Saving time. The Coffee Break 15 Nov 2016.
A thought popped into my head not too long ago; I was reading up on fast food and doing some thinking into its popularity when I bumped into something that is probably obvious to most but interesting to myself – saving time. Often we hear on television that: “people do not have enough time to cook these days, so here’s several recipes to save time,” or “people seem to lack an interest in cooking, why?” While it is known that workers today generally are always on the go (imagine workers including white collar and blue collar) people often forget that the workers who are on the go tend to look at meal preparation as something of a chore (alongside house work and child rearing).
There’s an atmosphere of frustration out there in today’s modern world – people feel like they have been cheated of their opportunities and ideas as back in school we were all fed the tale of: “our own destiny – how to shape the world and create a better tomorrow,” or “how to make ones dreams a reality.” However when reality struck (for some it was financial, others because they suddenly birthed kids, and so on) people found themselves trapped in a never-ending cycle of endless labouring and never enough time for oneself. Some on the more conservative side of things call it “growing up,” and for the most part it makes sense – you need to work in order to make a living. Yet why do we have to do certain types of work just to make a living, why can we not pursue work that is within our interest category and has a benefit to society as a whole?
Usually market forces determine what is and what is not valuable; a person producing a smart phone is of more value to the market (even though their pay does not reflect this) than – say – a motivational speaker whose main audience is essentially the upper middle class where they are in charge of their working hours and can therefore take a half day off of work to listen to this person speak. Yet even with this fixed audience, the upper middle class is also occupied with things like running their business, to family duties, to traveling (oh yes, they love to push travel travel travel these days) – this naturally limits the speakers audiences to the point where they must take up a side job to support themselves as they pursue their life goals (that being their career as a motivational speaker).
The speaker can only gather so much of a market and has limited income as society deems their service optional, whereas a worker who is a sewer worker (at least in developed countries) tend to be compensated more because of their need within society – even with the high compensation rate, however, people seldom pursue work as a municipal sewage worker for reasons such as the lack of prestige, a lack of social acceptance, and so on. The market determines what is worth purchasing, worth seeing, and so on – you rarely see sold out shows of motivational speakers whereas concert tickets to a famous singer are gone within thirty minutes of them going on sale (an example of this is Adele in Vancouver, Canada).
Returning to my original point, here we are stuck in this loop we call: “the daily grind,” and in this grind we seek to squeeze out as much time as possible to enjoy for ourselves before the cycle repeats the next day. Thus the words that folks on television spit out in their endless discussion shows and random talks on the news is akin to preaching to the choir when it comes to saving time; the simple answer of course would be to limit working hours and reduce expenses, but we will never smarten up to do anything remotely close to that. Thus we are at a point where things like fast food and instant entertainment are the orders of the day. Waiting times are a sheer waste, and the pressure is on for things to become instant and rapid – some industries may manage to keep up with the demands of the working classes, while others simply fall behind (ie: the medical services sector where wait times for life-saving procedures take forever). This can have a negative impact in the long run as things like medical services are vital, yet they are unable to keep up with the on-the-go lifestyles of workers and as such workers who can afford to might turn to alternate methods of treatment (here’s hoping legalization of weed happens soon – plenty of folks out there suffering from severe illness could use the product for medicinal purposes, and we as humans should minimize their suffering as much as we can for the sake of being a civilized society).
This unforgiving cycle of work forces workers to find ways to save time, and sometimes this can come at the cost of their health. Yet there is always a way to make things better, and fast food can be healthy if one knows what to choose and where to buy said food items. Items like baked potatoes, chili, salads, grilled (NOT FRIED) chicken, soup noodles, wraps and so on can prove to be just as healthy as a home-cooked meal and at a fraction of the time it takes to cook it at home (not to mention little to no cleaning up afterwards). Those so-called talk show hosts and nutritionists can talk all they want, but until they actually put real pressure on businesses and government to shrink working hours (or cap them) the worker will always seek to squeeze out time by saving it elsewhere – you saw to that when you crushed their life ambitions by throwing messages at them for the sake of preserving the cycle (unless the worker is already in a state of happiness where they found the work they like to do – in that case this is probably not a story for you).
Now folks, if you felt that this article was all over the place, I had a few gripes I wanted to iron out on today’s coffee break. Indeed I feel the frustration, and whether it is observed from a distance or experienced first hand matters little as I feel it nonetheless. Whoever I talk to, whenever I talk to them the message is always the same: too much work, not enough personal time. Kids, work, civic duties – all demand so much out of people that just need some time off here and there (and not to travel; Maker knows this is just as bad as working as you have to chase planes and sleep on airport floors if your flight is delayed). Time to just sit at home and write, to play with the kids, to read a book or to even nap would do wonders for the worker who is otherwise over-worked and under-compensated for their time. Something has to change, and whether it comes peacefully or violently it will occur (not advocating for violence here, but history has shown us that change will happen whether we like it or not ie: the Russian Revolution, Civil Rights Movement, American Civil War and so on). In the end if a civil society shows little interest in improving the lives of their people, then that society faces the risk of collapse as a new order takes its place – whether the change is good or bad will depend on who has the bigger stick and the larger mob, but good or bad the change will occur as the currents of history wait for no one (sadly).
Just something to think about for today folks; I know today’s topic is a bit depressing but I felt it would be an interesting read (and one that is more so valuable as food for thought than commenting on Orc sound effects in World of Warcraft – I remember that article from last week (humor intended)). Anyways that concludes this article for today – don’t forget to check out my Patreon page if you wish to support this blog, and I shall see you next time.