What Time Is It?

This week’s edition of The Sunday Blog was entitled “Of Course It Can Wait”, which is about not being a prisoner of time, and not being “connected” all the time.  Quite coincidentally, I made an observation of my own in that regard shortly after reading the blog. 

First, a little background.  If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will know that I have a tendency to be amused by the most trivial of issues.  For example, there is my game of Grocery Voyeurism.  I can’t help it–in the Ten Items or Fewer lane, I just want to know what you’re going to do with three heads of cabbage and seven cans of Pledge. 

So while posting my last Bonnie Raitt video, I couldn’t help but notice that the keyboard player was wearing…a wristwatch.  What?  Does he have a dentist’s appointment he doesn’t want to be late for?  Is there a certain time during the concert when his contract says he doesn’t have to play any more?  Will he walk off the stage?

I personally haven’t worn a watch in 30 years or more.  First, I was always losing them.  Second, they annoy me.  Actually all jewelry annoys me.  I always wear earrings, but only because I have this notion that it looks dumb when you have holes in your ears with nothing in them. 

These days if I want to know what time it is, I look at my cell phone (before the cell phone, I had a pager), or the computer, or the clock in my car.  I used to rely to some extent on the clocks on my oven or microwave, but due to fairly frequent blips in the delivery of electricity, I got tired of resetting them.  Therefore, it is always 88:88 in my house. 

And don’t get me started on alarm clocks.  They are the bane of modern civilization.  I don’t need them anyway–I have dogs.


19 responses to “What Time Is It?

  1. masteroftheuniverse

    I’m lucky that my internal clock wakes me up at 4:30 AM. The only thing I worry about is when the market opens. However, when I go surfing it seems that time expands……seriously. I also have a watch and have not worn it in 20 years. I keep it wound and in good shape, but just don’t wear it.

  2. Speaking of grocery voyeurism – I went through the express lane the other day with 2 slices of cake (one red velvet, one lemon filled), a fruit-and-nut spring mix salad, and a container of blackberries …

    I tried to figure out what you’d decide I was making.

  3. Geez, Fakesister…that one is too easy: a cake and blackberry salad. To make it interesting you would have had to have a half gallon of Chlorox and a package of 9 volt batteries.

  4. Work and time-keeping are inextricably linked in many professions. And in keeping with my genetically-predtermined Type-A Peronality/curmudgeonly tendencies, I share a Federal Reserve Bank Research Paper entitled, “Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?” (I found this paper on Greg Mankiw’s blog.)

    (The short answer, by the way, is tax policy.)


  5. masteroftheuniverse

    Rocky, it seems the less I work, the more more I make…..To quote the Moody Blues, “Isn’t life strange.” Jeff

  6. Jeff: That’s called a progressive income tax. 😉

  7. Rocky, thanks for posting that article. Fakename may someday even read it. But the importance of it is that she realized she did not have Adobe Reader on this computer, which she has temporarily plundered, er borrowed, from work.
    But it appears on the surface that taxes on labor are related to wage levels rather than time worked, though you might make an assumption that the more time worked the higher the wages–and I would guess more people in the U.S. work for hourly wages than for salaries.
    But it would certainly be my experience that work and time-keeping are inextricably linked. My own employers have an annoying habit of expecting me to be at work at a certain time, and then to stay until some certain other time.

  8. Long ago, when I worked for a company that shall remain nameless but was in the military-industrial complex sort of business, we joked (and not just tongue-in-cheek) that we were paid for 8 minutes a day. A bell sounded at 0800, either side of the morning break, either side of lunch, either side of the afternoon break, and at quitting time. Thou shalt be at thy desk when the bell tolls. Otherwise, who cares where you are and what you’re doing?

    This was the same job where a man expounded at some length to a friend and me at lunch one day that women were incapable of driving stick shift cars … He was quite miffed when we looked at one another, shrugged elaborately, and said “Wow, I wonder how I got to work today then?” She shared a cubicle with this, er, person but the quarter was almost over and we went back to school.

  9. Lest I leave the wrong impression, I do not find the whole of the opposite sex to be as stupid as this representative. There are plenty of matching specimens from my own side of the gender divide.

  10. Dammit! I just left a long and witty reply, only to find I wasn’t logged in. I’ll have to reconstruct it at another time 🙂

  11. Fakename:
    1) Adobe reader is free. Goto: http://www.adobe.com and click on the button “Get Adobe Reader.”

    2) More importantly, that paper goes against a stereotype that Europeans work less than Americans. The article shows that in the 1970’s, Europeans actually worked MORE than Americans — and the author’s demonstrate that tax policy can explain the change in people’s work habits. Think about it this way: if your income tax rate is 99.99%, what’s the point of working at a job that you don’t truly love?

    3) Fakesister also makes a great point about the differences between line and staff. My friends who are top flight consultants, lawyers and investment bankers don’t have the luxury of turning off their cellphones when the CEO of a client corporation calls. If they did that, they would find themselves with a permanent amount of quality time on the beach. It’s a difficult lifestyle, but that’s the path they chose. While of course noone is indispensible (including the President of the US), in a service business, the client is buying your personal skills — they haven’t retained the “firm,” so much as they’ve retained you. Think about it this way, if you need emergency open heart surgery, you want YOUR expert doctor; not the chief resident on call.

    However, if the tax rates become onerous enough, some incremental number of expert doctors will turn off their cell phones … (I just hope it’s not my doctor….or even worse, my plumber!)

  12. Thanks, Rocky…Fakename knew that about Adobe and downloaded it yesterday, which is how she was able to look at the paper and determine that she might read it one day.
    As for social and dare I say, economic, policy, communism (call that a 100% tax rate) is a scourge and an utter failure. But capitalism has its robber barons (not just in a dim historical past) and they are indistinguishable from party bosses. Or Marie Antoinette. Okay, I know she didn’t exactly say, “Let them eat cake”, but I’m sure someone did, if not in those exact words.
    The solution is somewhere in between, which when you think about it is where we are, but how much “in between” is the right balance?
    I much enjoyed Fakesister’s post myself, particularly the part about being paid for 8 minutes. This is at its absolute height in government and many businesses, where the most important thing you can ever do is be on time, and the least important thing you can do is accomplish something in between showing up and leaving. I just find that twisted.

    • > where the most important thing you can ever do > is be on time, and the least important thing you
      > can do is accomplish something

      My personal experience is that managers know who performs and who just shows up and so treat them accordingly. While I don’t regularly show up late or leave early, when it has happened and a non-performer asks why I can “get away with it” the boss has simply said
      ” because he does more work in an hour than you do in a day.” And that ends the discussion.

  13. Well thank you for that plug FN…. seems there was a temporary dip in search referrals for “lychee” and “guatemalan porn” 😉 so maybe your link offset the loss of about 20+ hits a day.

    I can confess here 😉 that the only time I wear a watch is…on vacation. That tends to be a bit more planned. Even in Vegas, I need to know how much time I’ve got before the poker tournament or the show.

    As for the cabbage and Pledge…maybe it was the owner of a Chinese restaurant who was running short of the veggie and also needed to clean his tables.

    Now if I really wanted to know, I’d have made a comment like “That’s a lot of Pledge; is it on sale?” I have no inhibitions in that regard. All he can do is tell me to mind my own business!

    • > who knew that “guatemalan porn” would ever go > out of style?

      LOL! I agree, but it seems exotic food may be on more folks’ minds than exotic sex. “Lychee” came back strong yesterday with 23 referalls, but it seems the word is out that I’m scamming folks on “guatemalan porn”! Not one referall!

  14. You’re welcome for the plug, but who knew that “guatemalan porn” would ever go out of style?

  15. You can take up working from home like I now do. That way, when you’re ill, you can keep working instead of taking a day or two off to be properly miserable. Makes the company happy – no sick leave and no passing it on to co-workers who would then take sick leave. Plus they get at least *some* work out of me.

    The company IM now has an emoticon of the ubiquitous little dot, looking pale and ill, coughing into its hand, with a box of tissues close by. That’s me!

  16. Hey! Where’d my (cough sniff sniff SNORK) go?

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