Pet Peeves

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Schedule Your Schedule

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

I read in the Indy that city workers will take off alternate Fridays. I called the city to verify. I got no response. The phone rang and rang. I kept at it. I got through Monday morning at 7:34. The secretary told me the person I wanted would be in Tuesday. She was making the three-day weekend into a four-day weekend. It was suggested that I forward my retirement schedule to them so they might be able to coordinate a call back. But I should hurry because the person I wanted was scheduled to retire Thursday.

And so it goes. The Indy reported that 16 out of 34 southern California municipalities now take Fridays off. The eight hours are not lost to taxpayers. A skeleton staff still works on Fridays for emergency services. The tax department staff is dedicated to find new ways to increase taxes to provide equal services in less time. Fire and police also work Fridays to protect the skeleton staff from residents upset with the change.

I support more personal time. I just don’t like when other people take it. People don’t know what to do with free time. It’s not a schedule you can abruptly change into. How many times have you heard of prisoners doing long stretches of prison time who lose it upon parole? The answer is lots. They look terrible in stripes. Makes them look fat. Once they get free and into board shorts they think all their problems will be solved. They’re not. They look just as fat in board shorts.

Freed workers can have a difficult time without someone telling them what to do.  It’s a worse time for bosses. They don’t have anyone there on Fridays to boss around. Bosses go through separation anxiety and realize their lives are better when others are around to do the work. Recent studies are inconclusive on the economic impact of this symbiotic breakdown because workers could not complete the studies by Thursday.

The additional free time affects families too. Kids look up to their parents. When parents don’t work, the kids don’t want to go to school either. No kid wants to think a parent is having fun and they’re not. One high school senior told me, “My dad is off on Fridays. He’s accumulated sick leave and vacation time. He’s also off on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He makes an appearance on Thursday to touch base with colleagues. I don’t need school on Fridays.   My dad showed me how to work the system.”

Let me give everybody some advice. When I retired I got myself a valet. He was hired to fill up my schedule and keep me amused. My man’s name is Friday. He took his name to heart and never showed up. I feel like I knew him, but I never got to meet him. Now I’m lost without him. So hire a valet with a regular name. Schedule your schedule. Have fun.


Crantz tells the Indy that he has furthered his scheduling investigations and is looking into why all doctors take off Wednesdays. It messes with getting a tee time.






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