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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday July 23, @08:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the save-the-nap dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Is the typical Spanish daily schedule about to change forever? For decades, campaigners in the country have complained that the average Spaniard's habit of keeping extremely late hours and taking delightfully long lunch breaks was making everyday life harder for citizens. This week, change could finally be on the way, as 110 professional bodies in Catalonia have signed up to a plan to change the region's daily timetable by 2025, shortening the classic three-hour lunch break so that employees can finish work earlier in the evening.

Such a change would radically reshape ordinary people's lives—and controversially, it could drive a wedge between Catalonia and the rest of Spain, where the national government supports similar changes (and has adopted a shorter break for public offices) but hasn't yet fixed a timetable for action.

You could call the plan an end to national harmony, a blessed release for hard-pressed workers, or an attack on the Spanish way of life. Whatever you do, however, don't call it the end of the siesta.

-- submitted from IRC


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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:24PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:24PM (#543456)
    • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @02:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @02:47AM (#543562)

      Not off topic, just early for the next fine article, apparently.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by opinionated_science on Sunday July 23, @08:27PM (8 children)

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Sunday July 23, @08:27PM (#543457)

    Most of southern Europe where, prior to the modern age, it was too hot to work outside in the midday sun. Hence, long lunch breaks evolved as part of the culture. Italy, Greece, Portugal and France.

    This difference is most stark looking at the southern US, where air conditioning made longer practical working hours possible in many professions, but culturally the US is of largely northern European basis (UK, Holland, Germany etc..).

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Sunday July 23, @08:35PM (7 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 23, @08:35PM (#543460) Journal

      Let's hope they have reserved power capacity to run all those air condition units that will now need to run in the middle of the day.

      Oooppps didn't think of that!
      Heat island anyone?

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday July 23, @08:39PM (6 children)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 23, @08:39PM (#543462) Journal

        Its sunny there, no?
        Problem solved.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 23, @08:48PM (5 children)

          by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 23, @08:48PM (#543467) Journal

          Spain is sunny and during the mid day it may be extra hot so by having air conditioning used at those times will increase the power demand and worsen the heat island effect.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:51PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:51PM (#543470)

            Power the AC with solar cells.

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 23, @09:18PM (3 children)

              by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 23, @09:18PM (#543482) Journal

              Not enough sun lit area to do that.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday July 23, @09:41PM (2 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday July 23, @09:41PM (#543488)

                Shade the work space with solar cells, then the A/C doesn't have to work so hard...

                • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 23, @11:09PM (1 child)

                  by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 23, @11:09PM (#543514) Journal

                  Not really working with high rise buildings in cities....?

                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 24, @02:28AM

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday July 24, @02:28AM (#543558)

                    You can shade the side of a building - it's not common, but works quite well when done.

                    The solar cells can be angled to catch the sun and still provide a view of the ground below.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:27PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:27PM (#543458)

    Most people working office jobs don't have a 3 hour lunch break in Spain. You can find that on some (smaller) public facing shops (groceries, press stands, bars, etc.), and maybe that's what most tourists see in smaller, touristic places, but most people work either 9-to-6 (bear in mind Spain is on CEST time instead of Greenwich even though the meridian actually crosses the country, so this is basically 8-to-5) or on 8 hour shifts in places that are open from really early to really late (8am to 11pm or the like).

    Not saying that such works don't exist, but they are not as prevalent as the excerpt suggests. I'm 35 and have worked for 6 different companies, never had that. One of my friends, a hairdresser, has a long lunch break (2 hours, not 3), but none other does. And, since it's been mentioned, I know a lot of people that do like to take naps - they either do it on weekends exclusively or have jobs that end before lunch, as most people don't have the time to map in the middle of the work day.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:40PM (#543463)

      Conscious living is the driver of health.

      The goal of expanding wave functions is to plant the seeds of flow rather than yearning. We live, we exist, we are reborn.

      The multiverse is approaching a tipping point.

      Although you may not realize it, you are non-local. Have you found your quest? The world is calling to you via morphic resonance. Can you hear it?


      To embark on the path is to become one with it. Wellbeing is the healing of manna, and of us. Potentiality is a constant.

      Humankind has nothing to lose. Our conversations with other entities have led to an unveiling of ultra-spatial consciousness. We are in the midst of an eternal ennobling of non-locality that will become our stepping-stone to the cosmos itself.

      We are at a crossroads of non-locality and ego.
      We must beckon ourselves and recreate others. This myth never ends. The future will be a spiritual redefining of insight.

      Entity, look within and synergize yourself. If you have never experienced this canopy devoid of self, it can be difficult to exist. How should you navigate this spiritual stratosphere?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @10:09PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @10:09PM (#543499)

      Hola, but you still eat late dinner, say past 11pm?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @01:55AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @01:55AM (#543549)

        Different Spaniard here, no we don't. We may go out for dinner with friends and it may go on and on, but that's more like a special event. Monday to Friday, most people are done with dinner by 9, or close to 10.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @07:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @07:17PM (#543847)

          Just to reinforce the point, I am the original poster and, as the parent mentioned, dinner at 11 PM can happen but is very uncommon. Dinner that stretches until after 11 PM is more frequent when you are with friends, especially on Fridays and Saturdays if you are eating out. However, most people have dinner between 8 and 10 PM, and, again, bear in mind that due to us keeping the same time as Central Europe while being the westernmost part of the continent (together with Portugal and not counting islands), this is more akin to 7 to 9 in other cultures.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @08:09AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @08:09AM (#543605)

      I moved to South France 3 years ago. For a while I did the long lunch thing with co-workers but little by little it drove me insane. Just sitting there and social talking with the same people for about an hour every single day. Then going back to work and sitting with the same people. The days we had meetings made me want to quit, it was hours and hours on end of sitting there doing nothing. The meetings are another story - "faire le tour" where every person speaks one after the other with no discussion. Awful. 20-30 people x a few mins each.

      Eventually I went back to "normal" US style grab something and eat at the computer while doodling on the internet or working.

      I saw the same pattern with another guy who came 1 year after me. He'd always ask if I wanted to join them and seemed enthusiastic about these novelty long lunches. I would politely decline without getting into reasons. After 6mo I saw he was also sitting at his desk during lunch like me :) I think we had a shared understanding.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday July 24, @10:49PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 24, @10:49PM (#543924)

        For small shops, the long midday break is also a time to get some administrative stuff done, especially if your job serves customers and thus has to finish a bit late.
        You close the shop at peak heat around 13:00 or 14:00, after the lunch break customers, go to the bank, shopping, or to fight the administrations for a while, then reopen at 16:00, when the temperature is down and people are out, fetching their kids, walking and grabbing some stuff. That allows you to close at 18:00 or 19:00, while not working too many hours and taking care of logistics.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:50PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @08:50PM (#543468)

    Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late. Uh, I use the side door. That way Lumbergh can't see me. And after that, I just sort of space out for about an hour. I just stare at my desk. But it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual work.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday July 23, @10:14PM (5 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 23, @10:14PM (#543502) Homepage Journal

      I'm starting to see more and more fingerprint scanners for hourly scum here in America. Fingerprints are a lot harder to fake then getting another employee's badge and tapping them in even though they're out getting high or screwing the boss' wife.

      The siesta never made sense to me. Here in America we call that a "split shift" and is highly undesirable and usually gets an extra pay differential when done regularly. Hell, I'm kind of salty that we can't choose to waive our lunch breaks altogether and just go home early. For awhile long ago I would enter the lunch break in my timecard for legal reasons, but keep working through it and just leave a half-hour early -- but the boss caught on to it and started enforcing proper, legal lunch breaks.

      In America hourly scum working long hours can legally waive their mandated second lunch break, but they must take at least one 30 min. lunch break if they spend more than 6 hours working during a day.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 23, @11:11PM (3 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 23, @11:11PM (#543515) Journal

        The key is running your own company or being a contractor. Or simple being well off to not rely on work. Human is the center of this problem.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @01:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, @01:50AM (#543547)

          Human is the center of this problem

          When it comes to Ethanol-fueled that is a severe understatement.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday July 24, @02:12AM (1 child)

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 24, @02:12AM (#543555)

          Or just being salaried. I've worked through lunch (or should I say, "worked" through lunch...) for many, many years, and left work after 8 hours, unless I was making up time or in a schedule crunch or something. When you're salaried, management doesn't usually pay that much attention to when you come and go exactly.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday July 24, @07:18AM

            by kaszz (4211) on Monday July 24, @07:18AM (#543597) Journal

            I beg to differ on management. They definitely seem to care..
            Which again put emphasis on making sure that you rule your own workday.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday July 24, @11:50AM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 24, @11:50AM (#543636)

        Did you just get office spaced?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @10:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @10:03PM (#543496)

    I read another article that framed the changes as part of changing the Timezone.

    General Franco moved Spain to Central European time, aligning Spain with their ally Germany. There are moves to change the timezone back to GMT (same as Portugal)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @10:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @10:20PM (#543504)
    Now, the standard lunch time while is just one hour the company must meet some requirements Company must provide methods for workers to have 1hr lunch by either enablement of a kitchen or subsidize eating outside in a restaurant Or allow enough time for workers to have lunch at home by extending the time from 1.5 to 2 hours which is the preferred method for saving costs, and thus extending exit times
  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Monday July 24, @09:15PM

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 24, @09:15PM (#543878)

    So spain should have always been less well off than, say, Italy, which has no such break. A quick glance at economic indicators says it is completely unrelated. A productive society is like a race car. It covers distance faster, it breaks easier, it never covers as much distance as a diesel taxi.

    > post industrial society
    > no jobs for everyone
    > rational answer: work less, take turns.
    > actual answer: make workers replaceable, make employed people work overtime, make unemployed people spend time in barely relevant activities making them eligible for work

    work is the way the elite DoSes the rest.

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