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The American Workday, By Profession

timothy posted about two weeks ago | from the fingers-to-the-bone-but-very-slowly dept.

Businesses 146

An anonymous reader writes NPR has created an interesting visualization of workday data from the American Time Survey. It shows what the typical working times are for each profession. You can see some interesting trends, like which professions distribute their work throughout the day (firefighters and police), which professions take their lunch breaks the most seriously (construction), and which professions reverse the typical trends (food service). "Still, Americans work more night and weekend hours than people in other advanced economies, according to Dan Hamermesh and Elena Stancanelli's forthcoming paper (PDF). They found that about 27 percent of Americans have worked between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at least once a week, compared with 19 percent in the U.K. and 13 percent in Germany."

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9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777153)

People get paid for lunch breaks? I want in on this racket, it'd mean I could stop waking up at 6:30 to get in the door by 8.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about two weeks ago | (#47777181)

Step 1: be a salaried employee.
Step 2: produce good results

Your hours will still matter, of course, but not as much.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (3, Informative)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about two weeks ago | (#47777301)

Your Step 1 is off, you would have to be salaried exempt, in a salaried non-exempt position they can still dock you for lunch.

Step 2 is irrelevant, I have found that it does not matter how hard you work, how much you get done, or how good your results are. The company will always say that there is an unpaid lunch, even when you are salaried exempt. It is just that most people are unaware that in such a position you can ignore them as they can not divide out the half hour or hour for lunch.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about two weeks ago | (#47777333)

I knew I was oversimplifying. You're absolutely right.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (2)

mark-t (151149) | about two weeks ago | (#47777589)

The employer cannot deduct a lunch break if the employee did not take one. If the employer mandates that lunch breaks be taken, or will not necessarily approve of all hours worked if no lunch break is taken, then this sort of thing must explicitly be described in the employment contract that the employee signs when they first start working for that employer. In some jurisdictions, it is required by law that employers offer breaks to employees who work more than a certain number of otherwise consecutive hours, but I know of no legislation anywhere that an employee might be required by law take them if they do not want to.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

brainboyz (114458) | about two weeks ago | (#47778279)

Wrong actually. In CA they're mandatory. Prevents employers from threatening the employee and then later saying they "voluntarily skipped lunch" leading to he-said/she-said.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

mark-t (151149) | about two weeks ago | (#47778663)

Employers are certainly free to require that employees take a lunch break to prevent the "he said-she said" scenario, but employees are not actually directly required to take such breaks by law. You may want to reread the California statutes again.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

AJodock (1901718) | about two weeks ago | (#47778359)

but I know of no legislation anywhere that an employee might be required by law take them if they do not want to.

I believe it varies by state, but here in Minnesota your employer is required to provide at least a 30 minute unpaid lunch break and 15 minute paid breaks for every 4 hours worked, but I can't imagine the state would make a law that says that you must take that break.

Requiring that the employee takes a lunch break is simply avoiding possible legal repercussions if an employee were to claim that the business worked them so hard that they were unable to take a break (which would mean that the business was breaking the above law). Putting it on the companies rule books that the employee must take a break is then just to avoid those claims. Also they probably don't want the employees eating at their desks on the clock, which probably isn't nearly as productive as clocking out and working the same amount of time later.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (2)

mark-t (151149) | about two weeks ago | (#47778689)

"The employer is required to provide" is not actually the same thing as "the employee is required to take". An employer cannot deduct time for a lunch break that was not taken. The employer can, however, discipline an employee for failing to take a lunch break when they were supposed to, and can refuse to honor the time worked during the expected lunch break if this is stipulated in the employment contract. In absence of any such contract, the employee is still required to be paid for all time worked.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

cdwiegand (2267) | about two weeks ago | (#47778503)

In Colorado, retail and service, plus a whole host of other types of business, MUST provide an unpaid lunch. And yes, you as a worker DO have to take it - you could literally turn around later that day and sue the company for not providing one, even if I have your sworn oath on video saying you agree. http://www.nolo.com/legal-ency... [nolo.com] Note that this kind of thing only applies to "employees" - contractors are totally different.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

mark-t (151149) | about two weeks ago | (#47778771)

The Colorado laws regarding meal breaks govern the activities of the employer, not the employee. The employer is entirely free to discipline an employee who has worked more time than was authorized under the company's normal disciplinary policies, but the employee must still be paid for all time that they worked.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777791)

My company's handbook specifies that only a half-hour lunch break is provided. This is the minimum allowed by OSHA, and its place in our handbook dates back to a time when the company was run by a real jerk that the rest of the owners (private, not public shareholders) forced out for stealing from the company.

My boss (an owner and the CIO) has directly stated to me and the rest of the department that we should take no less than a 45-minute lunch break.

In reality, I'm salaried, so I get paid either way, and I bill the client for work on a "whenever I can conveniently fit that amount of billable time into my timesheet" basis. As long as I bill, they like me. And I bill. Typically around 80% of my work time is billable.

Whatever place you are that has ridiculously strict accounting for lunchtime that can be optional based on employment status... well, I'm just glad I'm not there. The more you tighten your grip, etc, etc, etc.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about two weeks ago | (#47779719)

Maybe the companies you've worked for sucked. I always book 40 hour weeks, because I can't be bothered to keep exact record of when I arrived at work, when I left for lunch, when I returned from lunch, and when I went home. Most of the time during normal operation I work less, closer to 7h than 8h days. But when necessity demands it, I've worked 12h days for weeks, and still only booked 40h at the end of the week. The important thing to me is getting the job done, and I consider the money I receive by booking 40h the cost to have me do that, whether it actually takes more or less time is irrelevant.
On average, I think I work less than the 40h weeks I always book. But I do my job well, I have a reputation, and nobody questions me.
I think it's more honest. I want to be payed for the quality of my work and not for the time I hang around in an office. It would be easy to hang around until the hours sum up, but I would be wasting my time and fooling my employer into thinking I'm actually doing something during that time. Sometimes I've completed the task for the day in 6 hours of concentrated work, and I'm not in the mood or mind to start something new. I pack my things and leave.
Nobody has ever raised an issue with my work hours so far, probably because I'm very good at what I do. And if somebody ever did, I'd probably get a new job. I don't want to compromise on how I do my job, and if I go, it's mostly their loss, not mine.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about two weeks ago | (#47777419)

There are a lot of support roles out there that are not salaried and the hours only matter so much as making sure business runs smooth.

BTW at no point will I be on a salary since everyone I know that has done so got screwed.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (2)

FreakyGeeky (23009) | about two weeks ago | (#47777495)

Yeah, everyone knows the big money is doing hourly work! That's why executives are paid by the hour!

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777673)

Yeah, everyone knows the big money is doing hourly work! That's why executives are paid by the hour!

They are. They're paid for the hours they're in the office, the hours they're commuting to the office, the hours they're sleeping, the hours they're playing golf....

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777865)

I make six figured getting paid by the hour. Pharmacist.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778037)

I hope you can count pills better than you can spell.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

bjwest (14070) | about two weeks ago | (#47778959)

Counting is logical and straight forward, the English language, spelling in particular, is anything but...

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | about two weeks ago | (#47779219)

How many other nouns form plurals by adding a d?

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about two weeks ago | (#47779311)

Can anybody guess the secret identity of typo-man?

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about two weeks ago | (#47778061)

Many of the people I know who have taken salary positions {not CEO of VP type positions more like senior tech and middle management} get a lot of extra work offloaded onto them, they can't delegate it down to an hourly employee because of overtime, they are afraid to push back or just plain can't, and end up working 50-60 hours a week and making less than they would have as an hourly worker before that big promotion.

 

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778327)

I was salaried for a short while, it meant them always trying to get 50-60 hours out of me for 40 hours worth of pay. I made sure that my next job stated in the contract that I get paid for every hour that I work, the upside is that unless overtime is necessary going over 40 hours a week is discouraged as a result.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779361)

Step 1: be a salaried employee.

Step 2: Have your butt in your seat before the boss walks in the door, and don't leave until after they do.

Step 3: Fourth Quarter Riff

Step 4: Repeat

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (3, Insightful)

mod prime (3597787) | about two weeks ago | (#47777629)

You want in on 28 days of paid holiday, paid sick leave, paid maternity and paternity leave and 35-hour weeks? As a culture you might try to get over your fear of the word 'socialism' :)

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777715)

It's not our whole culture that hates civilization, just the Republicans, who have slid so far to the right that they can only get the votes of completely delusional right-wing radicals who get their "news" from hate radio, wingnut blogs, and Fox. It's a self-correcting problem nationally, as they become a regional party that can't win outside the confederate states, but they'll keep the backward states from improving for years to come.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777883)

No, it's not "Republicans" greenwow. You are a moron..

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (3, Insightful)

mod prime (3597787) | about two weeks ago | (#47778559)

Ah yes, it's all {the other group}, not {my group}. I'm afraid this isn't quite true. American culture as a whole is suspicious of socialism. The Republicans are actively trying maintain this position as they can use it to gain votes. Don't delude yourselves that Democrats are anything other than right wing capitalists just because they are left of the Republicans socially. The issue isn't just a broken political system and corruption but also your Overton window.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778083)

Actually it's called France, or Sweden, or many other contries. Places with salaries as high or even higher than the US, better work-life balance, lower obesity rate, higher life expectancy. And also hotter women, as a result. "Socialism" is cool.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778309)

I'll concede on all points except hotter women. I would say the US still takes the lead there, largely due to a huge and diverse population (have a preference for [insert ethnicity here] chicks? well, they have 'em in the US).

Re: 9 to 5 is a myth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778429)

Sure just as long as you want one over 200lbs.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778505)

France is pretty much insolvent, has an unemployment rate that's getting them in serious trouble, and their per capita income is much lower than the US. Sweden seems to be doing better now that they've cut government spending to a level they can afford and increased oil exports.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778761)

You're an ignorant pig. France's 10yr treasury bonds yield less than USA's, hence markets consider it MORE solvent. Sweden doesn't export oil (that's Norway, idiot) and its government expenditure is still higher than 50% of the GDP. Go back watching cartoons at the local Tea Parties' office.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about two weeks ago | (#47779907)

US bonds are already returning below inflation, a fact that should tell you something about the health of the 'market' in bonds.

How broken is the French bond market to return even less? In the USA at least I understand the scam (the Federal Reserve will never allow a bond auction to reflect actual borrowing costs, much less go off undersubscribed), Is the European Central Bank buying all of Europes excess government bonds (I thought they were only buying the Greek, Italian and Spanish ones)?

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47780067)

My employer sets an expectation of 37.5 hours per week for salaried employees. 29 days per year of paid time off (vacation, personal, sick all rolled into one). Federal holidays in addition to that. And I have never heard any of the management where I work use the word "socialist" to describe our company. But I have heard the words "merit," "work-life balance," and "competitive."

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about two weeks ago | (#47777645)

I really would like to know this, in Brazil we don't get paid for lunch breaks and we are mandated by law to have one hour lunch break minimum. As in, the company can fire your ass if you don't take your one hour lunch break and you can sue your company if they deny it to you. Do Americans really work 9 to 5 and still get a lunch break while clocked in?

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777869)

I work in civil engineering up in Canada, and standard hours are 8am - 5 pm, with a 1-hr lunch for a total of 8 hours a day (40 hr/week). I have never seen 9 - 5 with lunch. This is the "standard" on the book value. Not the actual value I work because we've underbid a contract to do something and I get to make up all those missing hours in the bid after 5 pm and before 8 am of course. Joys of salary. Been the same for the 4-5 different firms I have worked for.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (2)

Silvrmane (773720) | about two weeks ago | (#47778787)

Canadian here. I work 8:30 to 5:00 with an hour lunch. I'm on salary, and I while I am technically on call 24/7, I am quite sure to rarely ever work more than the 37.5 hours a week I'm paid for. I get 4 weeks paid holiday a year, and free health insurance. I have prescription, optical, and dental coverage through our group plan at work. Life here is pretty good. What I see on the news from the U.S. makes me shake my head some times. You guys just don't seem to get it.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779625)

Canada invents nothing, performs no R&D, and dumps Justin Bieber on the world.
If Canada were a state, it wouldn't even be in the top 10 per capita income.

You may be happy with lazing about as you slowly go bankrupt in a country leeching off of the US. I'd prefer to be in a country that gave us the internet and video gaming, iPods, tablets and smartphones. Where I pay half of what you do in federal taxes, where state taxes are lower, and there's no VAT.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about two weeks ago | (#47779959)

37.5 hours of actual 'work'? I laugh at your claim.

Do you count vegging out in meetings as work? Daily scrum? etc etc

I'll believe there is an actual STEM grad shortage when the pinheads stop wasting so fucking much time on non-work. Start by putting all the net negative producers on the street.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about two weeks ago | (#47777955)

I've heard of actual 9to5 including lunch, but only on the east coast and even there, it's not common.

Re:9 to 5 is a myth (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about two weeks ago | (#47778259)

In the vast majority of places I have worked, they have claimed that I am an exempt employee and thus cannot be paid overtime, although that is not true by the letter of the law in most cases. Also, in most of those places, they do allow you an hour for lunch and you are not actually "on the clock", however, they also expect you to work 8:30 to 5:30, not 9 to 5. So you still work at least a full 8 hours.
Recently I was told by my boss that I need to bring my laptop to lunch in case there is a problem at work. That means, as far as I can tell, that I am not actually on a lunch break at all. Also, it means that I am limited to eating places that have free public wifi, because they won't pay for tethering and I'm sure not going to pay for it just for their use, and also that wherever I go has electric outlets within reach of the table because the battery on my 4 year old laptop only lasts about 10-15 minutes.

"More advanced economies?" (5, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about two weeks ago | (#47777161)

Still, Americans work more night and weekend hours than people in other advanced economies,

I believe the correct definition of an advanced economy is one which enables, empowers, and encourages a worker to be fully engaged and continuously productive at all hours of every day of the week, maximizing shareholder value and business agility while minimizing costs.

Question for the reader: Am I joking, trolling, or serious?

Re:"More advanced economies?" (5, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about two weeks ago | (#47777233)

Are you an employee, unemployed or in management?

Re:"More advanced economies?" (2)

idontgno (624372) | about two weeks ago | (#47777257)

+1 Got It In One. Complete with correct parallel construction.

Re:"More advanced economies?" (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about two weeks ago | (#47777417)

+1 Got It In One. Complete with correct parallel construction.

Meh. Wasn't in iambic pentameter. +0.

Re:"More advanced economies?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777479)

Anybody want a peanut?

Re:"More advanced economies?" (1)

mark-t (151149) | about two weeks ago | (#47777689)

That line is Trochaic tetrameter, not iambic pentameter.

Re:"More advanced economies?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777969)

To fuck with goats is thine own dream!

Re:"More advanced economies?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778023)

No that is iambic tetrameter. A pentameter would be:

To eat the shit of goats is what thee want!

Re:"More advanced economies?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778827)

Archaic grammar fail.

Re: "More advanced economies?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778613)

A little bit from column a and a little bit from column b

Seems good to me. (4, Informative)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about two weeks ago | (#47777219)

The summary makes it sound like a bad thing. To me, it indicates an economy that doesn't roll up the sidewalks at 5pm. It takes a lot of service jobs to keep businesses open 24 hours. It's great that I can go out and buy a Big Mac and a lawnmower at 3am.

Re:Seems good to me. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777539)

Greed drives extra hours, plain and simple. If it was a shopkeep deciding to keep his store open to let folks buy stuff on his own time that's one thing but that's now how it is, it's some employer deciding to keep doors open all the time to get that extra X percent of revenue. The people who decide the hours don't work them.

It gets worse when you consider that a lot of jobs aren't even full time, so people have to work weird shifts to keep those doors open at all costs.

Labour Day is just around the corner and I feel bad for the people stuck working, especially if they're shift workers. I make it a point not to patronize businesses open when they shouldn't be, but then I can tell you that on a long weekend like this the Wal-Marts and MacDonalds of the world will still be open and full of people buying stuff.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about two weeks ago | (#47778213)

You are saying that a store employing people and adding the convenience for customers to shop after work is a bad thing?

I know a lot of employees that prefer hours like this because of family life.

Additionally, at my job, the overnight shift is a coveted position. It's easier work and it pays more

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

s.petry (762400) | about two weeks ago | (#47779205)

It's one thing to be compensated more for working an off hours shift. It's quite another to be paid minimum wage and either work the shift or get fired. The majority of the jobs where people work holidays and off hours is the latter, not the former.

Re:Seems good to me. (2)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about two weeks ago | (#47778675)

I just typed up this long thing about how when my husband and I both had "day jobs," it was a godsend for us to have a day off and things still be open, or for things to stay open say an hour longer than normal so that we had time to go there after work. But then I realized; that was back before we had debit cards, Amazon Prime, Peapod, online inventory checking, etc. Back when we actually had to drive to the bank and then the store, had to drive around to places looking at prices and models available.

So nowadays, really the only reason for such businesses to be open 24 hours is for the night owls. Night owls can work those night time jobs (obviously that benefit is thrown out the window if the business has rotating shifts), and patronize at night. But, if we are doing it for them, then it's contradictory to ONLY have things like Walmart and McDonalds open.

(For the record, before I had a family, I LOVED working holidays. The important and fun stuff is all closed, might as well be at work. Granted, I worked at places were business was slower on holidays, not busier.)

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

khallow (566160) | about two weeks ago | (#47779103)

Greed drives extra hours, plain and simple. If it was a shopkeep deciding to keep his store open to let folks buy stuff on his own time that's one thing but that's now how it is, it's some employer deciding to keep doors open all the time to get that extra X percent of revenue. The people who decide the hours don't work them.

Something has to keep those shops open to provide us with valuable services. "Out of the goodness of their hearts" doesn't work.

I make it a point not to patronize businesses open when they shouldn't be

And I make it a point of not having my code of morality decree when a shop should be open.

Re:Seems good to me. (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about two weeks ago | (#47779197)

I'd do it as mandatory triple pay for anyone working on a secular U.S. holiday: Memorial, Labor, Thanksgiving. The only people who need to be working are police and emergency services, and we can pay enough in taxes to cover this.

I know, some people want to work on holidays, and some businesses want to be open. But it's too easy to coerce an employee who doesn't work into working, so laws that mandate "employees can't be punished for refusing to work" are harder to enforce than those that mandate "triple pay if they work, whether they wanted too or not".

I suspect Walgreens and CVS and a few gas stations would stay open on those days, but most everywhere else would close. That's okay.

Re: Seems good to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777571)

Your neighbors hate it when you mow the yard a 3am

Re: Seems good to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778173)

Use a quieter lawn mower.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about two weeks ago | (#47777585)

If that qualifies as great then I'm breathless in anticipation of your definition of freakin' awesome.

Re:Seems good to me. (2)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about two weeks ago | (#47777605)

This COULD be a bad thing. A good economy is one that maximizes productivity while helping workers find a work-life balance. If this trend continues, soon we are going to see an increase in the number of people with illnesses related to stress/fatigue etc. Besides, it could also be due to the fact that american workers have lesser bargaining power than workers in other nations. Again, I am not saying all of this is all good or bad. There are obvious benefits with our capitalist economy as well. Just that we need a good balance between approaches and currently, we are little outside of average, that's all. Whether that average is the right balance point, no one knows.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

khallow (566160) | about two weeks ago | (#47779165)

A good economy is one that maximizes productivity while helping workers find a work-life balance.

Real life is way ahead of you. The reason most workers don't have "work-life balance" is because they don't want it as much as they want other things.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about two weeks ago | (#47779579)

It seems to me the problem is that there is no trade off continuum, it's a binary choice. Either I can have a well paid job and not enough free time, or I can be poor/unemployed.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about two weeks ago | (#47777625)

Exactly. If you work in the service industry, you should be prepared to work when the people who aren't in the service industry are not working. Shops that close at 6 PM every night are at a severe disadvantage, at least when it comes to getting my business. As are shops that refuse to open before 9 AM. If you're only open the hours I'm at work, I'm not going to shop at your store.

Re:Seems good to me. (3, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | about two weeks ago | (#47778337)

If you're only open the hours I'm at work, I'm not going to shop at your store.

This is my problem, too. The problem is that companies not only expect you to to work late into the evening "when necessary", meaning on days that end in "y", but they also expect that the fact that you worked a 20 hour shift on Monday does not mean you can come in late on Tuesday, and you certainly cannot expect to be allowed to take a half hour to go run some errands during the day, unless you are willing to give up your lunch hour to run those errands instead of maintaining your health so that you can be a more productive employee.

Re:Seems good to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778363)

Exactly. If you work in the service industry, you should be prepared to work when the people who aren't in the service industry are not working. Shops that close at 6 PM every night are at a severe disadvantage, at least when it comes to getting my business. As are shops that refuse to open before 9 AM. If you're only open the hours I'm at work, I'm not going to shop at your store.

Nor do I wish to wait until the weekend and spend my entire Saturday and Sunday just to get the shopping done.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about two weeks ago | (#47777647)

Right. The US isn't an "advanced" economy, but a service economy. All the 24-hour stores and phone lines are manned by humans working night shifts.

Re:Seems good to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778175)

All the 24-hour stores and phone lines are manned by humans working night shifts
That depends on the timezone. Those have long since been outsourced to a timezone 12 hours off...

Re:Seems good to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777961)

Yeah, right. So after you've worked like a donkey for 10 hrs and generated a profit 10x your salary for someone else, you can go to a McDonald's and get obese, as 32% of americans are. And at night you can watch honey boo boo on tv. That's very cool.

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about two weeks ago | (#47778345)

I haven't worked in years. I go to bed when I'm tired and I get up when I'm done sleeping. Sometimes that means shopping at 3am fits my "schedule".

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

Miser (36591) | about two weeks ago | (#47778439)

Signed in to say that there's something to be said for rolling the streets up at 5/6pm. Ever been to an Amish community? Everything is pretty much closed at 6pm, sans a few stores that aren't exclusively run by Amish folks. I know it really shocked me the first time I encountered it.

Maybe we shouldn't be able to buy a lawnmower at 3am?

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

khallow (566160) | about two weeks ago | (#47779233)

Maybe we shouldn't be able to buy a lawnmower at 3am?

Any reason why shopping for a lawnmower at 3am somehow is a moral quandary? What is so magical about that time that we should keep people from shopping for lawnmowers?

Re:Seems good to me. (1)

fermion (181285) | about two weeks ago | (#47778735)

Honestly the only complaints my friends had who worked third shift was that bars were not open. Talk about sharia law.

The other complaint was that they were too often scheduled for third shift one day, then second shift the next day. I know that with scheduling software that ignores human needs and only factors in minimizing labor costs this has become more of an issue.

I completely agree that an 24 hour economy can be more efficient than one that is not. OTOH, we are seeing that places like McDonald's are externalizing a lot of costs to the taxpayer to make such a thing happen [bloomberg.com] .

In my case if I put in an all nighter at work or worked extra shifts it was by choice. Most places I worked did not encourage such things because it was unhealthy. But when on it young and energetic, some things are more acceptable.

America needs COMMUNISM (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about two weeks ago | (#47777243)

Abolish wage slavery! Expropriate the expropriators!

Re:America needs COMMUNISM (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about two weeks ago | (#47777485)

Does true communism scale to anything bigger than a hippie commune?

Re:America needs COMMUNISM (0, Troll)

AK Marc (707885) | about two weeks ago | (#47777661)

No, because the capitalists always spoil it and blame communism.

Re:America needs COMMUNISM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777967)

So what you're saying is the problem with communism is human nature?

Re:America needs COMMUNISM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779087)

It didn't even scale to that.

Re:America needs COMMUNISM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777975)

If you want communism, all you have to do is download it. [flickr.com]

"Computers and Mathematics"??? (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | about two weeks ago | (#47777367)

So how in the world did a diverse field like IT get lumped together with Mathematics of all professions? And does it seem to me that calling the IT industry "Computers" is a backslide to the early 80's?

Re:"Computers and Mathematics"??? (2)

charronia (3780579) | about two weeks ago | (#47777405)

From an outside perspective, the things that IT people do might as well be summarized as "Computers".

Re:"Computers and Mathematics"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777465)

But if you *own* your own company doing IT work... are you "computers" or "management"?

Re:"Computers and Mathematics"??? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about two weeks ago | (#47777513)

From an outside perspective, the things that IT people do might as well be summarized as "Computers".

Just a guess, but perhaps they didn't think to do cluster analysis within each broad job category.

Re:"Computers and Mathematics"??? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about two weeks ago | (#47777523)

those things that run hypervisors for my virtual servers and network appliances, right? Yeah we call in service techs to replace or repair those sometimes, doesn't seems to affect my servers any.

Arby's (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47777447)

I read TFA and now I have an inexplicable hankering for Arbys

Re:Arby's (3, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about two weeks ago | (#47777915)

See a doctor, soon. Cravings for non-food are a very bad sign.

Bah ... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about two weeks ago | (#47777563)

The hookers come out at night to screw their clients, the stock market guys get up early to screw all of us.

Everything in the middle depends on who your clients are, and type of industry you're in.

Educated people see daylight (or get paid a premium), less educated get shift work.

I don't even need to read TFA to know these things. ;-)

And, yes, I'm mostly kidding.

Re:Bah ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47778335)

"I'm mostly kidding."
Are you?

TFA bad at math? (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about two weeks ago | (#47777609)

Look at the graph in TFA. Only 35% are still working by 5pm. By contrast, 45% are working by 7:30am. So...why isn't the "standard workday" the 45%-to-45% mark of 7:30-4:30?

Re:TFA bad at math? (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | about two weeks ago | (#47777947)

Because the graph breaks it down by occupational category, rather than by population within a category.

A friend of mine once said that it was a travesty that 25% of the vehicles on the road were SUVs. Another claimed that this was sensible, as there were four categories: cars, trucks, vans, SUVs. The second person assumed an even distribution among vehicle classes, which is obviously untrue.

You are assuming an uniform distribution of professions where none exists; there are likely more people in "management" or "sales" (45% by 0730). This offsets the numbers significantly.

Re:TFA bad at math? (1)

pavon (30274) | about two weeks ago | (#47778399)

Commenting to undo accidental moderation. But since I have to say something anyways...
It makes since that they would draw 9-5 on the graph, for easy comparison and that they would label it the standard workday, since that is what is traditionally been considered as such. But I have no clue how they could look at that graph and come to the conclusion that most people still work from 9-5, as the article text claims.

Schedule from hell (1)

tquasar (1405457) | about two weeks ago | (#47777993)

I worked for a public utility at a water treatment plant. The plant operated day and night, every day. The shifts changed every month and there was a especially bad shift when I worked three PMs and two nights, the next shift was the same 3/2 with different days off. .The most difficult time in my life. I would tell my sons to be patient with me when I was being rude or not rational. Any shift workers out there?

Re:Schedule from hell (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about two weeks ago | (#47779611)

Rotating shifts are pure evil.

Re:Schedule from hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779939)

A shift is a session, like a morning or an afternoon.

If you think it means a week there's no wonder you have a shit job.

coordinated work (5, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | about two weeks ago | (#47778275)

Lots of construction work is only safe to do when the crew is working together. You can't have people single-lifting things that require team lifting. You can't have a truck, pallet jack, front loader, paver, or crane operator running heavy equipment in confined areas without spotters and such. A roofer needs nails and shingles brought up to be efficient. Getting to lunch at the same time is good safety and good business. It's not just a union thing.

blame customer entitlement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779287)

sure it's trendy to blame "corporate greed" but if any of you actually worked the service industry, you'll have dealt with dozens or hundreds of individual customers who DEMAND their service/product/gratification RIGHT NOW regardless of holiday or hour or even disaster conditions.

It is those customers who require the implied non-sensible hours, spread all across the socio-economic spectrum where "I want it NOW and I DESERVE it!" that we have odd hours. In support, for all those "mission critical" applications, as well-everyone in the field has encountered "that" manager who is behind a deadline and wants to blame application errors (and their support team) for his failure. Having crew to maintain the devices/software is CYA otherwise the accusing manager is "always right".

Hell, just to support Obamacare enrollments social service intake workers, and associated IT help (dedicated support desk, server support, network communications, etc) was required to be available from 7am to 8PM for the first six months. Not exactly "evil corporate greed" right there.

Work hours are long because we as customers demand it. Time to own it.

What about whenever you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779359)

I write code and design hardware for clients. As long as I deliver the design my customers don't care when I work. I prefer to get up around 2pm and work until the sun comes up. I just like working through the night and I hate mornings in general. I'm surprised that the graph implies so many people like working "normal" hours.

Public safety hazard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47779811)

If you work 10pm - 6am you aren't sleeping adequately and are therefore a public hazard on the road, if you drive.

Its also a personal health hazard, but I'm a libertarian, so, whatever.

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