Extended Hours

Posted by Heather
In life
26Apr 09

     The older I get, the more disappointed I am to see how society seems to be o.k. with the fact that families have far less time together than they did when we were young.  There have been so many references to the “breakdown of the family unit” over the years, yet there doesn’t seem to be anyone trying to reverse the damage.

     It may sound old-fashioned, but I remember a time when you sat down at the dinner table every night with your Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters, talked about your day, made plans together, and actually knew what each other was up to , interested in etc.    You did not leave the table without politely asking to be excused.  There was no watching t.v. or running off to play video games or text your friends – you actually had to face real people, engage in conversation, learn social skills.  This is why, as adults, we are capable of having good relationships with others – we spent quality time with people that cared about us, and we cared about. We learned to think about people other than ourselves.

     In the present, both parents usually have to work, kids get less supervision, and the result is way more stress, and more problems.  People struggle just to pay the bills, ( even on 2 incomes ) they come home miserable after a bad day at work, then their children or partners get the brunt of it …. what happened  to quality family time?

     The thing that bothers me the most is that “back in the day”, hard work, honesty, reliability and integrity got you somewhere in a job.  You put in your 40 hours, got your 2 days off, were home for dinner every night ( because that was important family time ) and could plan things.  Companies seemed to value their employees, and they were open for business certain days and times, then closed so people could have lives.

     I realize that times have changed, and many companies are having a hard time staying afloat, but why does everything always have to boil down to greed, and making more money ?  Businesses are now all about staying open later every night, being open 7 days a week … but, at what cost?  (Yes, there are certain essential services that must be available 24 hours a day, but do we really need stores open all the time? ) Any intelligent employer knows that treating your employees with respect and dignity and fairness will result in them respecting you back, and being a better employee.  When you start making your workers stay later, ( therefore missing dinner with family ) or come in on a normal day off ( again tearing them away from quality time with loved ones ) you are going to have a bitter employee. 

     Everybody needs sufficient “down time” – time to relax, unwind, recharge their batteries, so to speak.  Parents need time with each other, and their children, couples need time together … but everyone seems to want everything now, nobody is willing to wait for anything, and many think the world revolves around just them.  As a result, businesses feel they need to be open all the time, to make sure they make all the customers happy all the time ( and that they get more money themselves ). What about their employees – don’t they deserve a life?  Wouldn’t a company rather retain good, quality employees by giving them time to have a life?

     Everything does not need to be open all the time. Change is not always a good thing.  Convenience has gone too far. 

     What do you think?


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