Oh Henry.

Okay. So, we all work hard to earn our keep. Run our butts off until it’s time to go home and collapse. (or have a beer) Even though a lot of people are working at home these days, there are an awful lot of jobs that simply can’t be done at home like, say, heat treating professionals. 🙂  Some random others are: Proctologist (yikes!!), sidewalk artist, high-rise window washer (yikes!!), male model, barber, sewer cleaner (again…yikes!!), office tower construction (double yikes!!), coal miner, pilot, jockey and dog groomer to name a few. So, whatever you do—just keep running, baby!! And HAVE FUN!!!!! 

Work.  From about age 13, it’s something I come to just do naturally.  Imprinted from my Dad for so many years, when the sun comes up, he’d say it’s best you are at your desk, ready to take on the day. We all structure our lives “around” work – sleep time, commute time, vacations, shopping, exercise, lunch, friends, fun, church/synagogue – it’s just how we’re programmed.  I really enjoy coming to work in the wee hours of the morning – it’s always amazing how beautiful Lake Erie is as the sun rises! This is a great way to start the day, and of course, the added benefit of never being in traffic also helps! For all the talk of how freeing it’d be to shave a day or two off the five-day workweek, little attention has been paid to where the weekly calendar came from. Understanding the sometimes-arbitrary origins of the modern workweek might inform a movement to shorten it – or modify it as we become adjusted to our present-day “work from home” situation.  So many of us have adjusted to less commuting time, no lunch hours, and just working well into the night (honestly, who’s not working on the weekends these days??)  Today marks the anniversary of when the famous manufacturing and business entrepreneur Henry Ford, credited with creating the “work week” (of course there’s more to the history).  Special thanks to The Atlantic magazine, CNBC and Quora for the info and You Tube for the music.  Enjoy.  And be sure to set your alarm for Monday (hopefully you still get Sat. & Sun. off!)

A little workin’ music:  CLICK HERE

  • The roots of the seven-day week can be traced back about 4,000 years, to Babylon. The Babylonians believed there were seven planets in the solar system, and the number seven held such power to them that they planned their days around it.
  • The seven-day, planetary week spread to Egypt, Greece, and eventually to Rome, where it turns out the Jewish people had their own version of a seven-day week.  (The reason for this is unclear, but some have speculated that the Jews adopted this after their exile in Babylon in the sixth century B.C.) At the very latest, the seven-day week was firmly entrenched in the Western calendar about 250 years before Christ was born and as reflected in the Bible.
  • A week in Ancient Egypt comprised of 10 days. Examining records from Deir el-Medina, the village where (non-slave) artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived, workers officially toiled away for eight hours a day with an hour’s break for lunch at midday. Sounds pretty reasonable – and familiar – but they actually did this for eight days before resting for two days.
  • The typical farmworker in the Israel of 100 BC tended crops or engaged in other farm work for around eight hours a day. For a working day began at dawn and concluded at dusk that’s a heavy load, but three hours would have been set aside for prayer while eating the day’s main meal was likely to have taken an hour or so.
  • Slaves in imperial Rome were at the grindstone 24/7, but most free artisans only worked six hours a day, from 6 am to midday. Not only that but festivals were frequent. In fact, according to some historians, Romans who were not in chains ended up working only half the year.
  • In 1817, Welsh manufacturer and labor rights activist Robert Owen coins the phrase “Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest,” dividing the day into three equal eight-hour parts.  The idea did not take hold in Europe, but it made its way to the U.S. over the next few decades. According to Lichtenstein, American workers adopted a similar slogan in the years following the Civil War.
  • The legislature passes the law, but it contains a loophole that allows “employers to contract with their employees for longer hours,” the historical society writes. In response, a large strike erupts in Chicago which spreads to other cities across the U.S. and Europe. That day became known as May Day.
  • The earliest recorded use of the word “weekend,” occurred in 1879 in an English magazine called Notes and Queries:  In Staffordshire, if a person leaves home at the end of his week’s work on a Saturday afternoon to spend the evening of Saturday and the following Sunday with friends at a distance, he is said to be spending his week-end at so-and-so.
  • Some 19th-century Britons used the week’s seventh day for merriment rather than for the rest prescribed by scripture. They would drink, gamble, and enjoy themselves so much that the phenomenon of “Saint Monday,” in which workers would skip work to recover from Sunday’s gallivanting, emerged. (We call it “Browns” Monday).  English factory owners later compromised with workers by giving them a half-day on Saturday in exchange for guaranteed attendance at work on Monday.
  • The ‘weekend’ rose with the Industrial Revolution where people worked in factories or mills all day, typically in the north of England. It started out as a voluntary arrangement between factory owners and workers, allowing them Saturday afternoon. Owners found workers were more refreshed on Monday morning.
  • In 1926, Ford Motor Company issued a five-day, 40-hour workweek for its workers in a newsworthy move by founder and business titan Henry Ford. (Ford is often cited as the inventor of the five day/8 hour day) In a statement, Ford writes, “It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either lost time or a class privilege.”
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 went into effect in 1940, mandating a maximum 40-hour workweek. The two-day weekend was the result across the nation after that.
  • For 24 hour/7 days a week processing and manufacturing companies, “shift work” became the standard.  Other professions where workers are required around the clock (think hospitals, police, fire, elder care, military, security) management needed to adjust schedules to cover hours – some doing 3-12hour shifts.  If you know any health care heroes these days, you’ll learn about “3 on and two off” schedules.
  • A 1965 Senate subcommittee predicted Americans would work 14-hour weeks by the year 2000, and before that, back in 1928, John Maynard Keynes wrote that technological advancement would bring the workweek down to 15 hours within 100 years.
  • Tony Schwartz, the author of Be Excellent at Anything, told Harvard Business Review that people work best in intense 90-minute bursts followed by periods of recovery. Compare that to our “always working” routines of today (and COVID restrictions), the right scheduling of bursts and rests could get a similar amount of work done over a shorter period of time, not tied to hours worked requirements. INTERESTING – JUST NOT REALITY FOR MOST OF US!
  • Given the ongoing conversation about how most of the old 8-5 ways are just sitting there, and now getting disrupted by COVID, technology, no commuting, online work software, teleconferencing, etc. it will be surprising if the traditional workweek remains wholly intact.
  • With the advent of technologies, (and Covid) who knows what the next 100 years will bring… KHT will be here for you…!



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!





We “Zoom”. Do you “Zoom”?  Staying connected and productive these days is challenging but that’s how a whole lot of us have to do it now. I’m still getting to the office super early. And I’ve never seen “rush hour” on the West Shoreway like that second photo from the top. It’s from a You Tube video that Cleveland.com posted. BTW, in that photo, you can see my office and buildings right over that cool billboard.  :-))  So, we just have to settle in and work the way that works best for us. Just gotta’ get ‘er done!


Like you, I’ve been forced to learn some new skills when it comes to “working from home”.  I’ve always had an office in the house, set up to mimic my KHT HQ workspace, with monitors, printers, filing, workflows and the like.  What’s sooo cool for me, with our advanced KHT technology, I can log into our various furnaces in real-time to see how your wonderful PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs! are coming along.  I have to admit, with my spectacular team, I am now am able to do that for fun, not out of necessity!  The jury is still out on whether Jackie is ready for me to spend more time at home!!

With all of our online conference calls, new work habits and fun stories and videos of people working from home (my favorite is people changing from their morning PJ’s to their evening PJ’s), I did a little digging to find out how we got to this point.  Of course, early mankind never went to “the office or factory”, but over time this shifted with the rise of automobiles and big manufacturing.  As technology has made it easier to WFH, people have drifted back to remote work and home offices.  Special thanks to fastcompany.com, flexjobs.com and Wikipedia for the info.  Enjoy!  And be kind to your housemates.

  • In the beginning (of work), there was no such thing as going to a different place to labor.  Early humans foraged for plants and hunted animals for food. Going to a workplace was not common as most lived off the land within a close proximity of their dwelling.
  • The “working man” was so named because of their use of advanced tools. Evidence from charred animal bones in fossil deposits and traces of their camps indicate they crafted these tools close to their dwelling places and used fire.
  • Clustered at home became more regular in medieval England in what was known as the “longhouse,” inhabited by peasants and their livestock at either end of a building. In the middle, there was the kitchen, as well as an area for spinning/weaving/dressmaking, dairy, butchering, and tanning.  Living and working in one building was efficient and convenient.
  • Some work homes called “top-shops” had a steam engine at one end and a single driveshaft with long belts attached to machines, linking power-looms in the individual weaving lofts to allow them to compete with factories.  Belt driven drive shafts become common in industrial settings in the 1800’s.
  • With the Industrial Revolution came a need for automation and the creation of factories. Huge machines and large-scale productions required employees to be present in-house to complete their work. This is also when people started commuting to designated “office spaces.” But even this didn’t last forever.
  • During the Industrial Revolution, home-based work continued to thrive as shopkeepers, funeral parlors, and schools featured proprietors and teachers living and working in the same building.
  • This trend continued into the 20th century in the United States. The immigrants who flowed into New York City during the late 1800s and early 1900s often took in work in their tenement apartments, where the heat and lack of fresh air led to the term “sweatshops.”  Hand work was common and efficient.
  • While WWII saw the rise of women in the workplace, peacetime relegated them back to their homes to raise traditional families.  Two innovations occurred: one was the invention and manufacture of plastic containers to store food and other goods using an industrial byproduct created by Earl Tupper; the other was a way to sell them, created by Brownie Wise, a woman who’d become a salesperson for Stanley Home cleaning products. She piggybacked off of the Stanley Home party model and created her own “patio parties” as a way to get housewives to sample the products and have fun while doing it. This spawned an entire industry of in-home sales.  Other companies like Avon and Amway spread rapidly.
  • The 50’s and 60’s saw the growth of the suburbs, with more Americans having “a place of their own That’s when Jack Nilles was working remotely on a complex NASA communication system that he coined the word “telecommuting.” Nilles went on to coauthor The Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff, which proposed working from home as a solution to traffic tangles.
  • By 1975, the first “personal” computer is introduced. Employees are finally able to work remotely outside of the office and eventually get to take their work on-the-go with a smaller machine.
  • In the 1980s, companies began officially experimenting with flexible work. For example, IBM installed “remote terminals” in several employees’ homes during that time, and the program flourished to the point that by 2009, 40% of IBM’s 386,000 global employees already worked at home.  Savings ensued, as the company noted that it had reduced its office space by 78 million square feet and saved about $100 million in the US annually as a result.
  • In 1990, the internet is born, and the World Wide Web helps connect remote workers with email and virtual office tools.
  • 1997: Google launches the powerful search engine we know today. Google Search breaks down barriers and creates a place where employers and employees can find each other no matter where they live. You can still locate remote work or workers anytime today, all from performing a simple Google search.
  • The 2000s come and wireless internet and broadband open the floodgates. Remote employees can finally work without being tied to a physical location for their ethernet internet connection. This also makes slow speeds from dial up internet a bad memory of the past as “logging in” becomes second nature to workers and teams.
  • LinkedIn launches in 2001 and connects millions of professionals across the globe. For the first time employees can network with old friends or coworkers, reach out to potential employers, and follow their favorite companies to see what’s new on this professional platform boasting 562 million users across 200 countries and territories.
  • In 2003, a surge of remote workers inspires Skype, a better communication tool for virtual employees. This video conference software helps organizations maintain genuine face-to-face connections with employees even if everyone’s working remotely.
  • Virtual meeting software GoToMeeting (GTM) goes live in 2004, helping employees “meet” in a virtual conference room to share presentations, files, and brainstorm together. GTM currently has 2 million active daily users. Newer products like Zoom flood our kitchen tables today.
  • Slack, in 2009 becomes the fastest-growing business application in history, creating a way for teammates and managers to communicate from anywhere. Slack continues to be the glue holding entire remote teams together, supporting over 8 million active daily users.
  • In 2012, Google introduces its suite of office tools and digital file storage, known as Google Drive. This becomes the modern-day workspace where employees, both in-house and remote, access important documents and files while also collaborating and giving feedback in real time.
  • By 2016, Dell reports an annual savings of $12 million since expanding its telecommuting and remote work programs. Reports like these prove remote work is beneficial to employers just as much as remote employees.  Major tech-heavy cities like Austin and San Francisco report 60% and 30% of their job offers went to remote workers, respectively. Now many employers would rather have access to top talent, even if it means going outside of their corporate zip code to do so.
  • By 2018, over 4.3 million people work from home in the United States at least half of the time – a figure that has grown 150% in the last 13 years. The future of remote work continues to explode, and the technology to support these needs only gets better.
  • And, of course, the corona virus of 2020 has changed everything – with 95% of the workforce pushed home for safety.
  • Your next remote job interview could be through a Facebook Portal chat that follows you around the room, or a robotic iPad that gives you a tour of the interviewer’s office as if you were standing right there in person.  It’s also even easier to find jobs as a remote worker these days.  Thanks to sites like We Work Remotely, you can connect to the top employers who already know the benefits of hiring remote talent and are ready to do so.
  • While remote workers of the pre-Industrial Revolution days may have nothing in common with remote workers of the present, it’s still proof that remote work has been quietly evolving since the beginning of the workforce as we know it.  Most remote workers have no intentions of leaving for greener pastures. This means companies maintain higher retention rates and waste less money training new recruits.  And since many of the benefits outweigh the cons, remote work shows no signs of fading away.
  • But I still love coming into the office to work closely with my highly motivated team of PIA jobs solvers!!

Feel Good Song of the Week 
Just sit back, crank it up, drift back in time and chill – concert version:  CLICK HERE