TIL medieval peasants got more vacation time than modern workers

"... now, here, do you like overtime on a job?"

"oh, yes sir! I would like to work 7 days a week if possible, and 2 jobs if possible."


"money, sir, money for color tv, new autos, down payment on a home, silk pajamas, 2 dogs, an electric shave, life insurance, medical insurance, oh all kinds of insurance and college educations for my children if I have children and automatic doors on the garage and fine clothes and 45 dollar shoes, and cameras, wrist watches, rings, washers, refrigerators, new chairs, new beds, wall-to-wall carpeting, donations to the church, thermostat heating and-"

"all right. stop. when are you going to use all this stuff?"

"I don't understand, sir."

"I mean, when you are working night and day and overtime, when are you going to enjoy these luxuries?"

"oh, there'll be a day, there'll be a day, sir!"

"and you don't think your kids will grow up some day and just think of you as an asshole?"

"after I've worked my fingers to the bone for them, sir! of course not!"

"excellent. now just a few more questions."

"yes, sir."

"don't you think that all this constant drudgery is harmful to the health and the spirit, the soul, if you will-?"

"oh hell, if I weren't working all the time I'd just be sitting around drinking or making oil paintings or fucking or going to the circus or sitting in the park watching the ducks. things like that."

"don't you think sitting around in the park watching the ducks is nice?"

"I can't make any money that way, sir."

"o.k., fuck-off."


"I mean, I'm through talking to you."

"o.k., this one's ready. Dan. fine job. give him the contract, make him sign it, he won't read the fine print. he thinks we're nice. trot him down to the address. they'll take him. I ain't sent out a better cost accountant in months."

-- Bukowski, "The Gut Wringing Machine"

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