Sunday, November 21, 2010

A 24/7 Society

It has always bugged me that the world operates on a roughly 9am-5pm schedule, but it has been bugging me more lately since I have transitioned from shift work to an all day schedule.  Sure, it's nice having a normal sleep pattern.  However, it was nice being able to shop in off-hours when there's nobody else around.  One major inconvenience is the hours of the post office here in Girdwood.  Because I commute and I'm not home from work until about 530pm on weekdays, the post office is already closed.  Therefore, the only time of the week I can pick up/send packages is from 1000am-noon on Saturday, which isn't terribly convenient either since I like sleeping in on Saturday.

Since weather doesn't take a break at night, meteorologists with the National Weather Service work 24/7, of which I am very proud.  I often wonder if the world would function better if it ran on a 24 hour clock.  Some benefits include the lack of rush hour traffic, being able to shop any old time, and being able to play a round of golf on Sunday without ridiculous crowds.  A drawback would be not being able to coordinate with all your coworkers (like we experience at the National Weather Service).  Strange sleep patterns wouldn't be a problem with a 24/7 society as long as those who work nights work nights consistently, and those who work days work days consistently.

The change to a 24/7 society would have to occur in pretty much all aspects of society for it to be truly effective.  However, I think we are headed in this direction.  For example, even for those who work 9-5, it is common to check and respond to email through the evening, or even during a bathroom break in the middle of the night.  Also, more people are telecommuting in an increasingly global society.  There are probably a lot more benefits and drawbacks to a 24/7 society than I have mentioned here.  I doubt it will ever happen completely, but I can dream.


  1. It is definitely a lot better than when I was a kid, but when I was a kid most of the moms stayed at home, so it didn't matter as much. Sometimes I wonder how stores make any money if they are only open days. Be glad your post office has Saturday hours. Ours does not, so when I was still working, if they couldn't leave a package at the door, I'd have to take off early from work to go get it. I guess you could pay for a box in Anchorage just to have a weekday address for packages, or you could pay to have a really large box in Girdwood so most packages would fit inside. Those alternatives make getting up before noon on Saturday more attractive.

  2. Have packages sent to your work address.