the 4/10

Posted: September 6, 2011 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: ,

Starting today Utah eliminated its experimental 4/10 (days/hours) work schedule for state employees. Utah was the first (and so far only) state to try this and found, surprisingly enough, shutting down most state services on Fridays did not sit well with their citizens. Implementing the 4/10 in such a way that would’ve allowed important services to remain open Monday through Friday might have been wiser. When pushback poured in from the public I suspect a fresh-faced business analyst working in the depths of the Utah State Capitol building was assigned to investigate options. I guess he scoured statistical data, created colorful productivity charts with nifty arrows and boxes, and concluded switching to a staggered 4/10 schedule was worse than reverting back to the traditional 5/8. Apparently, the Utahan powerbrokers agreed.  

When I read this my heart went out to the fine civil servants of the Beehive State. Man, I’m glad I don’t work there. Not only do these folks have to readjust to working on Fridays, they also have to deal with the trauma of losing something they love. It’s like unwrapping a magnificent Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy chocolate delight, savoring your first mouth-watering bite, and getting it suddenly ripped from your sticky fingers by a mean-spirited anti-chocolate fascist with bad hair and an irrational hatred for Swiss confectioneries. I tell you, life is cruel.

For years I’ve craved a 4/10 schedule, especially since I realized a 0/0 schedule wouldn’t provide pizza money. If offered the 4/10 I’d be all over it like Pujols on a belt high fastball. Coincidentally, in the Trask Avenue household we spit-balled the workability of the 4/10 over the weekend, not that either of us has any influence in making it a reality. It’s evident given the demands of our jobs the 4/10 might be problematic but, trust me, I’d find a way to make it work.

Despite Utah’s abandonment of employee satisfaction in favor of the more mundane needs of the general populace, the 4/10 lives on! Over 200 cities have adopted it various forms boasting a reduction in spending and an increase in staff morale. I applaud the visionaries leading these fine cities! You are truly highly intelligent, classy, compassionate individuals. You’ve mastered the delicate art of people and resource management with deftness worthy of emulation. You should each get significant raises and national recognition. A credit to the ingenuity of the human spirit, that’s what you are. Y’all are terrific people who deserve the best life offers.

This commentary was written by and reflects the views of John from Trask Avenue. John loves challenging opportunities, especially those which contribute to the long term goals of a progressive municipality. His interpersonal and management skills are excellent. John continually demonstrates the required flexibility to build consensus while maintaining a results-oriented focus. In his spare time John enjoys family, friends, photography, three day weekends, and helping old people cross the street. If you want to learn how John can keep your city a forward thinking community feel free to contact him at traskave@gmail.com.

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