19 June 2008

These are the days (of the WEEK)

File this under the "unanswerable questions" heading.

My entire life, I wondered why the calendar started on a Sunday. If weekends are week-ENDS, why are they divided between two weeks? That's never made sense to me. When I arrived in Sweden, the calendar on the wall in the kitchen of my host family's house had Monday as the first day of the week. When I eventually was able to actually read it, my first thought was FINALLY! Someone, heck, a whole country of someones had it set up the way I'd always thought it should be.

I never looked back from that moment, I've used calendars that showed the week starting as Monday. For a while, I got paper calendars from Europe. Then, eventually I got on the digital bandwagon. Electronic calendars allow you to set up any day of the week as the first day of the week, finally, someone was tinkin'! I've even encountered more people who use Monday as the beginning of the week as Crackberries have become more prevalent.

I have a whiteboard calendar that has followed me from job to job for a while, that I purchased because it has Monday as the first day of the week. Setting up the new office, I put the calendar on the wall with assistance from someone, who immediately called the REST of the office in to see my "weird" calendar.

A mild-mannered row broke out among my colleagues about whether Sunday or Monday is the first day of the week. Clearly, Monday is the start of the work-week for most people. When I was in college, working for a restaurant, our work-weeks started on Tuesday, because the place was closed Sunday and Monday, that was our "weekend". But when you're in the 8-5 daily grind, working in the business world, it seems patently apparent to me that the week should begin with Monday. Or whatever day is the first working day of the week.

While I was vastly amused at the mild-mannered row in my office over where the week really begins, I have no plans to change no matter what anyone's opinion on the subject is. I wasn't in the minority, either, I'd call it a pretty even draw. For perspective, imagine a discussion over the merits of silk vs high quality cotton, conducted by the editors of Webster's dictionary.

When and where does your week start? And why?

Oh, and I apologize if Natalie Merchant's song, These are the days, is now running through your head. A little.


Dawna said...

Yay Natalie Merchant!!! Been a fan of hers for a long time.

To answer your question, I dunno. My weeks aren't much on my mind. It is my days. I could spend 17 hours awake and then 10 hours asleep to make 27 hour days. Earth is not meant for me.

John said...

ARRGH! Foul, cursed computer somewhere, somehow ate my masterpiece of a response. The answer for us is simply this...

We (and most other countries in the world) operate on the "Christian calendar." That being the case it is simply a matter of understanding the difference between the 7th day (the Hebrew Sabbath) and the 1st day which is also known as "The Lord's Day.

Saturday is, indeed, the week end. Sunday is the first day of the week on which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to be commemorated. So enjoy the additional day off passed along to you by believers and if you truly wish to observe the beginning of your week join with some others in their joyful celebration of the risen Savior!

Lucy Arin said...


Don'tcha hate it when that happens? Technology is wonderful, when it follows our commands. Not so much when it doesn't.

Typically, we approach this from wildly different angles. I was thinking simply about the workweek; but as your work IS religion, you could hardly separate the two.

I was also thinking about my OCD, which makes me want to tie things up in neat little packages, neat boxes, neat rows. To that part of my brain, it makes sense that the weekEND would be the last two days of the week.