Durst’s History Lesson
Do you remember all the pivotal historical events they taught us in school? Remember, it was stuff like wars and famines and plagues and lots more wars and presidential sex scandals, but there was never any course that dealt with what happened on a day-to-day basis, you know, which is like 99.9999999% of what actually goes on. So, if I were a teacher, what I'd do, I'd teach an entire lesson on the history of the workday.

In the beginning, we worked for survival and it was a twenty four-hour a day job. Then, 15 years after the Constitution, someone read the pursuit of happiness part and we started pursuing a shorter workday. As the years rolled by, we built the railroads, mined the coal, sewed the clothes, but got tired of doing it all day, every day.

So, a bunch of people got together and formed unions and their first big bumper sticker was for the eight-hour day. Guys would march. Cops would shoot at them. More strikes. More clubbing. For awhile there, it got ugly. After getting banged on the head for a couple of hundred years, our grandparents won overtime pay after eight hours in 1938. And all over America, families enjoyed that extra time in that wonderful thing known as the weekend. Technology helped speed up the workday, but a faster pace did not mean a larger paycheck. So, we worked more overtime and mom had to go to work, too. So, now here we are. Twelve-hour days are normal and survival is once again a 24/7 job. Ain't evolution grand?


Home | Reinventing the Workday | Your Stories from the Trenches
How the Weekend Was Won | To Dot-com or Not To Dot-com | Durst Diaries