Work Hours

Oct. 9 was beautiful! It was great to drive the freeway from Anaheim to Los Angeles in the morning--and just as great to return that same evening. The traffic was smooth-flowing and fast, and the drivers looked relaxed and friendly. What a contrast to the normal sourpusses nudging along at a crawl pace, spewing hydrocarbons into the air.

What made Oct. 9 so special was that it was one of those quasi-holidays when all the government employees stayed home.

What if we did this all the time? Think about it. Here's a significant part of our work force competing vigorously for road space every day during the prime "business" hours.

Yet their "business" of recording, analyzing, statistic-making and auditing is completely independent of any time criticality. A tax audit doesn't care when it's done, and the world wouldn't stop spinning if the paper work for a paid traffic fine was done at 3:30 a.m. instead of 9:30 a.m.

Why couldn't most "government" work be done during non-business hours? Shifts like 3 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. not only wouldn't hurt anything but also would probably make for a lot more accessibility to bureaucracy during the ordinary citizen's non-work hours. Another benefit would be the utilization of present office space, rather than annexes.

Of course, government employees wouldn't like this, at least not right away. But the benefits are clearly there, and no group is better placed to implement it. It is still called government "service," isn't it?



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