8-5? WTF is that?

2 05 2008

I don’t think I have ever had a job with normal hours.

I’ve had jobs with shifts, but the shifts always varied in length and starting time. Like bagging groceries at various grocery stores, or pushing carts at Target, or doing whatever I did at K-Mart.

Maybe stocking shelves at night at Safeway counted, because that was 11pm-8am pretty consistently.

But I’m talking about a job that always starts at a certain time in the morning (like between 7am and 9am) and ends in the afternoon (between 4pm and 6pm).

When I was in the Navy, we always had to be in at 0730, but we didn’t have a definite quitting time. For some people on the ship, work was over at 1530. They sucked.

For our shop, we got to go home (or back to sleep in the rack, in my case) when we did enough work to satisfy our supervisors. That meant working until between 1700 and 1900 most days. Friday we would get off work at 1600, if we were lucky.

When I was a cable guy, we all started at 7am, and we got off work whenever we were done. That was usually sometime between 4pm and 10pm (on bad days).

When I delivered pizza, I either started at 11am or 4pm, depending on the shift. If I started at 11am I got off sometime after 4pm, maybe as late as 6pm. If I started at 4pm, I could get off at 7pm, maybe as late 9pm or even get stuck closing at 11pm.

When I worked as a security guard, forget about it. Not only did my shifts have absolutely irregular hours, but I often wouldn’t even know about them until the day before.

Even as a driving instructor I have irregular hours. Lessons can only start at certain times (8, 9, 10, 1, 3, 5, 6, or 7) but the amount of lessons per day varies. I might be done anywhere between 4pm and 9pm at the latest.

I just thought of a job with regular hours; when I used to work at a resort hotel in Arizona. I started at 6:30am and got off at 2:30pm, maybe earlier if the Bosnian/Slovenians and I (No, not illegal Mexicans like most hotels in Arizona, but non-English speaking women from Bosnia and Slovenia) collectively got finished with our responsibilities.

That job sucked.

I worked Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesdays and Thursdays I had school from 9:30am until 3:30 pm. I was pretty much responsible to be somewhere every day, no days off ever. That went on for about a semester. Whats weird is that at the time, I didn’t seem so bad.

So I’ve had one job with a regular, predictable schedule.

What made me think of this? I was looking at Twitter around midday, and everybody on there was talking about how they were “half way done” or whatever. I couldn’t relate to that feeling. I may have had it before, but to know instinctively that at a certain point in the day, every day, you are “half way done” seems like a mystical phenomenon.

I have to mentally calculate when I’m “half way done” every time I work. Its not at lunchtime, like the rest of you 8 to 5 people. It could be at 11am, it could be at 5pm.

All I know is that I can’t wait to have a normal, stuck in a rut schedule.




2 responses

6 05 2008

I didn’t know you were still doing the driving instruction.

6 05 2008
Joe Drinker

On Twitter I like that the Europeans I follow are headed for the bars as I get to the office. And when they check in during the mornings I’m headed to bed.

It messes with me sometimes.

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