"Allowing people to take time out to watch football during working hours is simply too costly, untimely, and unfair," so says Willem Smit, a researcher at the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland. Smit has reckoned that if just half the workforce in contending nations knocks off to cheer their side on during the World Cup games, the cost to the global economy could be $10.4 billion in lost production time alone - Soccer’s Bad Influence on Brazil (notice the soccer reference in the title).
I follow a number of Brazilian expat blogs, most of them American, and most bemoaning the fact that life in Rio comes to a halt for futebol – yes, my friends, that’s the proper name, football. Well I say, good for Brazil and I wish more countries, including sunny England, would follow this example simply because life is not all about the pursuit of production. We are not machines, we are people and we are entitled to enjoy a little bit of our lives even if involves blowing a vuvuzela for 90 minutes while a bunch of blokes chase a air filled leather ball around some green grass for 1 month every 4 years.
I am not a football fanatic and I feel the English football season is way too long. I have, only on few occasions, found myself compelled to watch any league or cup games. I do however take an interest in major tournaments but it is only for the world cup and I suspect there are millions of people like me, that I join in the madness. In the place I work now, earphones are on, separate browser windows are open on desktops as people try to work and enjoy one of humanities shared moments. How much better it would be if we could just watch the games together in a group and then get back to work when it’s over? Better still, can we go down the pub?
As for you lot who keep watching the till for every penny/cent you can squeeze out of your hard working citizens/employees, I hope somebody blows a vuvuzela in your ear!
[First published on my NotTheNews blog on specified date]