Autumn break

Why, in 2009, in a modern country like Australia that is not a theocracy, is the Yarrawonga supermarket shut all day on what the christians call “Good Friday”?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that workers should lose their holidays. But why must they all be taken at the same time? Why can’t the two standard autumn break holidays to which each worker is entitled not be taken on different weekends around that time?

Apart from the stupidity of largely shutting the country down for some arbitrary day (and you can’t get more arbitrary and bizarre than the convoluted method of calculating the date of Easter each year based on lunar cycles and equinoxes) because of some religious festival, it’s also a poor use of holiday resources. Instead of spreading the influx of holidaymakers out over, say, four weeks, you have four days of campsites and resorts being crowded beyond their capacity, and then the rest of the season with them almost empty.

Why don’t we simply give workers the choice of which weekend they take as a long weekend, in negotiation with their employers? Say the two weekends of the school holidays and one weekend on either side. Then religious people can observe their particular religious festival; people with kids can take time off to be with their families – and people without can avoid the lot of them. Businesses can allocate their staff sensibly. Holiday destinations can spread the peak over four, saner weeks instead of one weekend in which everything is stretched to capacity.

And I’ll be able to buy some damned steak for dinner.

PS Hope you had a pleasant Autumn break. I did.


26 responses to “Autumn break

  1. I agree with this. The entire fucking country shuts down so we can eat hot cross buns and chocolate. lol wut?

  2. What’s wrong with shutting everything down once in a while?

  3. Because if shops want to sell us things, and we want to buy them, who is the State to tell us – for no other reason than it’s some religious festival – NOT ON THIS DAY? (Or – “if on this day it’ll cost you much more”.)

  4. Baby I’ve been watching you
    Watching everything you do
    And I just can’t help but feeling
    Someone else is stealing you
    Away from me

    I see it written in your eyes
    And you confirm it with your lies
    But the way you weep and hold me
    I would rather that you told me
    Where you wanna be

    Oh oh oh you’re slipping away from me
    Oh oh oh you’re slipping away from me

    And it’s breaking me in two
    Watching you slipping away

  5. You’re one sick puppy Snidely.

  6. ANYWAY. Back to the topic.

  7. “The state”? I thought we had decided, collectively through the electoral process, to give the state power to make these decisions on our behalf. We have ample opportunity over the last 100 years or so to let our state governments know that we don’t want shops closed on Good Friday, but we seem not to have taken that opportunity. It’s just possible most of us agree with it. I’m afraid I can’t get too exercised about the supposed “right” to buy and sell every day of the year, 24 hours a day.

  8. I don’t recall it ever having been an election issue in which we had a realistic choice on the subject, let alone recently.

    Of course, raising something for discussion does not require it to have reached that point, and is generally a first step towards that eventually happening. Hence this post.

  9. Daniel Lewis

    You lefties really need to make up your mind.

    If you are going to take the view that shops have the right to open as they please, don’t come crying back to us later about the poor employees who are being ‘forced to work’ by the evil “bosses”.

  10. Totally agree Daniel. I just don’t like your sarcastic tone. And who is the “us” that people are going to “come back crying to”? The truth is that that is exactly what happens, and it was even worse under “WorkChoices” (washes mouth out with soap).

  11. No, I think it’s a good thing for the state to make sure workers have decent minimum conditions.

    It just shouldn’t be specifying those according to religious dogma.

  12. What happened to Jeremy’s poem?

  13. JaneAir – It got caught in moderation because it wasn’t Jeremy’s.

    Oh, and Jeremy – we had two different types of steak in the Eski. We did need Ice, though.

  14. Was the “J.F. Beck” poem real, or were they by the same person?

  15. Different IPs.

    I imagine if Beck wasn’t writing those weird poems he’d have emailed me to complain by now.

  16. Remember to buy your groceries the night before and stop your whinging, Jeremy. 😛

  17. Every year, without fail, I forget how some Easter Bunny in the sky closes down my local food/alcohol distributor on the Friday & Sunday of the break.
    My anger subsides somewhat as I turn the key and hear others turning up and muttering/yelling expletives.

    I saw some christian on telly, the other day, telling children the egg represented “an empty tomb”.
    F**k me if didn’t blow my lid.

    And another thing….
    Play a game of football on Good Friday, for Bunny’s sake, and play ‘Passion of the Christ’ on the big screen as a compromise.

  18. “JaneAir – It got caught in moderation because it wasn’t Jeremy’s.”

    IT didn’t get “caught in moderation” – I unapproved it because it was some troll playing funny buggers.

    And that’s enough off-topic drivel about my weird little fan from WA.

  19. Oh come on, Jezza, the long holiday weekend should mean that plenty of drink drivers got bailed up by the cops — all the more work for you when their real lawyers hand you over the sentencing brief!

    By the way, if the holidays were spaced out, how much more difficult would it be for all your mates to get time off and get together on the one weekend?

  20. Shabadoo – Not terribly. We already take several days off either side.

  21. I’m an atheist but I quite like the quiet of the easter weekend and I am not so hung up on the nature of the holiday to want it changed.

    Just my 2 cents worth as part of a democracy.

    P.S. Alarm bells ring whenever I hear someone use the term “the State”. WTF, it’s not as if we are living in mother russia …

    That’s now 4 cents.

  22. Jeremy,

    It’s a trifle hypocritical of you to allow the comment above, from a Beck imposter, to remain on your site when you have a big cry in your sidebar about people pretending to be you. Don’t you think?

  23. I have no idea whether you’re the real Beck or not. If you are, I suggest you email me and make your case – rather than clogging up my comments with your silly little games.

  24. It’s no secret I live in WA. Is the poem-posting “Beck” using a WA IP?

  25. How the hell should I know?

    Also, you can email me if you want to discuss this further. It’s off-topic. Further thread-derailment will be deleted.

  26. It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
    Since you took your love away
    I go out every night and sleep all day
    Since you took your love away
    Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
    I can see whomever I choose
    I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
    But nothing …
    I said nothing can take away these blues,
    ‘Cause nothing compares …
    Nothing compares to you

    It’s been so lonely without you here
    Like a bird without a song
    Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
    Tell me baby where did I go wrong?
    I could put my arms around every boy I see
    But they’d only remind me of you
    went to the doctor guess what he told me
    Guess what he told me?
    He said, girl, you better have fun
    No matter what you do
    But he’s a fool …
    ‘Cause nothing compares …
    Nothing compares to you …

    All the flowers that you planted, mama
    In the back yard
    All died when you went away
    I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard
    But I’m willing to give it another try
    ‘Cause nothing compares …
    Nothing compares to you

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