I haven’t had the chance to write a post in almost two months. And it sucks.
On January 13, 2016 at 10:34 am I got the call from my supervisor.
“Our projects across the company are behind. We are requiring everyone to put in 50 hours workweeks at a minimum until further notice.”
“So we need to work 10 hours per day?” I asked.
“If you don’t want to do that, you could come in on the weekend. Just as long as you get in your 50 hours.”
“Fuck that.” I thought to myself.
I know many people work more hours than that. But they also make more money than me.
I chose to come to this company because it promised 40 hour work weeks and a work life balance. In return I make less money than those who chose to go to bigger companies.
It’s been a struggle.
Some days I work from 7 am to 5:30 pm (lunch is unpaid).
A couple of days last week I worked 7:45 am to 8:30 pm. All just so I could leave just a little earlier on Friday.
I place a lot of value on my free time. I am not a workaholic. I never have been and never will be.
I prefer to participate in leisurely activities to fill up my time outside of work. I play basketball and tennis. I try to read a new book every couple of weeks. And I enjoy writing on this blog.
But I haven’t been able to do that lately. Work has filled up my time. It’s made me stressed out and unhealthy.
Learning to Cope
I’ve been learning how to cope with the long work hours. The first week I didn’t get enough sleep.
The second week I binge drank on the weekend to escape from my worries. (Note to self: don’t do this.)
The third week I struggled but was able to get back into a routine and working out and reading (albeit much less than usual).
The fourth week I remembered about the power of meditation and yoga.
It hasn’t been an easy journey.
Why Do So Many Others Choose this Path?
My question is this: why do people choose to work so many hours? Are people looking to escape from their lives through work?
Maybe I’m being selfish. Maybe I should just suck it up and accept it for what it is.
Or maybe I’m not.
I don’t know the answer.
I’m still working 50 hours. Hopefully it will end soon. But who knows?
Have you had experience working long (50+ per week) hours? How did you cope with it? Did your personal life suffer?