Work: the worst sailing innovation ever
Over at Proper Course, Tillerman has issued another writing challenge. This time around, he's asking members of the sailing blogosphere to write about what they consider to be the worst sailing innovation ever – the one invention that most detracts from the experience of sailing.
I would nominate work as the worst innovation. In the Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy once commented, "Work is the crabgrass in the lawn of life." It is something that sucks the time out of one's week until there is little or no time left for sailing. Take a look at just about any sailing venue, and especially on a weekday, you will mostly see people sailing who do not work – typically, they're retired. Those of us who do have to work are often working 40 hours a week, and sometimes more. That's time that can't be spent sailing. It's also time that can't be spent working on boats to keep them in sailing condition, or reading about sailing in order to improve one's ability to sail, or blogging about sailing.
I'm somewhat lucky in that I don't generally have to work on Fridays – those are reserved for faculty meetings, and my contract specifies that, as a part-time instructor, I can't be compelled to attend them. But even though I only get paid for five hours per class per week (generally 15 or 20 hours), I do still have a lot of other work to do: grading papers, preparing lessons, copying class handouts (or cursing at the copier for preventing that task). In reality, I probably do work close to 40 hours a week.
Other people have even more demands on their time. For example, Bonnie of Frogma frequently complains that she has to work overtime, at night, or on weekends. And in the current economic climate, many companies have laid off some workers and overburdened the others, who in turn feel compelled to work overtime in order not to risk being the next one laid off. Then these overworked people are so stressed out about work that even when they're not at work, they have a hard time enjoying themselves at pastimes like sailing.
As someone once said, "Work is a four-letter word."