The Six Day Work-Week
Epistemic status: Speculative. What if we worked harder when we are working? What if we took real vacations? And what about Exodus 20:8?
I have decided the five-day workweek may be a mistake. I plan to initially work a six-day workweek with the (still nameless) Climate Change business I am developing. It’s not clear whether I will ever expect anyone else to do so. But first, the week’s news:
News from Kazakhstan: A month ago, if you predicted there would be Russian troops in a former Soviet republic, there would have been outrage. But after the unrest in Kazakhstan (discussed here last week), a Russian-led multinational1 coalition sent in troops with international support. After less than a week, peace is largely restored and the troops are already starting to depart. It is unclear what the status is regarding fuel subsidies or Bitcoin mining2 - the news coverage I have found is not worth repeating.
The Gestalt operator: see LessWrong for this one. If you’re not familiar with emotive conjugation (also called Russell’s conjugation) or garden-path sentences you should familiarize yourself with those concepts first. It’s defined by example - I have an idea what I think it should mean, but these types of things tend to end up having a Schelling-point meaning. What do you think it means?
Prophecies come in poetry, and secrets in cryptic crosswords: Having given up hope of accomplishing anything by talking about COVID policy, I have resorted to writing poetry about it. TLDR - the “permanent COVID emergency” hopefully won’t happen, and Democrats will be destroyed politically in November if they try.
If you want better poetry you may want to check out Nina Power’s3 Substack.
Tweet of the Week: on the topic of a permanent COVID emergency, an anti-endorsement. Bree Newsome Bass (famous for a performance of removing a Confederate flag from the South Carolina State Capitol) is auditioning for the role of “first liberal banned from Twitter for fear-mongering about COVID”.
There’s a lot more on COVID where that came from. It is all bad. If the likes of her take over the Democratic 2022 platform, the result in November could be so bad for Democrats that Biden would resign in shame.
Six Days a Week
The lion and the lamb never take a weekend.
The seven-day week is so entrenched in modern society it is hard to imagine life without it; I will not try to do so. The concept of six days of work and a sabbath day of rest has been part of Western civilization for thousands of years.
The concept of a widespread five-day workweek, however, only dates to the Twentieth Century. The history is pretty short, and The Atlantic has a competent summary of it. The Google Books Ngram viewer shows basically no usage of the word “weekend” until 1920, and a continuous increase in usage until around 2010.
The labor movement4 wants to go further, to a four-day workweek. This is probably the wrong solution.
In fact, I would prefer to go the other direction: a six-day workweek, with fewer hours per day and more vacation days to compensate. This is one of those ideas that might not work — but you can only find out by trying it. And you can only try it after spelling out a set of rules for how to try it.
The hourly-rate work week
Hourly workers would work a 48-hour workweek, and be paid 52 times their hourly rate due to standard overtime wage laws.
Hourly workers are *required* to take 4 unpaid weeks of vacation per year, and are encouraged to optionally take up to 4 additional weeks of unpaid vacation. These must be taken in complete week blocks.
Workers in good standing5 get 18 paid company-wide holidays: a full week around the 4th of July, 3 days at Thanksgiving, and 9 days around Christmas/New Year’s. They also get 12 “floating” vacation days (paid as 8 hours of work) per year.
The salaried work week
Nominal work hours will be 10AM to 5PM, 6 days per week6. 42 work-hours per week, with an untracked daily 20-minute unpaid lunch break7 to make it a 40-hour week. Salaried employees are permitted and encouraged to work a half-day8 once per two weeks for personal appointments.
As salaried employees, they may be required to work some unpaid overtime, but not more than 48 hours per week without additional compensation. There is also the issue of off-hours email work; this is a broader issue that I do not have an answer for.
A position would come with 24 paid vacation days9 and 24 unpaid vacation days per year, plus the 18 company-wide holidays mentioned earlier.
My work week
When you are starting a business, you do not have the luxury of not working unpaid overtime.
My initial work availability will be the entire period of Sunday 10AM to Friday 2359GMT10. A single shift of around 128 hours. Yes, I have other business interests and personal obligations - these would be counted as “time off” if I were keeping track. Yes, I will wear many hats11 — so many I may resort to a system involving physical hats to keep track of them. Yes, I will eat, sleep, and maintain a household - but with a phone ringer on in case something goes bump in the night.
Honestly, the CSTO coalition of Russia, Belarus, and a few other post-Soviet states is as multinational as many of the United States’ “multinational” efforts.
If you knew (through a prophecy) 10 years ago that Bitcoin would be a key cause of a political and military incident in Kazakhstan, it would be an enormous sign to buy Bitcoin. If you knew 5 years ago it would happen, it would still be a sign to buy Bitcoin. Today, it is a sign to sell Bitcoin. The factors leading to this have been fully priced into Bitcoin’s price for some time - and the price is inflated beyond that by people who don’t understand markets. Also, the governments of the world are certainly going to do something about Bitcoin’s wasteful energy consumption by the end of 2023.
No relation - not only is she not a (close) blood relative, I have never met her and do not know if that is her real name or a nom de plume.
It is perhaps not fair to attribute this to the “labor movement”. It is not part of a traditional trade-union effort.
Recently hired employees would receive back-payment for company-wide paid holidays after they reach 120 days of employment.
The problem of which 6 days per week is one of the motivating factors for a 5-day workweek.
If the accounting rules allow it, this should be permitted to be a 1-hour lunch meeting (with lunch provided) tracked as 40 minutes of paid time.
A half-day would be 4 hours with a 20-minute unpaid lunch break. Either 10AM to 2PM, or 1PM to 5PM.
Here, a vacation “day” is 6h40m rather than 8h.
I think the list right now is member of the board of directors, CEO, VP of Sales, VP of Research and Development, Facilities manager, head of Public Relations, technology consultant, and customer support representative. In related news, I may be looking for a co-founder. If I personally know you to be extremely smart, or you have professional experience as an electrical engineer, please contact me if interested.