The mystery of the daytime idle
The San Francisco Gate has an intriguing article by Chris Colin about "the mystery of the daytime idle", i.e. "how come there are so many people out on the street all day, seemingly not working?". A sort of quick survey on these people showed a typology of tourists, retired people, street workers, people with disabilities, "in-between jobs" persons, sick-and-not-so-sick individuals, night workers, scribblers, freelance workers (writers? web-designers? students?)
"look out your window. Who are these people? At any given hour on any given workday, well, it turns out it's not a workday at all. (...) A funny thing about these swarms of daytime layabouts: They are quietly self-reflective swarms. Almost all of them admitted to me that they often wonder about their fellow malingerers. The funny thing is, everyone has an answer for themselves but is baffled by everyone else. Possibly this is like life itself. (...) "They can't all be writing the Great American Novel," said Joshua, 45, nodding in the direction of everyone else. Joshua recently left a large law firm to work on his own, hence his mid-afternoon workout downtown. "I used to wonder who all these people were. Now I'm one of them." (...) Aren't we the country that other countries make fun of for working too much? (...) Our workaholism has spawned entire walls of self-help books. And yet this parallel universe exists right alongside the work- obsessed one. It looks nice, too, as parallel universes go."
Why do I blog this? I also wondered about that when I was a kid and partly became part of that parallel universe (partly working at the office and from whatever place that suit current needs such as wifi or a good architecture to meet people). What is intriguing in that "parallel universe" is the semantic and the rhetoric that is adopted: "face time", "outside daytime job" and probably the best quote: "I don't know how I ever had time for a job".