I#8217;d have more to say, but I am tired and hungry

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Everyone has heard how we Americans are working longer and longer hours these days, and making greater commutes to work. It’s not unusual for many people to travel an hour or more just getting to work.

It all adds up, and lots of people can spend hours a day trying to make a living and just getting to the place where they do it. It’s really depressing to think about, especially because it doesn’t seem like it will be changing any time soon.

Why are we Americans so go-go-go all the time? Where did this non-stop mentality come from?

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I would love for this country to develop a more European way of thinking. I’m talking three weeks to a month of vacation every year – and no, that’s not an exaggeration.

A former German co-worker would often reminisce about the good old days when she lived in her homeland. Now her job is so demanding she feels she can’t leave town for a full week without stopping in the office once or twice to make sure everything is OK.

But that’s something we’ve all heard before, too. The importance of taking a break, de-stressing. So why can’t we slow down? More importantly, why won’t the powers that be start adding a week of vacation for employees everywhere?

And siestas!

How wonderful it would be to have a leisurely lunch every day instead of trying to cram down a sandwich in between keystrokes and phone calls.

Then, instead of struggling to stay awake after that mid-afternoon sugar rush for fear my boss will catch me asleep on my keyboard, having the freedom to take a 20-minute catnap.

In New York City they have these sleep pods at the Empire State Building that people can crawl into for 20 minutes of relaxing sleep.

MetroNaps was founded in 2003 and is touted at the &uot;future of workforce productivity.&uot; It’s a complete lunchtime recharge where people can order their meal before they snooze, and it’s ready when they wake.

You can find out more at www.metronaps.com … which reminds me, I need to forward that link to my publisher so he can consider getting one for our back room.

Anyway, yesterday I found even more ammo for my napping/shorter work days/more vacation argument.

A new study mentioned on www.cnn.com, (you might be noticing a trend in this column with the CNN references. I check that Web site religiously) found that working long hours has a greater negative impact on women than men, making them more likely to smoke, drink coffee and eat unhealthy food.

The study, performed by researchers at Leeds University in Britain and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, claimed that when women work long hours they crave unhealthy snacks, and I believe it.

After I’ve spent nearly more than nine hours at the office I’m fighting the urge to hit the vending machines, and I start the day dreaming about all the fast food restaurants I could patronize for dinner … nacho supreme … extra crispy fried chicken … cheeseburger with golden fries … I feel like Homer Simpson drooling over a doughnut.

McKnight-Taylor is a staff writer for the Suffolk News-Herald. Contact her at ashley.taylor@suffolknewsherald.com.