November 21, 2006

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HK Civil Servants: Eat or sleep?

It's easy to mock the efforts of Hong Kong's civil service. Some say they are lavishly paid and cossetted, a group who would win gold in the running while standing still race. But The Don, an ex-civil servant himself, decided these hard working folk deserve to only work a 5 day week, giving up the largely meaningless few hours they spent every Saturday morning pushing paper and creating forms. Yet the people of Hong Kong were concerned. How could we still guarantee the high standards we've come to expect from these taxpayer funded bedrocks of society? So The Don guaranteed the civil service would work longer hours during the 5 days they did turn up at the office.

Now our tale takes a darker turn. Today our civil service find themselves grappling with the horns of a dilemma: do they give up some time at lunch hour to cut their working day?

Civil servants have asked the government to grant shorter lunch breaks to reduce the working-day period, which was expanded with the switch to the five-day week. Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions organizing secretary Kwok Kam-lam said the longer working day was affecting the evening activities of workers.

But Kwok also said shortening the lunch break could have the opposite effect on workers who may need the one hour to relieve tension from work.

A difficult question for sure. There's only one way to solve this problem: an immediate government inquiry (with one hour lunch breaks). I'll help them out with a handy public opinion survey....

How long do you take for lunch?
One hour or more
30 minutes to one hour
Less than 30 minutes
What's lunch?
Everything's too busy at lunchtime because of all the civil servants so I just eat at random times
Free polls from

posted by Simon on 11.21.06 at 09:27 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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