February 26, 1999
I'm part of a great oppressed minority whose
basic human rights are trampled every day. I'm not
a morning person.
All the glory goes to the people who are at
their desks by seven am - usually after having
jogged ten miles, read the paper and solved world
Just because you're not up with the birds,
people automatically think you're lazy. It doesn't
matter how late you work into the night - your
co-workers only remember who was in first.
In fact, working late isn't even a virtue
anymore. It's a strike against you. It now seems
to mean you're not smart enough to get your work
done before five.
Of course the morning people don't have to wait
for five o'clock before they can leave because...
"they were in early."
Every morning my voice mail is full of messages
from people like: "Hi, it's Bob. It's quarter to
four in the morning, but I guess you're not at your
desk yet. Call me when you get in."
Of course when you call back at nine or ten Bob
is nowhere to be found. It's just another example
of how early risers mock the rest of us. You see,
if someone calls you early enough in the morning
they have the moral high ground all day, and don't
have to return your calls - until of course the
next morning at six-thirty, when they know you're
still in bed.
The real pity is, I have no way of checking
their story about being in early. The only thing I
can see before eight is the inside of my eyelids.
And what sadistic fiend invented breakfast
meetings? Having to go to meetings is bad enough,
but dragging yourself into some conference room for
a stale muffin and weak coffee at seven in the
morning is something you should be able to report
to the Human Rights Commission.
Anything I'm likely to do before 9 am is likely
to be gibberish anyway. I'm at my mental best (and
remember it's a sliding scale) between noon and the
wee hours of the morning.
I'm sure there must be a vampire somewhere in
the family tree, which should come as no surprise
to anyone who has looked at the pasty faces in my
This whole early rising thing was a virtue
before the invention of the electric light bulb
when you had to make the most of daylight hours.
My great grandparents farmed in Manitoba in the
mid-1800s. I'm sure they got up early to make the
most of the day. But within a generation we had
moved to the city and were sleeping in late.
Forget "organic", if I was a farmer these days
I'd be raising a new line of produce called "well
rested" food. I'd let the pigs, cows and chickens
sleep in as late as they want.
Then they could stay up late and watch Letterman
and the midnight movie with me.
I'm sure the result would be produce from more
contented animals. Late riser bacon and eggs would
be completely free from the stress of getting up at
the crack of dawn - and that's got to make them
The early bird may get the worm, but I say he's
welcome to it, as long as he lets the rest of us