Sabbath, Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath, and Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, and followers of those religions expect to take their Sabbath off. The weekend doesn’t start on a Friday or Saturday compared to what media would have you believe.
Maybe it’s time to give the mass of real workers a break and rethink how days are presented in the media.