Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lab #4: WORK

  People nowadays spend more time working ad fussing over surviving in the day to day than they did even a decade ago. In a fast paced world, I was lucky to even grab peoples attention long enough for an interview. I asked 10 people about key points in their daily routines: Work, sleep, food, and leisure (which includes all other activities). I asked three elderly, three middle-aged, and four teenage individuals about these points. This is what I found.

Work: Obviously adults work more than teenagers, and the elderly are typically retired. Three of the teens I spoke to said that they have jobs, one of which having a full-time job on top of school. All three adults had full time jobs, one of which working two jobs, and one of which being a full-time stay at home dad. Only one elder I interviewed was employed, and she worked as a basket weaver for a local craft store. All but one employee, who was a restaurant manager, got paid just above minimum wage.

Sleep: No need to mention that the teenagers got the most amount of sleep, though they were nearly beaten by the elders, who said they went to bed between 7-9pm every night and woke up from 9-11am every morning, and had time for naps during the day. The teenagers didn't have much time for sleep at night, on average getting about 7.5 hours of sleep a night, but three of the four said they managed to squeeze in long naps during their day. The middle-aged individuals said that they did not get much sleep, as most of them had children and demanding jobs.

Food: The responses towards food were overall similar: a quick bite to eat is a lot more convenient and desirable than sitting down for a lengthy meal with family or friends. The teens and adults unanimously agreed this, as did one of the elders, while the other two preferred to cook and eat with their loved ones, and rarely ever ate fast food. The two who preferred "slow" food were both retired and lived near all or most of their children and grandchildren.

Leisure: Leisure as a category extends to all activities excluding the ones mentioned previously. The teenagers varied in their ideas of leisure. One said he spent most of his free time playing video games and caring for his brothers and sisters, sometimes doing motocross during warmer months. Another said that she preferred working on her sister's horse farm on weekends, and wrote poetry during much of her spare time. The other said he preferred sleeping and eating to doing any actual "activities." The adults all jokingly made statements about "not having enough time for hobbies," and proceeded to tell me basic and similar activities, such as reading, watching television, playing with their children, and working out. The elders mentioned an array of hobbies, from basket weaving to chicken farming to spinning clay pots, to teaching yoga. One woman described an annual retreat she attended in the Italian vineyards with her friends, and a particular fondness for wine tasting.

  There would seem to be a strong correlation between amount of work during the day and the overall level of enthusiasm and openness with which the participants answered the questions. Those who worked more typically rushed me through my questions, and gave half-hearted answers, and only opened up when I began to pry. It would seem overall that the adults are more busy and stressed, and seemed to lack a sense of self, while the teenagers were almost cliche in their schedules, and the elders much more rounded than the rest.

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