30 minute increments? And people say Americans work too hard...
Thomas, they used to say that Americans were lazy. Not so long ago there was the economy bubble in Japan (similar to the Dot-Com bubble in America, but more widespread). It was a common complaint among JETs that they would get asked "Why are Americans so lazy?", the belief being that the Japanese must be harder workers because they were so prosperous. The really ironic thing was that even when the economy was booming over here, things were still less prosperous than in America, on average. Americans work fewer hours, but are more efficient and productive (and have a higher per-capita income) than just about any other country in the world.
Which isn't to say that Americans aren't lazy. Efficiency and laziness aren't mutually incompatible, rather, they complement each other nicely. I believe I'm efficient because I'm lazy.
The Dilbert comic for May 29th, 2005 illustrates (ha!) how one event can be interpreted both ways. The comics are only archived for a month, so I'll transcribe the text:
|Dilbert:||Can I show you something that I'm proud of? I automated a task that used to take me three hours.|
|PHB:||Well, well, well. Isn't that just like you?|
|Dilbert:||Did you just turn my brilliant accomplishment into a character flaw?|
|Dilbert:||Let's just forget the whole thing.|