Ok, religious holidays aside, who gets to decide these holidays anyway?
Lately I’ve learnt not to send my employees emails on the weekend. Often I’d get excited after a couple of ouzos on a Saturday night and send them an idea for one thing or another about 10pm.
‘What if we replace the photocopier with an espresso machine?’
I don’t do that anymore. I’m a responsible boss.
I’m still having a few ouzos and thinking about work on Saturday night. I still do that. I’m drunk right now. But I’ve found a technical solution. Now I cue the message to send at 9.30 Monday morning.
The thing is for me, where I’m at in life right now, the distinction between “work” and “pleasure” is a bit of a grey area.
I love what I do. I love the way it challenges and excites me. When my mind wanders it often wanders into the office and puts in a couple of extra hours.
I love what I do, so my work and my pleasure are almost one and the same. For me, work = pleasure. Not everyone can say that.
(For example, I’ve also learnt that when my wife wants me to pleasure her in the bedroom, it does not mean bringing the architectural plans for a town house development to bed.)
And since my work and pleasure are so closely aligned, I have a funny relationships to holidays.
I’m my own boss and I get to set my own hours. I often give myself the day off as a reward for all the great work I do.
You deserve it champ.
But I get to do that whenever I want.
So after I started working for myself, the only value I saw in holidays like Easter and so on (apart from observing the appropriate rituals), was that it gave me a chance to coordinate a day off with my mates.
Yes. Long weekend. Lets have a few ouzos.
But then after a while, most of my mates either started investing and working for themselves as well, or I just stopped hanging out with people still tied to wage slavery.
So holidays lost their coordinating power.
So now holidays are actually a bit of a pain in the arse. It just means that nobody else is working and I can’t get stuff done.
What to do? Have another ouzo.
And the more time I spend outside the ‘system’ the more strange it is to me. The powers that be have decided that we don’t have to work today because it’s the queen’s birthday, or whatever.
Praise our gracious governor.
But don’t get too used to it. Its back to work on Tuesday. Back in the sugar mine, lackey.
You are not the master of your time.
And back when I used to work for someone else I just accepted it. It was the same for everybody. Everyone lived by the governor’s clock.
But I think there is something very disempowering about letting external forces control your time – when someone else decides whether you work or not, whether you play or not.
Even if it is at a subtle level, you are giving some of your power away.
And that might be ok if you’re giving that power to some kind of service.
I remember when the kids were babies, when they were up, I was up. Kids have no concept of “it’s 5am and daddy just needs 5 more minutes.”
So I didn’t have power over my time. But I was ok with that. I was happy to trade a bit of autonomy there to give that energy to my kids.
At the end of the day, it still felt like my decision.
But when the government says that Friday is a holiday, or its just convention that Monday means work and Sunday means rest, then it stops being your decision.
And that starts to eat into your sense of self. You get used to being dictated to by forces greater than yourself.
That’s a slippery slope.
Before too long you’ll be wearing a symbolic dog-collar (neck-tie I think they call it), and thinking that the opportunity to vote for either party-dum or party-dee is the same as democratic participation.
And you’ll believe them when they tell you that you need to be very lucky to be rich.
And you’ll believe them when they tell you to aim low, invest in blue chip stocks and managed funds, and be content with a modest retirement
And you’ll believe them when they tell you that trickle-down and trickle-on economics is the best system we can come up with.
What are we going to do? We don’t even control our own time.
No thanks. Take you’re holiday and stuff it. Take you’re 9-5, 5 days a week and stuff it.
I take responsibility for my fate and I take responsibility for my time. It’s a small step towards personal empowerment, but every step is important.
So to all my employees reading this, I want you to say, stuff the holidays, I’m going to show up for work Easter Monday, 9a.m. Be empowered.
No of course not. Take it easy guys. Enjoy the break. You deserve it. Best team ever.
And I wish the same for you. I hope that the long weekend is rich and nourishing, and you come bouncing back, refreshed and full of beans.
But I also wish that you get to know what it means to be the master of your own time.
Trust me, once you know, you’ll never go back.
Do you agree ?
What’s your view ?
Can you see where I’m coming from?