It’s Naptime in America

I happened upon Allison Arieff’s post in the New York Times By Design column and she featured the outlandish inventions of Steven M. Johnson.

The one that caught my eye was the Sleep-in-Cubicle. sleep-in-cubicleAs Johnson describes the need for this product, he notes that senior citizens whose savings were wiped out in our economic melt-down must continue to work. His invention allows them to nap in the afternoon and the companies that offer this perk can turn off the lights, phones and other intrusions to facilitate nap-time.

As you can see in the drawing, each of the workers has climbed into their tiny bed, put their shoes on the floor and is snoozing away. Some of the nappers have put family photos up on the cubicle wall adjoining their sleeping space. Garments are hung on hangers next to the sleep area curtain. In one of the drawings you can see an electronic sign that alerts the workers to the fact that nap time will be in 17 minutes.

All this from the same mind that invented the Hide-a-Shower – sofa showera sofa that can be turned upright to double as a bathing compartment!!

What’s scary about his amusing invention is how close it comes to our reality. We really do need to keep working. My accountant claims that he fully expects to die at his desk (and he may not be kidding). Will employers accommodate our need to recharge with a short nap in the afternoon? Caffeine can only do so much around 2:20 pm on a busy day at work.

Many baby boomers have known the feeling of fighting off sleep in mid-afternoon at the office. You just want to close your eyes for a few minutes as you struggle with the impulse to put your head on your desk. Of course you risk waking up with the inverse impression of your computer keyboard stuck on your forehead or cheek, but wouldn’t it be worth it just to get a few moments of divine slumber?

If we could only bring back the siesta the problem would be solved. Everyone would get in their Sleep-in-Cubicle and recharge their minds for twenty minutes. America’s vaunted productivity would not suffer. In fact, I believe our productivity would increase if we were all getting afternoon catnaps.

It’s naptime America! It’s a great idea. All I ask is that you sleep on it.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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