Thursday, 21 May 2009

Ascension Day

In Ghana we often complain about the laziness of workers, especially civil servants. I'm always unimpressed when I see Friday traffic starting at noon because staff have decided to cut their day short as the weekend is about to start. Similarly it's always funny to guess how many people will show up at work on a Friday when the Thursday before it is a holiday. Usually, the answer is quite close to 0%.

I don't know if I was away from Sweden for too long, but somehow I thought the work morale here was better. It was only when I was heading into town yesterday around 12:30 that I noticed the tram was a lot more crowded than usual. I said so to my mum and she reminded me that today, Ascension day, was a holiday. I still wasn't sure that was the reason I was seeing so many people...until I bumped into my older brother V outside Nordstan, the main shopping centre.

"Are you on your lunch break?" I asked. "Yeah, but I'm heading home, because there's hardly anybody in the office."

Suddenly I remembered my walk in Slottsskogen, the largest city park, three weeks ago, on our first summery day (24 degrees and sunshine!). It had been around 1p.m. on a Thursday and yet it seemed every person in Gothenburg was picnicking in the park. Why? Because the next day was 1st of May, Labour Day.

And as if taking a half day before Ascension Day is not enough, it seems nobody will show up for work tomorrow either. After all tomorrow is known as a "klämdag", a day squeezed in between a holiday and the weekend, which seems to be a good enough excuse to make that too a holiday.

Now I know you're thinking, what the hell is she complaining about, shouldn't we be happy for more days off??? And really, I'm not complaining, I just find the excuses for more time off funny, but mostly I am amused by how easy it is to complain about Ghana when I'm there...and how similar the working patterns of Swedes and Ghanaians are. The two are closer to each other than we think!


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

The common thread of Humanity, no?

Adaeze said...

everyone seems MORE than happy to get off ASAP and take any chance they have to have an extra party. I think the latter is kinda silly.

posekyere said...

Can't get my hands on the solid factors inducing the similarities.
In Sweden, perhaps, the social democratic culture is the reason for the absenteeism. The social security system is rock solid.
In Ghana though, the problem is one of irresponsibilty.
We price enjoyment higher than every form of labour/production, social security or no social security!
The value of time is as far from the average Ghanaian as the heavens are above the earth!

But gee, except perhaps the Japanese and the Chinese, who else will cry to be allowed to work when the opportunity to stay away comes?

Yngvild said...

is the Monday after Pentecost (pinse) a holiday in Sweden? Im planning to go shopping....;)

Maya said...

Exactly, Nana Yaw!

Maya said...

I agree, Adaeze, sometimes I just wonder how the employers put up with it. But I guess if the whole country is closing down for the day there's no point in forcing your staff to work.

Maya said...

Always analytical, Posekyere! And of course you're right, the Swedes have a lot more to fall back on than the Ghanaians.

Maya said...

It (pingst in Swedish) used to be a holiday, Yngvild. But if I remember correctly, a few years ago, that holiday was taken away to rather make 6 June (Swedish National Day) a holiday. If you ask me it is a sorry attempt at copying Syttende Mai, but even I'll admit that Swedes can't celebrate nationalism as well as you Norwegians!


Related Posts with Thumbnails