The common phrase ‘Rome wasn’t built in day’ is usually understood as saying great achievements don’t happen immediately. However, I wonder if maybe the phrase could be commandeered by people, all over the globe, afflicted by what can only scientifically be known as ‘night-person-afflictio’. Maybe ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, because it was actually built at night time by us under acknowledged night people.*
In case you were unclear the world is divided into two types of people: night people and morning people.
I fall into the latter category and feel that as a consequence I’ve been discriminated against all my life. Yes, that’s right almost since birth I have been subjected to night-personism and discriminated for my nocturnal-favouring tendencies.
When society was drawn up it was drawn up on the terms of morning-people, probably because they got to discussions first before night-people had woken up and made all the decisions before everyone was fairly represented.
Anyway, morning-people decided that society should operate on a timetable that suits their morning-loving proclivities and from the get-go we are forced to conform to the AM-people’s world, regardless of how well this is adapted to us unfairly persecuted night-persons. School, work, shop opening hours are all fixed in accordance with those pesky morning-persons who deiced that the day should generally start at 9am.
These morning persons cheerily start their days from 9am and by the time they reach mid-afternoon can start to doze off, confident that the best part of their day is already over. Us night-people, on the other hand are forced to garble through those horrible early hours, when all these important day-people’s meetings are taking place, and then by the time we are really raring to go, most early-risers have already mentally clocked off for the day.
I am all too enthusiastic when a weekend or public holiday approaches not for excitedly relishing a day of non-workingness but because I am pleased that I can stay up late completing whatever activity I’m trying to get done, without fear of being rudely awakened by a 7am alarm after not nearly enough hours of sleep. The early bird may catch the worm but the night owl catches the mouse.
Undeniably I am at my most productive between the hours of 10pm and 2am. During these four hours I am focused and can achieve so much more than I can during the entire 9-5 normal working period. It’s great to know at what time I will be at my most efficient. It is incredibly frustrating that my productive hours do not fit in with the morning-person shaped society I’m confined to live in.
The exception to the 9-5 schedulers, the lucky night people who escape such working sanctions are those that undertake shift work: the nurses, policemen, 24-hour opening grocery employees and so on. However night people shouldn’t be forced into certain careers because of their penchant for the hours of darkness.
Arguing that night people are catered for with employment opportunities because they can work in a limited number of professions is like saying women aren’t discriminated against because they can work as telephone operators or cleaners and they don’t need to take on any troublesome male dominated work such as managing banks or building bridges.
Even if those night-timers have happily chosen these professions that fit in with their ways they are still discriminated against by everything else being geared around morning-people’s schedules. If they have kids they need to get them to school at day time hours, if they need a dentist appointment they will have to schedule this for a time they should be sleeping. The whole system continues to be prejudiced against us creatures of the night, regardless of what time of day we work!
However, there is hope, a recent study concluded that students would learn better and employees would be more productive if the school and working day started an hour later. They are actually going to experiment in the near future on some sleepy students in Oxford to proved these theories night-timers have known as facts for many years. An extra hour in bed doesn’t go far enough but Rome wasn’t built in a day. This could be the start of a flexible working revolution that fits work to people and not the other way around.