Every year, there's myriad stories about how March Madness zaps workplace productivity and costs businesses billions of dollars.
This year's figure is somewhere in the $4 billion range.
"Start with a pay scale of $18 per hour. There are 58 million basketball fans watching the NCAA tournament. Those fans are driving hard to the Internet and TV to the tune of 1.5 minutes per day over 16 business days. That comes to $3.8 billion lost productivity.
"It's never a good idea to put yourself in a position where you give the employer a reason as to why you might be the next one who gets the pink slip," said Kathy Masera, with the California Job Journal.
That math is very impressive, but it's simply wildy inaccurate. Sure, we avoid doing actual work like the Plague on the first two games of the tournament. The games are on in the afternoon and it's simply impossible to not get caught up in the insanity.
But after those two days, there are no games scheduled between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. -- the generally accepted workday hours. And to think that these same workers aren't wasting 1.5 minutes a day searching the internet for dancing manatees or pictures of Taylor Swift is just ignorant.
So, I offer this simple plea to those penny-pinchers who are worried about our greatest basketball bonanza ruining our already downtrodden economy: Lighten Up!
Let us have our fun. Let us pull for our mid-majors in the breakroom with the weird guy from IT. Let us compare brackets over Gmail. Let us give in to the Madness for these two days.