Friday, December 9, 2011

The Rhythm of the Days

While it is true that the whole world works on a week of seven days and an official calendar of 365.25 days, it does not mean that the pace of the time is identical in all countries.  In each country, there is a time for business and time for other things.  Whether you like it or not, you have to take these patterns into account when doing business.
For example, in the good old days of Brezhnev at the time of the Soviet Union, wary consumers, if they had a choice of course, never bought anything made on a Monday, Friday, or the last week of the month.  The workers had hangovers on the first day and were hurrying to meet quota at the other times.  In Paris, it is best to take care of official business, including banking and post office, in the morning as the clerks become down-right unpleasant as the end of the work day approaches.  In Germany, the unions prevent stores from staying open late, meaning shopping is hectic between 4-6 in the afternoon and then almost shuts down completely afterwards.  In the Mediterranean basin, due to the heat, except for shops in modern, air-conditioned malls, most establishments close between two and four in the afternoon.  On the bright side, they stay open late.
Most countries in the West have a real two day weekend, except for those working in retail.  In the United States, Saturday has become a big errand day, with even banks giving into competition and opening half days on Saturday.  The term bankers’ hours no longer means short working days.  By contrast, Sunday is spent reading the especially long Sunday paper and watching football games on TV during the season for those who are football fans.  Israel has a completely different rhythm to life.  Friday is an intense half day of work.  The local joke is that Friday is a SEX day, referring to the Hebrew initials for mopping, shopping, and cooking.  However, on Friday afternoon, many people take a long nap in the afternoon.  Saturday for most people is doing things they don’t have to do, however they define it.  Some people take hikes while others go shopping (In the stores, by law at least, only non-Jews can be forced to work on Saturday, the Sabbath).  The Sabbath for most non-religious people is a busy but fun day.  On the other hand, while the rest of world is resting on Sunday, Israelis are back to work.  Monday has a different meaning in Israel than elsewhere.  Each place to its pace.

No comments:

Post a Comment