After running a thousand errands, working hours of overtime, and being stuck in seemingly endless gridlock traffic commuting to and from their jobs, millions of Australians have been disheartened to learn that it is, in fact, only Wednesday.
"Wednesday?" Brisbane resident Doris Wagner said. "How in the hell is it still Wednesday?"
Wednesday's arrival stunned a nation still recovering from the nightmarish slog that was Tuesday, leaving some to wonder if the week was ever going to end, and others to ask what was taking Saturday so freakin long.
"Ugh," said Wagner, echoing a national sense of frustration over it not even being Thursday at the very least.
According to suddenly depressed sources, the feeling that this week may in fact last forever was further compounded by the thought of all the work left to be done tomorrow, and, if Australians make it that far, possibly even Friday. Fears that the week could actually be going backwards were also expressed.
"Not only do Australians have most of Wednesday morning to contend with, but all of Wednesday afternoon and then Wednesday night," National Labor Relations Board spokesman David Prynn said. "If our calculations are correct, there is a chance we are in effect closer to last weekend than the one coming up."
Reports that this all has to be some kind of sick joke could not be confirmed as of press time. Isolated attempts to make the day go faster, such as glancing at watches or clocks every other minute, compulsively checking e-mail, hiding in the office bathroom, fidgeting, or reading a boring magazine while sitting in the waiting room, have also proven unsuccessful, sources report.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which oversees the official time of Australia, is flatly denying that it has slowed or otherwise tampered with Wednesday's progression.
"The current Wednesday is keeping apace with past Wednesdays with no more than one ten-thousandth of a second's variation at the most," NIST spokeswoman Dr. Geraldine Schach said. "However, I sympathize with the common consensus that this week has already been a colossal pain in the neck."
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao released a statement addressing widespread speculation that it might as well be Monday for all anyone cares.
"We understand this day has been tough on many of you, what with meetings mercilessly dragging on and an entire stack of files still left to organise," Chao's statement read in part. "Yet we urge Australians to show patience. The midweek hump is just about to pass, and we have strong reason to believe that Saturday will be here before you know it."
"Go about your lives as best you can," the statement continued. "Do not, we repeat, do not take a sick day, as it'll make the rest of the week that much harder to endure."
In the meantime, citizens are doing their best to cope with the interminable week, though Wednesday is still hours away from ending.
"The more I try to speed it along, the longer it almost seems to take," said Dale Bouchard, a Sydney-based broker who has been waiting for today to be over since it first began earlier this morning. "Honestly, today could not have come at a worse time this week."
In the meantime, the latest wristwatch consultations indicate that it is somehow still Wednesday, if that makes any sense at all.
Unattributed, but it really does read like TDM to me.