Working (9 to 5)

For my N post, I had planned to write about normalcy but then ended up going in an entirely different direction, which is OK because today’s post is kind of the same topic. W is for working a 9 to 5, something that in my wannabe-badass, green-haired, tongue-pierced teenage years I swore I would never do. I avoided doing so successfully, except for a few random temp jobs, until I was 31 and had just finished my graduate degree. Then I got a contract job working in HR for Google (I know, not bad, right?!) while I looked for something in my field.

When I started the first week and got home by 5:30, I couldn’t believe how many hours of the day stretched out ahead of me. Six whole hours until I should really get into bed to have a good night’s sleep for the next day. Even if I spent two hours going out to dinner with friends, I still had so much time to read a book, do the laundry, walk the dog, work on some side writing projects, and do whatever else I wanted to. It was great!

I kept tutoring for years because it just seemed that since I had so much free time, I might as well make more money. And building up a tutoring clientele enabled me to be a freelancer for a year, which was fun to try though not ultimately a good fit for me. But just like when you move into a bigger condo and think that you’ll never possibly fill all the closet and shelf space until one day not long after the move the place already appears to be bursting at the seams, after some time that six hours really didn’t seem like that much anymore. There’s just so much that Denver has to offer if you have some disposable income and among a relationship, friends, travel, visitors, trying to write a novel, there just aren’t enough hours. And I don’t even have kids! I have no idea how people with kids have any sort of social life whatsoever. So I stopped tutoring and after a series of housing and job moves, my commute has been reduced from 40 minutes down to just 12. And it still seems like there is never enough time.

But the thing is, I wouldn’t want to go back to what I was doing before. The 9 to 5 has so many advantages besides the steady income. I don’t ever have to ask for a day off if there’s a concert or show or hockey game I want to go to, I can always make happy hour, I can head out of town at the last minute any weekend I feel like. True, I can’t go for long, boozy lunches, but that just makes weekend brunch all the more special. And of course there are the formal benefits. Paid vacation, anyone? I’ve already done enough bragging during this blog challenge, so I won’t rehash how much I love my job but suffice it to say that my younger self’s attitude about office jobs was very wrong. I have no problem hanging out here 40 hours a week.

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I did my time when I was younger working 40 hours a week through college delivering pizzas, passing out marketing surveys in the mall, pushing popcorn at the movie theater, running the Sky Coaster in my local amusement park, and serving the extremely frugal, after-church lunch crowd at Perkins. I’ve earned everything I have in life and am not some spoiled brat. But I do think I’d have a really, really hard time adjusting if I had to go back to shift work. So let me close this post by saying a BIG thank you to everyone who doesn’t work the 9 to 5. All the restaurant staff, bartenders, concert and sports venue staff, retail clerks, hair stylists, massage therapists, national parks employees, airport workers, farmer’s market vendors, hotel employees, lecturers, writing instructors, comedians, and convenience store employees. To everyone out there who enables me to enjoy my off time – thank you!

Curious about what everyone else is writing for the A to Z Blog Challenge? Me too! I’m featuring three blogs from my fellow contributors each day. Here are today’s entertaining, lyrical, beautiful, unique, informative, or just plain random discoveries:

Adventures of a Retired Librarian

Blossoming: Lessons from the Farm

Mainely Write

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