On this day in 1926, Ford Motor Company becomes one of the first companies in America to adopt a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories. The policy would be extended to Ford’s office workers the following August.
Henry Ford’s Detroit-based automobile company had broken ground in its labor policies before. In early 1914, against a backdrop of widespread unemployment and increasing labor unrest, Ford announced that it would pay its male factory workers a minimum wage of $5 per eight-hour day, upped from a previous rate of $2.34 for nine hours (the policy was adopted for female workers in 1916). The news shocked many in the industry–at the time, $5 per day was nearly double what the average auto worker made–but turned out to be a stroke of brilliance, immediately boosting productivity along the assembly line and building a sense of company loyalty and pride among Ford’s workers.
The show is over. I’m wiping tears from my face in the theatre’s green room . My stage manager rubs my shoulders and softly states that people want to get drinks and talk about the process. Though shaken and desperately ready to go home, I agree. We march to the Angry Beaver and yell jovial niceties over excellent jazz. One person asks:
” So you planned all this yourself? Vendors, stage, process…everything?”
I nodded ‘yes’.
A warm, sly smile patters over my lips.
I was extremely skeptical of James Altucher’s blog: 10 More Reasons to Quit Your Job Right Now! I mean, we need jobs to pay for things, feed us, prep for old age, buy that beer you wanted to try. Those 8 hour days, 5 days a week are necessary; we communicate with our peers, we learn, we evolve, we grow, we get paid. The thought of a ‘non-office’, ‘non-job’ life is unheard of. A ‘non 8 hour’ day? Unthinkable.
Well, not anymore.
Alvin Toffler’s predictions are breaching. The Internet Economy is here; this blog series is frighten proof. I wrote and scheduled this post in mid October.
Technology made my theatrical debut a success by mass email communication, cloud file sharing, currency / labor exchange via paypal and/or bitcoin. I learned my lines through scarily effective brain hacks found on youtube….all while doing my former 8 hour job. The age of the struggling actor waiting tables is dead. The era of the cubicle worker is coming to a quiet close. The internet was created to do the heavy lifting and it’s going to do it if we like it or not, so why not embrace it?
Think about it; how intriguing is it to have two streams of fully functional work churning in the background while not feeling the brunt of either due to the available technology? True; I still had to create content, but I could schedule that content to launch in consistent increments while I commuted in to work. I didn’t have to staple posters on telephone poles. I didn’t have to rent a space to have meetings. I didn’t have to worry about sharing a schedule to my team mates individually; it was all right there. If I wanted more traffic to my site, I could buy those clicks to make it happen. While people funnel to my site and read my content , I could market effectively, genuinely, face to face. I could tell the story of my life and how Treehouse needs their donations to mold more people like me. The Ghost in the Machine will do the rest.
The internet economy is not solely an economy based on currency; it’s focused on saving time, which we must remind ourselves is finite.
Henry Ford, Alvin Toffler and James Altucher are right; as the technology and systems evolve, we must evolve with it be it artist, blue collar or white collar.
Photography: Chach Photography
I’m not above asking for tips!