The New Business Model
Last weekend, a dear friend named Daniela inspired me to write a long overdue note. I believe all businesses should be open 24/7 except for schools. This may sound outlandish, but I’m there’s now a global economy. This coincides with my standpoint about banning daylight saving time and replacing it with decree time which is permanent DST. In addition, I stated we should have 48 time zones worldwide with half-hour intervals. Not everyone shared the same disposition, and that’s fine. Some counterarguments I’ve heard was that planes, trains, and other forms of transportation have different schedules. How often does one take a train or automobile into a different time zone first of all? Secondly, when do people not have to adjust their schedules after they fly to another locale? Daylight saving time creates mass confusion which is why I insist there should be decree time, half-hour time zones, and 24/7 schedules for businesses.
I understand the headaches working overnight causes. I’ve done it myself. My first semester in college after I was discharged from the military, I endured the overnight shift at an Exxon Tigermart from fall 2004 to the end of spring 2005. I had another gig via temp agency doing data entry at TxTag (pronounced Textag) from November 2013 to April 2014. Not only was I in the office during the least convenient times of night; I did this throughout the coldest months of the year. I remember both times having to scrape ice off my windshield while warming up the car at the crack of dawn. The worst part was that no restaurants were open amid my shift to go during lunch break except McDonald’s and Taco Cabana. Either that, or I’d have to go to 7/11 and buy junk food. The only good thing I recall from my assignment at TxTag was not having to drive to work during rush hour and coming home to see the 2014 Sochi Olympic games.
What Bad Timing
That last sentence leads me to why I support the 24/7 rule. Overall, it would relieve the headaches of rush hour traffic. Daniela, who was the genesis for this post, had car trouble one Saturday night. She was going to meet my mother, my niece, my nephew, and me for pizza at Brooklyn Pie Company. It wasn’t like Daniela to be twenty minutes late, so I called her cellphone. Her battery died, and she needed to get a new one. We had to postpone our plans because there were no automotive stores around that were open. Daniela wasn’t afforded the luxury of a 24/7 business. Nobody can calculate when bad things happen. They don’t always occur during regular working hours or the most amenable parts of the day which backs my argument further. Years ago, I had a dog who was poisoned. It happened in Boston when my mother took him to the park. The ground keepers placed strychnine in the vicinity to thwart the invasive rats. Sly, my dog, went to fetch a stick in the woods. Poor Sly didn’t know what was up, and neither did Mom. He started coughing up blood. Sadly, Sly died because there were no emergency veterinarian clinics available on Sunday evening.
Thai the Banks Down
One thing I liked about Thailand was my ability to visit the bank on Sundays. They were open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. That helped alleviate stress big-time. If Western culture is built around chivalry and accessibility, I see no reason this maxim shouldn’t be induced. People who already work the overnight like yours truly did don’t have to worry about life passing them by while all the good places are closed whenever we’re not at work, and all we can do is sleep or watch television. I’ve been there and done that. Let me tell you it wasn’t fun. I had this conversation with an acquaintance named Enrico in Saigon who thought this was ridiculous. Enrico asked what are people supposed to do if they want a plumber or carpenter to come fix their houses in the middle of the night or wee hours of the day? Are they supposed to come while others are sleeping? My response was the same thing they do when they have plumbers and carpenters arrive towards the residences of people who work overnight and sleep during the day. They act accordingly. I’ve been woken up by cable technicians installing things and had to suck it up. This would thereby entice companies to manufacture soundproof curtains, windows, and such.
A Season and a Reason
I guess this is all the reason more we should teach our children common courtesy and encourage them to be less noisy. I knew Enrico well, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Enrico stated his uncle or someone to whom he was related had a resort area in Italy. He inquired further what the man should do when it isn’t holiday season and the tourists aren’t coming. That circumstance is duly noted. I’m not saying they should have this in all instances but ones that are temporary or permanent in lieu of seasonal. Obviously, sports franchises can’t operate 24/7 or year-round; neither can farmers or certain fisherman. Most professions can, though. Most businesses in the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary sectors besides retail and manufacturing can. Administrative, governmental, and high-tech entities can adopt this practice. Heck, I’ve stood watch in the military when my shipmates were asleep whenever I had duty days. Not only would this curtail traffic and make life convenient for all as I stated previously. I’m certain it would boost the economy and decrease unemployment.
Shifting Gears and Shifting Work
In my ideal business model, the full-time people would work eight hours Monday to Thursday whereas the part-timers would toil eight hours Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Businesses can even operate by their own seven-day schedule if they feel so inclined. A full-time workweek in my mind would be 32 hours whereby part-time would be 24. Were it up to me, the part-timers would be the semi-retired, mothers returning from maternity leave, the newbies, and recent college graduates. The former could train and mentor the latter who can work their way up the corporate food chain. Each place would grant employees three 20-minute breaks so they’d have time to eat small lunches and snacks and return to work. There would also be six shifts during the day that would look something like this:
Graveyard Shift – 1 a.m. to 9 p.m. Morning Shift – 5 a.m to 1 p.m.
Swing Shift – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Afternoon Shift – 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Evening Shift – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Overnight Shift – 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Up All Night, Sleep All Day
Most people tend to slack off during the second halves of their shifts, so I’m certain productivity would be consistent. The question I suspect the readers are asking is when are people supposed to sleep. My response would be before said person has to go to work. Sometimes I would sleep in the middle of the day or in the afternoon when I worked overnight. Most often, I’d go to bed at noon or 1 in the afternoon and wake up at 8 or 9 in the evening. At the moment I retire around 8 p.m. because I must arise at 4 a.m. to teach children online in China six days a week. Their scheduled to be there between 7 to 9 p.m Beijing Time, and I must adapt accordingly. The bottom line is those who work regular hours Monday through Friday shouldn’t be the ones who reap all the benefits in life. They can even make accommodations for folks with albinism by having them work either the evening, overnight, or graveyard shift. Not everyone shares the same the opinions, and we sure as heck don’t all have the same circadian rhythm. Schools with the exceptions of universities should be the only ones in my book who bear that cross.