July 12th, 2012
Sundays can be pretty boring, can’t they? What with Monday around the corner and all? The Daily Mail certainly thinks so:
When the weekend ends: 4:13pm on Sunday is when we get the blues ahead of the working week
Anxiety about the working week ahead officially starts at 4.13pm on a Sunday, according to a poll.
Four out of ten adults admit that their Sunday is spent feeling anxious and full of dread.
The mild sense of depression begins half way through the afternoon and continues into the evening.
4.13pm is the time we begin to dread Monday? That’s an oddly specific time, isn’t it? There’s a very good reason for this:
- It’s unusual and specific, and therefore seems science-y and more memorable
- It’s made up – or rather, it’s generated from a survey which couldn’t possibly measure the exact time when people begin to feel down about going to work, and is almost certainly an artefact from poorly-created questions and multiple-choice answers.
Consider point 2 for a moment: how would you objectively measure the exact time – to the minute – at which people begin to contemplate returning to work? For one thing, the likelihood that there is a specific time when those sentiments kick in is incredibly remote. Further, the survey could only measure what people report as being the time they begin to dread work, and who could possibly be sure of such a thing?
Far more likely is that respondents were given a range of times to choose (perhaps to the nearest hour), and the 4.13pm figure is generated by averaging out the responses collected. What we have is the equivalent of having 30 blindfolded people pin the tail on the donkey, and then confidently stating that the donkey’s tail really belongs in the middle of all of the guesses. If the donkey’s tail even exists. And if there’s even a donkey.
Before we see who commissioned the survey, there’s just time to appreciate just how hard the PR company is working to ram home the core brand message:
The study of 2,000 adults also found that 44 per cent of workers will go into work on a Monday, hear about everyone else’s plans and think theirs were boring in comparison.
But this might be because three quarters of people often don’t even bother leaving the house on a Sunday.
Forty-six per cent even admit to regularly going through the last day of the weekend without seeing or speaking to anyone else.
And nearly half of those polled reckon they would be less likely to get an attack of the blues on a Sunday if the evening was more exciting.
A third of adults reckon their ideal Sunday would involve a day trip to somewhere new, while a quarter would like a nice roast dinner in a restaurant followed by a lazy stroll.
A fifth of people would love to extend their weekend socialising to a Sunday, making the most of friends, family and the children.
So too many people don’t leave the house on Sunday, would prefer to do something exciting on a Sunday, don’t see people on a Sunday but would like to go somewhere new on a Sunday, especially if they could extend their weekend to a Sunday night. Who commissioned the survey, and why?
Claire Haigh, spokesman for Premier Inn, which conducted the study to launch their £19 room sale, said: ‘Sundays should be a day to relax and enjoy the last of the weekend break but the results show that people are instead spending their Sundays thinking about work for the week ahead, so they are the most dreaded day of the week.
‘For many Brits Sundays are considered boring and many don’t even bother to leave their house, but it is important that people make the most of their weekends.
‘Premier Inn know that Sunday’s are often the day for checking out after a great weekend, but with rooms available from as little as £19 it is easier for people to make their weekend’s last longer without tugging on the purse strings.
Your Sundays would be much better if you did something interesting with them, and Premier Inn have cheap rooms on a Sunday.
As a side note, notice in the quote from Clare Haigh the incorrect use of Sunday’s as the plural of Sunday. This is interesting for a number of reasons:
- The Daily Mail printed a quote with a clear, simple, annoying grammatical error in it.
- The same grammatical error was present in the original press release.
- The Daily Mail therefore not only copied 82% of the press release into their own ‘news’ article, but they didn’t even bother to correct the grammar during their copy/paste job.
Perhaps the person responsible for checking grammar was too busy booking themselves into a cheap hotel.