pay the piper

The job hunt continues. It makes me slightly less pleasant than usual. I guess I ought to have warned everyone who has not been through an Edgy job hunt before about that, because it only gets worse.

But I've started broadening the scope of what I'm applying for. Last week, I added State jobs to my list. I'll be honest, part of this is because I like the idea of the 4/10/40 Alternative Work Week. For those not familiar, Gov. Huntsman has put State employees on a four-day work week. The rationale is to save energy and ker-ching ker-ching by closing State offices one day a week. Now, there's a lot of debate about whether or not this will actually save money, but I'm all for giving it a go. Because I'm okay with three-day weekends, personally.

Of course, most people would rather bitch about the inconvenience of it all as opposed to issues that might be of more substantial concern. For example:

Tough-luck Fridays
Public Forum Letter

While the governor has the opportunity to be home for dinner every night, our children, due to the new four-day workweek for state employees, will be deprived of special health care assistance on Fridays, according to the new list of Friday closings ("Don't Wait Until Friday to...," Tribune, Aug. 4).

Our veterans who gave so much to assure our freedom will have to wait another day for services. During this serious economic time, the department handling financial assistance and Medicaid will be closed for its long three-day weekend. Those who may desperately need assistance will have to wait to apply for food stamps until the office opens the following Monday. I respect the governor's desire to have this dinner hour with his family, but remember, there are those in need out there for whom dinner hours may not even exist.

James F. Oshust
Salt Lake City
I'm just wondering if the bellyachers like this person also complain about how they can't get their desperately needed food stamps on Saturday. Or Sunday, for that matter. Because, really, what's the difference? Is it my problem if you are utterly incapable of working out your schedule?

Others like to bitch about how inconvenient it is for State employees who will have to leave their children home unattended or in daycare longer. My confusion here, though, is that most of these complaints come from people who also bemoan how the gays are destroying the American family by seeking legal recognition—with its accompanying benefits and responsibilities—for their families. I guess my question here is Shouldn't Mom be home with the children anyway?

My favorite complaint, of course, was the letter (oh, that I had saved it) wherein the writer worried that because of their regular three-day weekends, State employees were going to go inactive from their religious congregations. Do I even need to respond to that? I didn't think so.

Yes, the 4/10/40 is a bit odd and surely has some kinks that we'll need to adjust to, but it might do some good things as well. Personally, I'm for seeing what happens.


Th. said...


You mean besides the entire state sinking into the eternal pit?

Yekim AV said...

This is a hot button issue around the country. Personally, I'm all for extending hours. I'd much rather be able to run to city hall or (in this case) a state office four days a week before or after my own workday, rather than having to take time off from work on any given weekday.

I once studied a workplace that, while it was open five days a week, all the employees worked 4 days a week, 10 hour days. Turns out they were more productive. Granted I did not study the impact of the three off days and its correlation on their religious obligations.

absent-minded assistant said...

Provo went to the 4/10s about 4 years ago to save money on their operating budget. BYU did a study and found that employees were happier on the scheule.

About a year after Provo's change my office decided to do a 4-5/80 bi-weekly split workweek where every employee has a Friday or a Monday off biweekly. We did this to allow the working mothers in the office more freedom with their families' schedues. And everyone was happy we weren't doing the 4/10s because it was "such a long day." Whatever.

Honestly, our schedule doesn't save the agency any utility costs because my co-workers turn on their co-worker's office lights when they are gone "because it looks lonely" with them off. Stupid. Also, it is really difficult to have a cohesive work week when only having a complete staff available three days a week; that is if no-one is sick, or on vacation, or out on training. Our office is open 5 days a week to the public, but we are always telling members of the public, "no she isn't here today; it's her day off." Therefore, members of the public don't really have access to our services 5 days a week.

The only good thing that has come from the 4-5/80 bi-weekly split workweek has been personal. I have reduced my mileage significantly because I don't commute one day every other week, and I can run my errands locally during off peak times on that day. It's quite nice.

Personally, I think it would be 10 times better if we went to the 4/10s, because then our services would be on a regular schedule that would be reasonable for people, the public, vendors, etc. to recognize. And people would be less frustrated because they couldn't reach the person they wanted because it was their day off.

I really hope that the State is successful with their 4/10s, and I hope that they don't decide to adjust their schedule, because of a minority of whiney voices because my experience has been that the adjusted the 4/10 schedule will not help the State save money.

Anyway... good luck with the job hunt!