Two-day work week suits me fine


So, whew, huh? Here it is, sometime Friday afternoon or later, and you have a chance to catch your breath. You have the paper in your hand. Not the three-and-a-half pound behemoth you picked up on Wednesday, but just the regular, Friday, the day after a holiday, edition.

The fact that you’re reading this now indicates to me that you have a chance here to catch your breath. To take a little pause. It’s not like this is the front page that you can maybe skim on the run while jumping from one task to another. This is all the way into page 4; you’ve invested a little time to get this far.

So what is it you’re finally getting to call a time-out from? We’re you out there in the shopping trenches long before the sun came up? Maybe you’re worn out from the big Husker game. Wow — never thought it would end that way, huh? (OK, just kidding, I’m writing this late Wednesday night, I have no idea how it came out.) Or maybe it was just another day at work. Or an extraordinary day at work if you’re in the retail world on this biggest shopping day of the year.

It’s probably not a good time to point out to those of your that worked hard today that, well, I didn’t (I’ll pause here while you fill in your own “so what else is new” comment). The Friday after Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite days of the year to take a day off. It’s a perfect way to build yourself a nice four-day weekend. If Thanksgiving is being spent out of town, there’s less stress on getting back for work. It’s a win all the way around.

I haven’t always had jobs that allowed that happen, but more times than not lately, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to pull it off. And I find I’m not alone. More and more people I talk to or see around town are also enjoying an extra day away from work. Some businesses even schedule it as a normal holiday for their employees. What the heck, teachers have been doing it for decades, we might as well join in.

In fact, I may be on the verge of taking the next step. In the interest of full disclosure, I went one day better this year. I didn’t work Wednesday, either. At least, not the kind I get a paycheck to do. It was a nice enough day that I got some year-end yard work done. And of all the work being done inside the house to prep for Thanksgiving Day company, I think I contributed a solid 10 percent, compared to my wife’s 90 percent.

And I’ve decided I could get used to this. Someone run for president in four year’s with a two-day work week platform, and you’ve got my vote.

Big News

I made mention earlier of the bulkiness of Wednesday paper. It was so stuffed with ads for Black Friday madness that it tipped the scales in the three-and-a-half pound neighborhood. That’s a good chunk bigger than the regular editions, even the ones with the Tuesday grocery store ads.

I wonder if the people who delivered the papers Wednesday will remember that date as well as I remember March 1, 1967. I had a paper route at the time, delivering copies of the North Platte Telegraph to a little more than 90 subscribers on average each day. Most days, there would be one bundle of papers waiting for me on the driveway as I came home from school.

This day, it took nine bundles to bring me that day’s allotment.

March 1, 1967, was Nebraska’s 100th birthday as a state. The centennial was commemorated with a special edition. It took generous help from mom and the back of a ’58 Chevy station wagon that day. The Pee Wee Herman style basket on the front handlebars of my bike wasn’t going to cut it that day.

I didn’t see how the paper was delivered to me on Wednesday, but it sure would have been cool to see a ’58 Chevy station wagon pull down the street with a kid hanging out the back.

Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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