No cheers for the 40 hour work week

For the past 15 years I have worked on a fire truck. I worked two twenty four hour shifts every six days. That was roughly 56 hours a week. Before that I worked at a middle school. There I worked roughly 10-7 Monday through Thursday and left by noon on Friday. The point I’m trying to make here is that I have not had a conventional schedule in many years. I am currently working an 8-5 schedule. It sucks.

How do you 9 to 5 people do it? I get up, go to work, come home and all I want to do is sit on the couch for several hours while someone spoon feeds me dinner. Sadly, this hasn’t happened yet. Instead I’ve divided up my monster list of tasks into itty bitty pieces to complete in even smaller amounts of time. Ugh.

Here are my a few of my other complaints about the 40 hour work week:

Is it just me, or do you spend all your good hours at work? I’m crazy awake and alert from about 7am-2pm. Before that I might be sleep walking and after that my brain is mush if you need me to do something other than watch Netflix. I spend all my good productive hours at work. How can I also be productive at home? Stupid.

Businesswoman sleeping on desk in office

When you’re done with work there is still other stuff to do! This is unfair. Once I’ve put in my eight hours my day should be done. And it’s not. I still have to work out, make dinner, run to the grocery store or complete some other mundane task that would be significantly less bad to do during the day when everyone else is working. FYI the grocery store is a totally different experience at 10 am on a Tuesday (i.e. peaceful and serene).

You never have large blocks of time until the weekend! Once the weekend arrives you have to complete all the other tasks you had previously delayed to sit on the couch and eat bon bons. The other problem is that everyone else is also off of work. The stores are crowded and packed and everyone is crabby. And there are 10 more things on your to do list for Saturday morning! Unfortunately, none of those tasks are sleeping in.
I’m telling you all of this for a few reasons. First, I need to vent. Second, if you can negotiate for four 10 hour shifts or something else like it, then do it. Once you take the job it’s too late. Third, realize there are options! When you’re looking for a job or even a career consider those that have a non-traditional schedule. You may have to work on a Sunday, but you can get more done on a Wednesday when you’re kids are in school. It’s a fact.


One thought on “No cheers for the 40 hour work week

  1. Throw kids into this mix, and there’s even less time. Most of my good hours are spent at work or running errands on the weekends to beat the crowds, rather than with family and friends. Something is just not right about that. Today, I’m home with a sick baby so I get some unplanned one on one time with her (Yay) in between work emails that is (Ugh). I wish someone would have giving me a heads up that balancing two traditional careers and family was going to be difficult. Had I known this, I probably would have selected a different path. I truly believe everyone would be much happier with 4 day work weeks and 3 day weekends. I know I am. I’m hoping to get back to 4 day work weeks soon.

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