Saturday, April 16, 2005

One day weekend just not enough

Every couple of years a rumor pops up that this would be the year the two day weekend is going to happen. I've been working close to 9 years and I've become desensitized to this rumor. It no longer excites me. I've seen it fizzle out one too many times.

I've become used to having just one day off a week. I've never worked in the public sector, so it's the only kind of weekend I know. But then again I'm lucky that I work a single shift 7.30am to 2.30pm. It's easier than the rest of the private sector who work two shifts a day and don't go home till 6.30 or 7pm. The much-rumored two day weekend was going to be only for banks. It was also going to be Friday and Saturday while the government's weekend is Thursday-Friday. If it had happened then while I would have loved having the two days off, I wouldn't be able to use them for weekend trips with my wife, for example, because our days off are different. She'd be enjoying her Thursday off while I'm a work, and then we'd share Friday off together, and then I'd be off on Saturday while she goes off to work. Great if you love having a day off for your own, but not if you want quality time with your family.

3 years ago the Central Bank considered the two day weekend and asked all banks to give their opinions. All banks but one (hint: name rhymes with OIB) were positive. The CBO sent teams to visit neighboring countries which have two day weekends. It conducted studies. It huffed and it puffed. And in the end it blew the whole idea away. Won't be beneficial to the local economy if banks closed two days a week, they said.. conveniently ignoring the fact they themselves have a two day weekend.

I don't get why this is such a serious matter or why no wants to take a decision on it. Why is it that the whole world has built strong economies while taking two days off a week while we think that our economy will suffer if we do. Are we that inefficient? And how come the public sector's has had a two day weekend since the 80's. Is it because they are so super efficient in comparison to us, or is it an admission that they don't do much so it's ok to take longer weekends?

So this year the word came out again that the two day weekend is back on the agenda, but this time not from the CBO. What more, this time even the lone dissenting bank had changed their mind and want to get two days off too. Rumor had it that it's coming from as high as the council of ministers. This time, they said, it was hapening for sure.

Guess what? Word today is that it's been shelved. No two day weekend.

4 comments:

Sleepless In Muscat said...

i would love to have a two day weekend...

i just started work with a company that demands that i am there all days of the week and if not, then i am back by 5 or 6pm every day...

that's not work....that's slavery..

Sowhat said...

In kuwait they are having both Friday and Saturday .. actually i was shocked when i knew ( long time ago ) that Omani banks do open saturday .. i thought it is an international regualtion to have saturday off ..

and yes am supporting two days weekend !!!

Anonymous said...

Some companies in Egypt only have Fridays off. I will be working in one of those. I don't know what I do if I need to go to the bank or a doctor.

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