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March Madness Making Some Workplaces Less Productive

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

Professor John Thelin has written a book called Games Colleges Play, and he thinks the basketball games they play during March Madness make this America's least productive month.

However, Professor Thelin tells 27 Newsfirst, "It's also so embedded in the culture that it would be difficult to constrain it. I think you have to embrace it and give in to it, and invite your boss out."

Some people study their brackets when the boss isn't looking, watch games on the computer or a tiny TV on their desk, take very long lunch breaks at places with big screen TVs or just play hooky.

Thelin says, "In Kentucky, it's their birthright. Probably every government computer is not focusing on the state budget but on the state university in the bracket."

And, he says Americans are so achievement oriented, they find a way to make up for this one unproductive month.

According to the professor, "People compensate and pick up the slack. After all, they've got all of April and May."

The law firm of Baldani, Rowland & Richardson conducts one of the largest NCAA office pools in Lexington, and Pam Hendrix, who organizes the pool, admits maybe a little less law gets practiced this month.

"It's a fairly large pool and it keeps us really busy. Last year it fell off just a little bit, but the year before, we paid out $2200 for the first place winner."

The law firm even has a rules committee to resolve any bracket disputes.

Hendrix read the last item on the rules sheet for us with tongue in cheek, "Monetary contributions to rules committee are encouraged and can influence the final decision."

Hendrix says that line was meant as a kind of legal joke, but it's no joke than lots of us pay more attention to the tournament than we do to our own business during March.


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