Fine, I’ll be the bad guy: breaks are for the weak. I know who you are – you’re reading this on your bed, the feeble blue light of a screen glowing on the sad folds of your face. Did you stumble on this by accident? Did your grubby little fingers slip on a virtual keyboard, failing a task within the ability of a chimpanzee? Or did you actually decide you were content enough with your mediocrity to take a break from your exhausting, accomplishment-free day? It’s almost noon, Sleeping Beauty, get moving before you fall behind!

Satire? Really? You could be staving off a lung infection digging for gems in a South African emerald mine right now. Better yet, you could be succumbing to a lung infection right now. The audacity of some people to lie on a mattress with four intact limbs and not yearn to risk one of them in exploitative manual labor. What’s that? You just wanted to unwind? The springs in these off-brand designer watches would unwind if it weren’t for the tireless efforts of underfed children and their dexterous, emaciated fingers. Get a grip. 

I bet you’re even snacking on something as we speak. Crumbs flying, decorating your sheets like tiny stars of processed sugar. Hell, I dealt with weeks of negotiations to allow a weekly lunch for the workers in my Cambodian denim factory. Meanwhile, they could be feasting for free on the remains of Takis and Little Bites from your comforter.  

They say there’s something rewarding about creating with your hands. I couldn’t agree more! Get out there and sign away your bodily rights with a thumbprint signature to find your place by a conveyor belt. You’ll feel the benefits in no time. 

The next time you deign to think you deserve some “me time,” take a moment to count the hours you’ve spent in a sweatshop that day. Chances are, it won’t even have been half a “Cambodian Shift,” you slacker.

-J. Mansfield