Some jobs will give you breaks beyond your lunch break. I have worked thirteen shipyards and the longest I have worked in one day is 23 hours, and only one shipyard gave us any extra breaks. Many employers are so arrogant when it comes to their workers that they will not even do things that will improve production. Taking breaks to get some coffee and a little rest will improve production and cut down on mistakes.
It is not just the worker who suffers from having to work long hours. I believe that the children may suffer the most. In toady's world many of our children are being neglected because both parents must work, or the family has but one parent that must work. If one or both parents are forced to work overtime, then the situation is even worse. Some day care is good, although often the day care that poorer workers can afford is not so good. But regardless of the quality of day care, children need the love and special attention that good parents provide.
It is not the fault of working class parents that they have to work. And when they are forced to work overtime the neglect of their children becomes an added stress upon their lives. You can explain to a child the reasons why you are not there. And the child may understand those reasons, but that will not prevent the feelings of being abandoned that may set into the child.
When I am forced to work long hours, my son would have many difficulties. Often he would ask me, how much longer that this must go on? No matter what I could say or do, I knew that there was no way to regain the lost time. He was growing up and at times
I could not be there for him. Even though I knew that I had to work those hours to keep my job, still I could not prevent myself from feeling guilty.
Children who feel unwanted or that they are a burden will often strike out. They may hurt others around them or they may hurt themselves. In the beginning this may be just a means of getting attention, a statement that they are here too, and don't they count for something? Later on this may turn to anger, for there is nothing more hurtful for a child than feeling abandoned. As they grow older they may try to numb their hurt feels in alcohol or drugs. They may find that missing feeling of belonging in gangs.
The government's solution to young ones striking out is to cause them even more pain by placing them in institutions or prisons. These places only reinforce the child's negative feelings. In time as the young person grows up in those places they become so harden sometimes that they end up doing something terrible and then society wonders why.
The politicians and preachers are such hypocrites with all their talk of family values and the need of children to have good parents there for them, if these concerns were real then they would be passionate advocates for the 8 hour day, good wages and decent working conditions. They are all fast to blame the parents if a child gets into trouble, but not one word is spent about the many things that keep parents from being there for their kids. They would rather send money on institutions and prisons than for good community child care and programs for the young. The reason for this hypocrisy is that if they were to talk about the real causes of the problems, they would be forced to denounce their benefactors. For every super rich parasite, there are thousands of children going without the things they need. In that the politicians and preachers are saying that the need of the rich to get richer is more important than the needs of our children.
So who is really to blame for the troubled youth? The greedy few, that's who!
Often the stress of working long hours and living only to work for some boss will create anger. And anger always seeks an outlet. The longer it grows the greater the outburst will be. The outburst of anger is more often than not, directed at others than at the real cause of the anger. When workers lack the proper rest that they need and anger sets in because of that, arguments over minor things are common on the job.
A stressful society is a violent society. The increase of such things like road rage and domestic violence are signs of an increasingly stressful society. Though stress is no excuse for violence, it is a factor. And to decrease violence we must decrease the factors that contribute to violence. While it is true that we all must learn not to take out our anger on whoever is near by, holding that anger in is no solution either, for it will only build up making the outburst far worse.
When your life is not much more that to eat, sleep and work, the outlet for your anger will be either at work, on the road to or from work, or at home. Every working person needs time off to relieve built up stress. Thus, the 8 hour day is a vital factor in building a non-violent society.
Isn't it amazing how such a small thing like taking a break for lunch can become something so enthusiastically looked forward to? When you are working long hours it becomes even more so. It is in part because there is so little else to look forward to. It is not really the act of eating that you long for, but rather just not having to work that is so desirable. I always seem to notice when it is a hour before lunch. Then begins the daily ritual of checking the time. 45 minutes 'till lunch, 30 minutes 'till lunch, 15 minutes 'till lunch, 5 minutes 'till lunch, one minute 'till lunch. Then when lunch comes you waste the good feeling dreading its conclusion.
When you are working long hours, this over enthusiastic feeling for such small things as lunchbreak, represents the dullness of your life. When you are this weary there is but one dominating thought in your existence, and that is the little time that you have for the pursuit of not working. Nearly everything else we either have no time for, or we are just too damn tired to do it. Life itself becomes dull, meaningless and our spirit fades. We spend so many hours of the day hoping for time to pass by quickly, bring us in fact closer to our death. Time that we can never get back.
Overtime is a theft of our lives. And the robber is but a greedy parasite that cares nothing for our existence but for the wealth we produce for them. Damn I wish it were quitting time and not just lunch time!
Going back to work after lunch is always a great let down. Its like only taking one bite of your favorite food, it sure does taste good, but you are left with a longing for more. Like the beginning of the shift, for me, it is important to get a fast start after lunch. It is hard to explain how time slows down when you are tired. But when that fatigue sets in, and the monotony of continuous work drags upon the spirit, everything seems to be happening in super slow motion. So getting active as much as possible puts off the slow down feeling.
Stress and fatigue produces apathy and carelessness. Things that we normally are concerned about become a burden. One of the things that suffers when we are in this state of being is the environment. You tend to do what ever is the easiest. And that may mean dumping something, rather than disposing of it properly. You may see a problem developing, but your reaction time is too slow because you are too tired to prevent it. Or you are just too tired to gave a damn.
To many of us fail to understand that the environment is not something that we live apart from. Rather it is something that we live in and are a part of . And within this ecological system all things are connected. Thus, what we do that affects one part of the ecological system, has effects throughout the ecological system, far greater than many of us image. Often things work in a cycle, or as some may put it, the cause and effect cycle. For every action there is a reaction. When we are abused, and being forced to work long hours, then we pass along that abuse. And when we abuse the environment, that abuse will return to us in countless ways.
The suit and tie middle class environmentalists, for the most part, do not understand that the human environment has a direct relationship to the overall environment. You cannot change how we treat the over all environment without also changing how humans treat each other. Thus, human abuse is a part of the environmental cycle of abuse. And that makes the eight hour day an environmental issue.