The English novelist Jerome K. Jerome was of the opinion that it is impossible to enjoy idling unless one has plenty of work to do.
“There is,” he said “no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one.”
What, one wonders, would Jerome have made of the case of “Developer Bob” whose heroic efforts at idling have apparently been the talk of American work places for the past few days.
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If you’re reading this consider yourself lucky. You’ve managed to find time out of a stressful work day to squeeze in a moment of media consumption despite a new study finding we’re all working way too hard and far too much.
The Australian Institute survey Long time, no see will no doubt provoke a round of handwringing from social researchers using it as proof that Australia is slave to a brutal corporate beast that eats up families and destroys “community”. This will be accompanied by calls to move toward a more European model of work, replete with biweekly cheese fairs in our new found tight knit villages.
The glaring problems with this survey and others like it are not the results, but the fact that there’s no recognition of the gap between what people say they want, what they actually want and what they’re willing to do about it.
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A few years ago there was a funny little survey funded by fruitgrowers which spoke volumes about the relationship between men and women, particularly on the vexed question of domestic chores.
The survey found that the overwhelming majority of men refused to eat fruit, but said they would be prepared to eat fruit if someone could peel it, cut it into small pieces and hand it to them on a plate.
The survey has at its centre a kind of male patheticness which many blokes seem to regard as endearing, and which most women probably cannot stand.
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