What to Do To Maintain a 50 Hour Work Week

No pictures here, and a quick post.

My assistant wants to take a single tech pack that services like, five different artworks, across two deliveries into five separate tech packs. A request I denied, because it would create make work, when there is actual work to be done. But I do enjoy her persistence so. I actually like people who argue with me. (and I especially like her. No you cannot hire her away from me. Stop sniffing around.)

But it got me thinking about my first trip to Hong Kong in 1994.

We sat in a windowless room after all the sweater graphs and layouts had been hand done (I was actually a designer at the time) and we did the graded specs. We did them with thin Sharpies and white out, and after the first few hours we had tape all over our fingers because our hands were cramping so bad.

As you can imagine, the rule at the time was to keep as few points of measure as possible, because you were going to want your arms amputated at the wrists after the HK trip, and what did you need more points for anyway? You had to write that shit by hand and it was not a joke by the time you were done breaking out XS-XL on 200 styles.

So, then computers became the norm, and you’d think, my god, not having to write all that by hand, not having to graph each stitch by hand, not having to hand write faxes, think of the TIME that will save.



Now we have to do in 7 pages what we used to do in 2. Now we just break out five tech packs for one style instead of finding  a way to simplify it.

Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law. It’s like gravity.

Work Expands to the time available for its completion.

I say that if we stopped spinning our wheels around, if we stopped prioritizing dotting i’s and crossing t’s over getting the job DONE, we could break the law, and work three days a week. But we don’t want to work 3 days a week. We want to justify our existence in the office, and our bosses wouldn’t consider granting us a shorter week because, by gum, they’re paying us, right?

The problem is we don’t respect our own time.

I think the issue is bigger. I think it has to do with the way we treat our partners in China, but that is a different post entirely.

Posted on by xtine in Frontpage Blog

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