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Four Days Daze

When I was in UNC, the administration (or whoever decides on such matters) implemented a four-day school week scheme. Regular school days would run from Monday to Thursday. I don’t remember it very clearly, but I guess, Fridays and Saturdays were reserved for special activities. At the onset, four days sounded promising. Unless filling up your Friday and Saturday schedule was your idea of fun, you would only go to classes for four days and get an extra day or three consecutive days of hanging out with friends, working on your research, doing your laundry, or just simply bumming around on the bed or sofa, making the most of your time before you work your life off until retirement. However, a consequence of the four day scheme is the extension of time of classes from one hour to one and a half. Yeah, sure, it doesn’t look that bad on paper. What’s another 30 minutes? But that would mean that each class would be an uninterrupted 90 minutes of your professor discussing to drift your mind off to doze, or your classmates ignorantly delivering their reports, or executing exercises, calculations, calisthenics, programs or projects in a seemingly endless eternity, only to do something like that all over again in the next class. Then, each day would drag on in the drudgery of dreadful dreary. Oh, it wasn’t all bad. I got to wake up late on Fridays. Yeah, maybe the school days weren’t that bad as I describe they were. But even my favorite subject lasted boringly long. There’s something about a one-hour class. Something about it gets you up on point, standing up in a snap for the next item on the itinerary.

So, I heard they’re considering a four-day work week. I would love that, especially now that I don’t get to enjoy “work from home” anymore. If you’re like me, you would love the time just lazying the three days on bed with music or Youtube on, or maybe you’re one of those who would leave for the resort on the Thursday night and go back home on Sunday night for the Monday work day. Supposedly, this is the labor department’s effort to assist the employees in the rising price of oil and other commodities. I guess with one less work day, workers would save on transport fare and other expenses. Okay, I guess that would be helpful somehow. But I presume that the prices of commodities would remain on their high levels on Fridays.

While miles away, some tyrant senselessly and deliriously bloody burns down a mere nation of unequal stature, economies are feeling the shelling. Any assistance for the employee who commutes on public transport or rides a motorcycle for five to six days a week, would be highly appreciated. But their renumerations on payday don’t change because of the escalating expenses. It’s the transport sector that is hurting bloodily on the oil price spikes. As the difference between the boundary and budget for gasoline gets slimmer, their renumerations recklessly recede. Ask any jeepney or tricycle driver, even any pedicab driver, and they’ll tell you how much they hate holidays to their guts. Holidays mean few to no workers going to work, few to no passengers paying fare. With a four-day work week, every Friday would be a de facto holiday. That’s one more day every week of burden for people who are already burdened by this bruising bondage. That’s rubbing salt on wounds brought about by the restrictions during the pandemic which has lasted for more than two years now. (Well, at least, at present, transport and the commuting public are starting to go back to its pre-pandemic conditions. Then, Russia had to shake the world with its capricious caper.) Now, the authorities are in good faith, trying to help them by letting the commuters stay home and not take public transport for one day every week. Even if work would be extended for additional hours, that would not change that work days are four days and the that one day of income would be taken away from drivers’ hands. The office staff would probably get paid the same amount, and maybe save a one day worth budget for food (that would not be bad), but the transport sector, the most vulnerable vertex of this irregular shape, would be stripped of 17 to 20% of their peak seasons on an already lean season.

So, would this really help? Would it just help a bit and hurt even more those who are already hurting?

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27


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