I was trying to think of a way to work with the Turkers this year, since it is not an Olympic year (for those years I host the Mechanical Olympics, another collaborative project with the Turkers). I had an illuminating moment one night in January, as I was reviewing events of the week with the Turkers tucked away somewhere in the back of my mind. During that week I had an incredibly fruitful meditation session. I can’t say that I meditate regularly. I try to do it everyday but it often doesn’t happen. However, there was this one day that I felt truly rested when I came out of the meditation. I thought: Wow, that’s what this is all about. I felt my body gain something tangible from just resting for several minutes. As I revisited that experience I had the simultaneous thought: That’s it! The Turkers should rest! So off I went to my Mturk.com requester account to pay the Turker workforce to rest. Please, I thought, let me pay you to stop working.
In the instructions, I asked the Turkers to set a timer and rest for 1 to 5 minutes. Then I collected their thoughts. I encouraged them to write 10-100 words about their experience. Presented here are a few thoughts from the Turkers on being paid to rest or just on resting, in general.
“ I rested for 3 minutes. To be honest, it wasn’t as restful as I would have liked, since I have a horrible stomach ache, and I don’t want to be working right now, so I spent the time wondering how to avoid these situations in the future.”
“Well, my rest consisted of sitting here and fidgeting. I have a hard time just sitting still with my eyes closed. Also my cat started using my leg as a scratching post and my fiance asked me why I was sitting there with my eyes closed and if I was all right. It wasn’t too terrible though. It was nice to not do any hits for a minute (well 4 minutes) Thank you.”
“My rest was a much needed break from all of the stress I am under right now, so thank you! I closed my eyes in bed and the few minutes that went by passed so slowly. It really was great!”
“I went and relaxed on the sofa in my office for three minutes. It was nice to take a break from staring at the computer screen, though I wish had it been a bit longer. It was a short, but enjoyable break that I appreciated.”
“i laid on the couch with my cat for two minutes. then thought i’d fall asleep and forget to submit this. now, i’m going to go take a nap since i was so comfortable there.”