Day of Rest

As I’ve alluded to on a few occasions, my previous job was a lot of work with virtually no down time. This has made me quite aware of the hours being worked by those around me, particularly in a service capacity.

It all started with a McDonald’s ad (Aren’t you amazed I remembered who the ad was for?) showing customers asleep in bed while employees were already at work preparing their food.

McDonalds logo

Although it was not intended, what I got out that ad was that these hard working, essentially anonymous people enable everyone else to sleep in.  It had such an Upstairs/Downstairs feel to it. It made me sad for those workers.

One thing I often felt working in customer service for a luxury product was that I was invisible. Because of that, I now make a concerted effort to give sales staff my full attention. I make eye contact. I ask about their day. They matter.

A few months ago I read Joe Lieberman’s The Gift of Rest.

The Gift of Rest

I was really hoping the book would be more than what it was, but it was a good reminder of how much better I perform when I have the opportunity to relax and reflect. When I only had one day mainly off, that day was dedicated to errands. It was go, go, go. Now that I have every Saturday and Sunday off, I am very aware of the people whose work schedules enable me to go shopping, and to the library, and everything that isn’t me sitting at home.

I remember when retail establishments and fast food places would close each day. Although I have taken advantage of the unusual hours in the past, I am now wondering if as a society we need people to be awake in the middle of the night to satisfy the munchies or a midnight need for garland (right, Rebecca?).

I’d be willing to give up some convenience so more people could have a traditional work schedule. Then again, would they really be presented with Monday to Friday jobs? This is why I’m not a politician – I prefer when these complex problems fall above my pay grade.

Do you take a day of rest? or Have you ever worked a non-traditional schedule?

7 thoughts on “Day of Rest”

  1. I’m intrigued by the book. I always kind of love when I find a business closed on Sundays – or any day. True, sometimes it’s inconvenient for me, but that’s only because I’m programmed to expect them to be open and ready to serve me. But if we all stopped expecting that, perhaps everyone could enjoy a good old fashioned day of rest.

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    1. I was shocked when I discovered that Home Depot is closed on Easter. Good for them. Like you I find that inconvenience charming on the rare occasions when I find it.

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  2. I haven’t worked a traditional work schedule in years. It started when I worked for a hospital – yeah, that one can’t have a traditional work schedule. They need people at all hours of the day unfortunately. Luckily for me, the position I had wasn’t working with patients so I didn’t have to do overnights or anything like that. Today I’m a tutor so I have to go in on Saturdays. I have to work around the kids school schedule. I wish it could be more traditional though so I could have Saturdays with the wife. I guess that will have to wait until the next job.

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    1. Until my last job, I hadn’t realized how disruptive a non-traditional schedule can be on a social life or even planning. At least it sounds like you are finding your work to be enjoyable and rewarding.

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