Help me get pumped up about my new work schedule!
August 14, 2014 5:30 PM   Subscribe

I am disproportionally bummed out that I will no longer have a traditional 9-5 schedule at work. Hope me!

For the last year or so, I've worked Monday-Friday 9-5. When I started my current job, I found out on my first day that I would eventually be expected to work one weekend day as well as a few (early) evening shifts. I was a little disgruntled to learn of this so late in the game, which is definitely contributing to the funk I'm in. But all things considered, I have it pretty good-- I will have two consecutive days off, one of them a weekend day, and I will only be coming in a few hours later for my evening shifts.

This is a schedule that I would have killed for just a few years ago! I have sleep problems so I love having 2-3 hours in the morning to leisurely get up and start my day. Having a free weekday to run errands is super convenient. Needing to go into work on the weekend never really disrupted my other weekend activities too much. My new schedule is actually an improved version of one I had at a job for several years, and I used to love it! Things could be worse-- it's not uncommon in my field for people to have nonconsecutive days off, work late late nights shifts, need to be on call etc.

I know all this, and yet I am still dreading it. I love having both weekend days free! I have way less friends who also work nontraditional schedules than I did before, so it feels much more inconvenient and isolating. Before last year I had only worked 9-5 at short term jobs, so now that I've gotten used to it the whole process has become more bearable, if nothing else.

The change is now only a few weeks away, and I need help getting over myself and internalizing how this is a good thing in many ways and is definitely not the end of the world. Anecdotes on how nontraditional schedules make your life rock would be awesome.
posted by fox problems to Work & Money (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite just made all of the arguments I would have said about sleeping in and having a weekday to run errands and at least you get one weekend day. Reminds me of my first job in which I'd have to work all night and about half of Saturday day, but then got a weekday off. But I hear ya on getting used to the regular shift, and friends having varying availability.

Huh. I seriously can't think of anything to say that you haven't, really. Other than "you will get used to the idea."
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:42 PM on August 14, 2014

plus, if they are early evening shifts you can still meet people for dinner or to see a movie etc
posted by the twistinside at 5:43 PM on August 14, 2014

Sounds like my job. This week I worked a late shift (start at 12.30, work till 9pm, taxi home) and am about to work all weekend. I'll get Monday and Tuesday off in lieu. Sounds like you will too?

I won't kid you, I hate working weekends, even though it's not actually so bad. But the days off next week will help a lot, because it really is useful to be able to go to appointments, post office, take car to be serviced etc on weekdays. And it will mean a short week next week, another bonus!

I love working late shifts though, for the reasons you describe above. So nice to have a sleep-in and not rush in the morning!

Do you know if you will have to do this every week? For me it's usually 3 lates every 5 weeks, and 1 weekend every 5 (sometimes variations due to how tight the roster is). I find that's pretty doable, means you are mostly on the 9-5(ish) routine and the others are the exception rather than the rule, which gives you extra flexibility.

You'll get used to it, I suspect, especially since it's something you used to enjoy. And think of the gloating when it's a weekday and everyone else has to go to work and you get to loaf about!
posted by Athanassiel at 5:53 PM on August 14, 2014

One of the things I hate about working M-F, 10-7, is that the only time I can be out and about in the city is on the weekend. Which is EXACTLY WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD IS OUT.

Having a weekday off means you can avoid crowds at restaurants, museums, hiking trails- just about anywhere. And it has kind of a fun "playing hooky" feeling to it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:54 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I worked 8-5 (er, 8-7, really) Monday through Friday, here are the things I missed being able to do. Being able to schedule doctor's appointments and dental visits without needing to take time off work. Being able to go to a bank, in person, and do things, in person. Being able to take pets to the vet without having to take time off work. Being able to schedule interviews (if need be) for other opportunities without worrying about scheduling around my current job. Shopping when there are less people around. Watching morning TV (Rachael Ray and Judge Judy!...are my guilty pleasures...). Being able to ship things at the post office without having to wake up early on a day off. Being able to go to Cedar Point/museums/zoos on a weekday instead of majorly busy weekends without taking time off. Going to a restaurant my mom loves but is only open on weekdays (weird, I know, but there you go). Thursday yard sales -- you get there first!

Mostly, it's pretty damn cool to not have to take time off of work to take care of myself and my loved ones.
posted by coast99 at 5:58 PM on August 14, 2014 [8 favorites]

I know everyone is saying this but it is so great to be able to do errands without having to take time off work. I could go grocery shopping without wanting to run people over, I could go on bike rides without dealing with every other bike rider on the trails, I could take that middle of the day doctor's appointment, etc. i actually dislike Saturdays because the crowds are everywhere.
posted by Aranquis at 6:33 PM on August 14, 2014

I work 11-8 after years of 8-5 and it has made me so much happier. I haaaated waking up at 6 am to go to stupid work. It started me off in a bad mood every morning and made me feel powerless over my own life. I know that sounds dramatic, but it really was! Now I wake up when the sun is out, I can exercise before work (CAN. Sometimes I actually do.), eat breakfast, start the laundry, watch TV, whatever. It's like the mornings they show on TV where the family is all eating actual food together while it's sunny. I never understood what reality that would work in, and now I know. Except my family is dogs, but still. Oh also the traffic is insanely better. It's a total game-changer.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 6:47 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you enjoy exercise or sports at all, and especially if you like to workout outside: your long morning workouts are going to be amazing. And with the extra sleep and extra exercise, you're going to look and feel pretty great.
posted by rue72 at 7:08 PM on August 14, 2014

I currently work 12 to 8:30 with Tuesday and Wednesday. I've had this schedule for the past few years, and I really enjoy it. I don't necessarily mind working on the weekends. Having my days off in the middle of the week gives me a full two days to run errands and work around the house. Plus, since I don't have to go to work until noon I have the entire morning to either sleep in or get extra class work done.
posted by Telpethoron at 7:26 PM on August 14, 2014

Picture yourself reading at a cafe, with a cup of warm whatever and a croissant, with a book, looking out the window at the morning. It's very quiet, because almost nobody is out on a Tuesday morning at 9:30, but it's still lively. You take your time, then you go to the mall to look for (a belt, some socks, a gift for someone). Again, it's energized; everyone there is getting ready for the lunch rush, but it's relatively unpopulated and it's easy to get someone to help you.

You can really get things done! Then you actually have _more_ free time overall.
posted by amtho at 7:45 PM on August 14, 2014

I currently work 3-11 with alternating weekends off. Not gonna lie, it can make having a social life brutal. But - there are soo many great things about our schedules -
1. Leisurely mornings. Always being able to get enough sleep is AMAZING. Waking up and not feeling rushed is such a nice start to the day.
2. As others said - avoiding traffic, avoiding crowds.
3. It feels kind of badass not being at work at 9am everyday. I'll wake up to a beautiful sunny day and take a leisurely walk for coffee.

You have the best of both worlds! I would looove your schedule.
posted by pintapicasso at 8:35 PM on August 14, 2014

I think as with most changes, you won't get used to it until you actually DO it and thus experience it. What I would try to do in this situation is just try to not think about it until you start, and then see how it goes. Give yourself a time frame to just do it and see how it goes, and if after X amount of time (2-3 months?) you are feeling totally miserable, tortured, isolated, etc. you give yourself permission to start looking for a new position. I don't think that will happen, both because there are some awesome things about this particular schedule and because it sounds like you've not only survived but enjoyed this type of schedule in the past. But, if it does, no job is forever and you can make the choice to look for something else if it's truly unbearable.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:10 AM on August 15, 2014

Thanks everyone! It really helps to hear this. I will take rainbowbrite's suggestion and try to put my grumpiness aside until I've had a few months to get used to it.
posted by fox problems at 7:07 AM on August 16, 2014

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