Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Don't Like Mondays. Tell Me Why.

Bob Geldof, where are you now? (1979)
The most popular day for throwing a sickie, and for good reason. It's a feeling otherwise known as Mondayitis and, for some of us, it begins on a Friday.
It's an affliction that actually exists. One poll a few years ago found people spend roughly 34 minutes complaining on a Monday morning, compared to just 22 minutes on other weekdays. Ok, that was a British poll, and they DO whinge a LOT!
But Mondayitis is not just a symptom of modern work intensity. It's been around for ages, way before 'work/life balance' became management's favoured phrase. [Sing it, baby! "Monday Monday, can't trust that day"...the Mamas and the Papas (1966)] Way back in 1923, a Kalgoorlie,Oz newspaper The Western Argus published a piece on Mondayitis. The cause, it said, was overindulgent eating on the weekend, affecting the liver. It then went on to extol the virtues of certain dubious pills - ahhhh, an early advertorial!
Today, we resort to other solutions to ease the malady. Sleeping better, for instance. But a Flinders discovered that people are more fatigued on a Monday when they try to catch up on sleep over the weekend. Oddly, we become more tired on the days that follow a sleep-in than on the days that precede it.
Others become idealistic: just find a job you love! Not so easy to do in countries where unemployment is high. A more realistic option is to make your current job a little more enjoyable. Endless studies indicate the best way of doing this is by incorporating your talents and maximising your strengths at work. Riiiiight.
Hey, let's scrap Mondays altogether and have a 4-day workweek. It's been done before! In Utah, USA, 17,000 govt employees were forced to do it as a cost-saving measure...the results were amazing. Sickies plummeted; greenhouse gas emissions were slashed; staff saved $6 million on petrol costs. And 82% of employees eventually wanted it to stay! But ahhhhh no, can't have workers happy, can we! The concept was scrapped in 2011 for political reasons.
However, if it had been kept, would Mondayitis symptoms merely transfer to a Tuesday? Maybe a long weekend every weekend would have made it even harder to go back to work.
Or perhaps it's simply time to get over the whole 'I hate Mondays' thing. A clever Starbucks UK ad aims to do just that. It tells us that a man first walked on the moon on a Monday; Big Ben first chimed on a Monday; Macbeth was first performed on a Monday; and now you can get cheap lattes on a Monday!
Ahhhhh, caffeine! That's one way to kick Mondayitis into touch!
[...thanx to Sydney Monday Herald]

No comments: