What a way to make a living
December 7, 2019 8:09 AM   Subscribe

"9 to 5" is shorthand for regular working hours. However, I (an American salaried office worker) have never experienced a workday that didn't run from 8 to 5, or time-shifted from 7 to 4, or maybe with a half-hour lunch, 7 to maybe 3:30. Was it always this way, or was there a shift from 9 to 8 at some point?

Do people work from 9 to 5? Did you before, but it changed? If so, when?

I realize that 9:00-5:00 is 8 hours, but doesn't include a lunch break.
posted by Huffy Puffy to Work & Money (52 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I always heard it as Banker's Hours, where bankers, being powerful men in suits, stroll in later than working folk and have lunches with other bankers and call it work. Factory work is usually earlier with a shorter lunch, maybe 7 - 3.30. And when I had independent carpenters working on my house, it was 9.30 to 4 or so, with breaks for beer or pot.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 AM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

I work 9-5 most days (salaried American office worker). I don't take a long lunch break, just because I don't really feel the need to. But there are days/weeks where I'll work loooooong hours because of events or projects, so it all basically evens out. We don't have set hours where I am for salaried employees; basically, if the work is getting done and you're in the office mostly at the same time as others are, it doesn't matter when you come in or leave.
posted by cooker girl at 8:24 AM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

When I worked in New York City, standard office hours were 9-5, with an hour for lunch. When I lived in California, the working hours were longer, and started earlier. So, maybe it's a regional thing?
posted by Umami Dearest at 8:26 AM on December 7, 2019 [14 favorites]

I had the same experience as Umami Dearest, 9-5 in NYC and 8-5 in Colorado but later in Rhode Island Mr. Botanizer worked from 7-3:30. I think it was partly regional and partly a shift that began sometime in the '70s or '80s in keeping with the worsening of working conditions in general.
posted by Botanizer at 8:37 AM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

Same experience in NYC- 9 to 5 with an hour for lunch. When I worked in TN, my hours were either 9-5:30 or 8-4:30 with a half hour for lunch. This was in the non-profit field.
posted by kimdog at 8:40 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think the way it technically works is that for every 4 hours you work, you're required (some gov regs somewhere) to get a 15 min paid break. Combine those and you have a 30 min paid lunch. In practice, few places spell this out except in the depths of an employee handbook--if such even exists.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 8:43 AM on December 7, 2019

There was a "great filter" in the 80s when capitalism woke up to leaving not a penny on the table, and Efficiency became the law of the land.

Normally under the guise of economic downturns, staffing was cut to the bone and remaining workers were pressured to tackle inhuman workloads to keep the biz afloat (tacit threat that YOUR lay-off might be next). Then when upturns happened, naturally, no relief was provided. Things remained permanently squeezed within a nanometer to the breaking point (profit über alles), and so it's remained to this day.

People who've entered the workforce since the 80's have no choice but to willingly acculturate to the inhuman stress and pace, because it's all they've ever known. There was a time when workers could breathe, but the new thing is for management to not just ride atop the labors of the sweaty hogs (i.e. traditional capitalism, which works for all in the end), but to dig its spurs in right up to the bleed-em-to-death point (which works less well for all).

The fact that some of that last paragraph seems to reek of Marxism is only proof of the societal shift. I've always been centrist and pro-capitalism, but, with a long enough view to spot the excesses, my view seems radical. Shrug.

In case my point isn't clear, 9-5 was sacrosanct before this all went down in the sort of mainstream career paths I think you're referring to.
posted by Quisp Lover at 8:48 AM on December 7, 2019 [44 favorites]

My experience/observation: Healthcare and education seem to run more on 8-4 schedules. The couple of construction work jobs I did in Alberta summers were 7-5-ish. The work I'm in now (computer-generated film/TV) is more 10-6 (2D kids television), or, if you're in a VFX hellhole, 10-10.

And, of course, Daylight Savings Time means we're all getting up an hour earlier for most of the year, so 9-5 is actually 8-4 during DST, and 8-4 is 7-3.
posted by clawsoon at 8:50 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I think it’s also related to all the people trying to beat the traffic, who shift their hours earlier. In my city, this really only works if you’re on the road at 6am.
posted by oxisos at 8:54 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

9-5 in NYC although market hours when I first started were 10-4.

My theory about NYC hours is that it is based on commute time. Live in the suburbs and you have at least an hour commute. Add in getting the kids off to school, and starting much before 9 is, shall we say, inconvenient. When I had to get to the office by 7:30 downtown, I took a 5:42 train to Grand Central. Barbaric for a night owl like me.
posted by AugustWest at 8:57 AM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

In my experience as a software developer, starting times are flexible and most people get in between 9 and 10:30. The ones who come in earlier than that tend to be non-technical staff or those who need to grab parking spots for the commuter train. So a lot of folks are on a 10 - 6 schedule, or maybe 10 - 5 plus some remote work in the evenings. Consultants and product managers tend to get in before 9 and work late.

Of course there are companies my industry with very long work weeks for developers. The places I've worked have been pretty laid back.
posted by serathen at 9:01 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Huh. West Coast of the US here, my past jobs have expected an 8 hour workday, not including an “unpaid” hour for lunch. So that’s 8 - 5 (Or 9 - 6, or 9 - 5 if you skip lunch, which is frowned on because you’re supposed to get a break, in addition to the 15 minute breaks).
posted by Secretariat at 9:11 AM on December 7, 2019 [13 favorites]

Every job I've had where I had to clock in and out, "full time" meant eight hours of actual on-the-clock time every day, plus two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute break during which you are required to clock out. 8 + 0.25 + 0.25 + 0.5 = 9, so a full day spans nine hours, and 8 to 5 would be a pretty normal schedule.

I think part of what's going on is that more people are being held to that standard even if their job doesn't actually require them to cover a specific shift, or even to punch a clock.

I am in tech, with flexible hours, and I was informed when I started that the requirement was "do eight hours of honest work a day" — specifically 8, and not the 6.5 or 7 hours a day you'd get from the old 9–5 schedule with an hour lunch and maybe some coffee breaks.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:13 AM on December 7, 2019 [8 favorites]

(In other words, the eight-hour day that unions fought for as a maximum amount a person should work is now being treated as a minimum in non-hourly jobs, and every hour of the eight is expected to be work time and not break time.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2019 [26 favorites]

I have never worked an 9-5 schedule except as an unpaid intern when I was still in college. The standard office hours where I work and really, for most people I know are usually 8-5 or 9-6 or any variation that accounts for a one hour unpaid lunch.

9-5 would be great but I’m seeing that more and more that even the 8-5 is being eroded by the mentality that a salaried, exempt employee doesn’t have a set schedule per se and must work for as long as is needed to complete their work. It is extremely rare that this will result in shorter hours occasionally or going home early when it’s not busy because like someone else mentioned above, thin staffing in the name of “efficiency” (aka, increased shareholder profits) means that we are all perpetually overloaded with work and side projects on top of the usual responsibilities. So the flexibility of a salaried employee only goes one way in my experience.
posted by ariadne_88 at 9:30 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I find that 9-5 is still sancrosanct in some spaces. My company, (manhattan based) tries to say the workday is 9-6 all the time, implying an hour lunch, but everyone I know there just leaves a little after 5 or arrives a bit before 10. We'll see if they actually try to enforce the policy in the future. Competition in tech is strong enough that people might just go get another job. (I would).

Working remotely, I'm lucky that nobody really knows when you're 'at the office' so it only really matters that you complete the work and are vaguely available on slack between 9-6.
posted by dis_integration at 9:38 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

My company, (manhattan based) tries to say the workday is 9-6 all the time, implying an hour lunch, but everyone I know there just leaves a little after 5 or arrives a bit before 10.

My last job was similar, except the expected lunch break was 30 minutes, so the default hours were 9-5:30. Most people brought lunch from home and took back the extra 30 minutes at the beginning or end of the day (it was never clear whether that was allowed, but no one that I knew got in trouble for it).
posted by sallybrown at 9:43 AM on December 7, 2019

Forgot to mention this hilarious (and slightly depressing yet insightful) relevant read that always amuses me: https://daedtech.com/ the-beggar-ceo-and-sucker-culture/

“ The problem is that I think Victoria is more of a symptom than an illness. Make no mistake — the beggar parallel is entirely appropriate. She is bemoaning the fact that people don’t work 9 or more hours per day when she has forked over employment paperwork that offers them salary in exchange for an implied 8.”
posted by ariadne_88 at 9:48 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I work in (management in) tech in SF, and I work almost exactly 9 to 5, just because it works best for my schedule. At my current job, 9 is pretty early and most people come between 9 and 10 and leave between 5 and 6. At my previous job, 9 was a little late and most people showed up between 8 and 9. There's some occasional after-hours emailing or slacking, but unless you're on call it's never expected, and it's nbd if people have appointments or whatever mid-day.
posted by brainmouse at 9:52 AM on December 7, 2019

It makes sense for starting time to be regional, especially if East Coast offices have to communicate with West Coast ones (while maybe also communicating with Europe). I don't know if it's regional for lunch to be paid or not. I could imagine that to be a holdout from stronger unions, but that's just a guess? At any rate, in NYC, many nonprofit-ish jobs are 9-5 or 10-6, with a paid lunch (35 hour work-week). Summer Fridays are also more common here.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:59 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

In my quasi-government agency, hours/start times could vary (flex time and compressed schedules being permitted), though a lot of people work something like 8:30 - 5:00. So, your workday lasts 8 1/2 hours, but you get a half hour lunch for which you are not paid; you are only paid for 8 hours. Since people usually get a 15 minute break morning and afternoon it is pretty standard for people to combine that into lunch, to take an hour lunch. In practice, a lot of people work longer than that; getting in early and also staying unpaid extra hours is common.
posted by gudrun at 10:05 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Lots of union positions and companies wanting to keep those unions out here in BC will be 37.5 hours a week though I don't know anyone with a 9-5 shift. Most start at 8 or 7.
posted by Mitheral at 10:05 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

For a less anecdotal perspective, Marketplace has some data. More stats on the regional variation in when people get to work.
posted by eponym at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've always worked 37.5 hours a week as full time, and core hours are 8:30-5:00 with an unpaid hour for lunch. I've worked for 15 years as staff at large universities (a couple different ones) and those hours have been pretty standard.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

I worked at a California nonprofit that was explicit that full time hours were 37.5 hours (8 hour days with 30 minute lunches).
posted by slidell at 10:46 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I worked summers during college at a law firm, and my hours were 9-5 including a paid hour for lunch. This was 20 years ago, and it was a pretty old school place then. It’s my understanding that this is “the way things used to be”, and that “things” changed, as they did with so many other economic topics, during the 80s. I’ve never had another job with a paid lunch since, which means adding at least a half hour. I’ve had a few 8:30-5 jobs, and a bunch more 8-5 ones. That seems pretty standard for hourly office work. Salarymen, as everyone else has noted, are expected to work constantly.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:48 AM on December 7, 2019

When I was doing manual labor in tree service the hours were generally "get to the shop at 6:30, leave for your jobsite by 7, work as long as possible given the conditions" For a lot of jobs in construction or trades starting early lets you beat traffic and get going. It's especially important in the shorter winter days.
posted by Ferreous at 11:06 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm in NYC and 40. When I started at this job 12 years ago it was 9-5 nominally, and I believe that's what my offer letter reflected. We shifted to 8:30 sometime in the last few years, but have rarely been an out the door at 5 place except for some roles or work/life situations. I think salaried hours have generally gotten longer as there's just more work to be done.
posted by TravellingCari at 11:17 AM on December 7, 2019

I always heard it as Banker's Hours

This phrase doesn't mean 9 to 5, though - it is rooted in the actual opening hours that many US and UK banks observed until the past couple of decades - 10 AM to 3 PM. With an occasional late evening. So it's a colloquialism for a short day, or something you say to people who wander in late or leave early.

I think the way it technically works is that for every 4 hours you work, you're required (some gov regs somewhere) to get a 15 min paid break.

In the US, break requirements are set state by state, and vary quite a bit.

There was a time when workers could breathe..., 9-5 was sacrosanct before this all went down in the sort of mainstream career path

Just wanting to note a shifting baseline effect here. This was only true for a brief while between WWII and about 1980, when the economy was expanding massively, as was the professional class. In that environment, money was flowing, businesses had to compete for staff, and there was little pressure driving down wages and work agreements. For a while, professional class workers had a bit of an upper hand in limiting work to office hours (incidentally, this is when businesse started offering healthcare and retirement benefits too, as a way of attracting staff in that competitive environment). But let's be really clear that work hours weren't perfectly sane forever until recently - the relative ease of the 30-year period of about 1945-75 was more the anomaly than anything, and the norm has been pretty insistent effort to maintain as extended a workday as possible without incurring overtime costs.

9 to 5 have for a very long time been the US's standard business hours - a tradition that has grown up over time that sets expectations for when you can do transactions, shop, find someone at the desk, typically in trade-based (rather than manufacturing or education or healthcare) occupations.. Business hours vary by country and regionally, too, somewhat - you can find some enshrined in the 'blue laws' that say when stores can be open in a given town or state. The "9 to 5" pattern itself was not set firmly until the 1930s. The ball got rolling with the new Fair Labor Standards Act, an FDR-era move that for the first time mandated overtime for companies asking people to work beyond 40 hours a week. The incentive had been to work people longer- many office and manufacturing jobs had a standard 10 hour workday, or even longer - with the new requirement, the incentive became to limit employees to 40 hours.

I work in NYC and agree that for office workers who are not fulfilling customer service hours in a front-facing way, the start and end times are set to accommodate the need for commuting and to dovetail with other morning and evening needs. The hours at my nonprofit are 9:30-5:30.
posted by Miko at 11:28 AM on December 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

I've had a roughly 9-5 schedule anytime I worked in an office, with the understanding that occassionally I might stay a bit later. The two salaried full time office jobs I've had (both nonprofits) have both been 37.5 hour weeks, basically 9-5 with a half hour lunch.
posted by geegollygosh at 11:30 AM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I work 8-4 and am salaried. I still take lunch during this time and I don’t think it’s expected that I work to make up that time during my 8 hour shift. Or if it is I haven’t been told to do so.
posted by Young Kullervo at 11:46 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I used to when I worked in Australia. 9 to 5 with a half hour for lunch (and a morning and afternoon tea break that was still classed as working), but we worked 7.5 hour days 37.5 hour weeks. But this was when I lived in Australia in a bog standard office job. We had good unions, this was over 10 years ago now though and Australia has taken a change toward the USA's way of doing things so lord knows what it's like now.
posted by wwax at 12:04 PM on December 7, 2019

I worked 9-5 for 12 years at my prior job and 8:30-4:30 at my current. They’re regular cubicle-dwelling office jobs. East coast, USA.
posted by kimberussell at 12:47 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've worked in the private sector, not-for-profit sector, as well as broader public sector in both Ontario and Alberta and my nominally 35 or 37.5 hours/week jobs have all worked out to a standard 8-hour workday, usually 9-5 but sometimes starting as early as 8 or late as 9:30 depending on staggered scheduling. These jobs have always come with an assumption of a unpaid half-hour or hour-long lunch in there somewhere. The two provinces have different labour standards, and I've never held a unionized job in either, and these have all been salaried, cubicle-dwelling jobs. There has also always been an unspoken understanding that if circumstances arose we'd either come in earlier or leave a bit later to accommodate them.

That said, different cities and industries seem to have different standard 8-hour blocks; Calgary is a very 8-4-oriented city, whereas Toronto shifted a little bit later in my experience.
posted by blerghamot at 1:04 PM on December 7, 2019

I’m in the UK and work 9-5 essentially - though in fact, I’m lucky, and they’re flexible, and I’m not a morning person, so I tend to work 10.30 til 6.30 unless I have a meeting before that - lots of my colleagues work 9-5 tho.

Half an hour for lunch according to contract, though it’s unpoliced, nobody fusses if you take more, I don’t generally watch the clock on my lunch break, I just do what I need to do and go back to work.

I so love working somewhere where we’re treated like adults (which has not always been the case - my last job we were expected to do unpaid overtime every day and weren’t allowed to leave in the evening until given explicit permission by the boss, even if we’d finished our work for the day. Felt like we were naughty children. And this was a unionised workplace, but the union was toothless. Ask me why I don’t miss being a journalist...)
posted by penguin pie at 1:10 PM on December 7, 2019

I grew up in the central (U.S.) time zone and I always understood, or perhaps just assumed without questioning it, that office hours were 8-5 because they were 9-6 on the east coast. Didn't matter what time zone you were in, you got to work at the same time, left at the same time, and watched the same TV broadcasts when you got home.

I live on the east coast now and I think the most common thing now is "core hours" you're expected to be there (say, 10-4). With commutes and kids and whatnot people will generally flex themselves into arriving early or staying late, and fie upon anyone who tries to schedule a meeting outside core hours. But even with that I know people who work for the government who habitually work something like 7-3 even though this is not an officially approved schedule. I think you can only get away with that if your boss is sympathetic or also wants to leave early and thus provides cover for you.
posted by fedward at 1:29 PM on December 7, 2019

In case my point isn't clear, 9-5 was sacrosanct before this all went down in the sort of mainstream career paths I think you're referring to.

I worked in the military/government fields. 9-5 was standard, with an hour to an hour and a half PAID lunch break in the middle and a ten minute smoke break every hour or so. I was straight up shocked when I found out they were docking people’s pay for their lunch time.

This can really be tracked to the hard decline of unions and the computerization of efficiency - but there’s no reason we should have to take it.
posted by corb at 1:30 PM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

I recently left a job as a web developer. People's schedules varied, but I basically worked 9 to 5 (with an hour lunch break, taken whenever I wanted). This wasn't officially mandated; it was just what I did. Others arrived a bit earlier or later (mostly later).

There is a lot wrong with that company – but I have to admit that they didn't bean-count hours. The important thing was getting your work done.

I'm about to start a new web development job which (on paper, at least) has core hours 8:30 – 5, with a half-hour lunch.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:40 PM on December 7, 2019

As far as I know, the 15 minute break is not a federal requirement, and may be a regulation in some states, but will vary. I've been an employer in Maine, employers must provide a 30 minute unpaid meal break after 6 hours. There are generally no or minimal requirements for paid holidays, vacations, sick time. So, yeah, if you have a union, participate. If you don't, supporting union activity will generally improve pay and benefits.
posted by theora55 at 1:41 PM on December 7, 2019

I'm an academic librarian and a lot of my colleagues work 9-5. I prefer to get out of work earlier so I usually work 8:30-4:30 and if I didn't have to get a kid on the school bus in the morning I'd probably work 7:30-3:30, but I could work 9-5 if I wanted to, and in fact was encouraged to work those hours when I started. Our "work day" is 7.5 hours so that includes a half-hour lunch break.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:42 PM on December 7, 2019

Media jobs in NYC, LA, and Miami have all been 10-6 on days when I'm in an office, but in reality it's 10 til whenever stuff gets finished. If I'm working with an outside editor on a project then it's a ten-hour day (because the editor usually has a day rate), either 9-7 or 10-8 depending on what works best for our respective schedules.

The lawyers I know in NYC and Miami go from 10-ish til late, except for the ones who work for the federal government who have slightly earlier hours.

People with standard office jobs in the Midwest often seem to have much earlier start times than the East Coast (like way earlier than makes sense if they're merely trying to sync with their coastal counterparts).
posted by theory at 1:47 PM on December 7, 2019

I work in public education in Victoria, Australia. We have a 38 hour work week, so arriving 10 minutes before the first class and working 7 hour days, with an hour later 3 times a week, for staff meetings. So 8:50 to 3:50 and 4:50 for meeting nights. Half an hour free from assigned duties for lunch. (Must be between 11:30 and 2:30). In reality, at my school they actually restricted who had alarm fobs because people were working outrageous hours. The alarms are on at 6pm and off at 7:30am.

I tend to work 8:30 to 5:30.
posted by freethefeet at 1:52 PM on December 7, 2019

Just lost my union technician job (the facility moved to Atlanta) and our shifts were 7-3, 3-11, 11-7, one hour paid lunch with two 15 minute breaks mandated. Anytime outside your shift was considered overtime, and anytime you were called in on a day off was a minimum 8 hours OT.

Back before we switched to GPS, I was the only person that knew how to change the house clock. Saturday was my day off, so I wandered in about 1:30, checked that everyone was set for the change, flip the switches at 2:00 and head home. 8 hours OT!

Thank heavens for the IBEW.
posted by Marky at 3:44 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've worked in various academic positions where 9-5 was the expectation. As I've gotten higher up in my career I've moved into positions where I'm trusted to have a more flexible schedule that works for me, and I've shifted toward an earlier or later day to make my bus commute less of a pain.

Currently I'm in a salaried academic staff position where the formal expectation is that I work a 7.5 hour actual workday (as in, if I request leave I do it in hourly increments and the expectation in the timekeeping system is that it will add up to 7.5 hours per day) with lunch to be handled however I want. In practice that means most days I work 7:30-3 and eat lunch while working, some days I take an actual lunch break out of the office and then stay later. If there's a 4 p.m. meeting that I need to be at, I might come in late to balance it out, or I might stay late but then take a shorter day later in the week. Whatever suits my needs and workload best. My actual work schedule is more or less a suggestion at this point.
posted by Stacey at 3:51 PM on December 7, 2019

Since the 90’s my full-time jobs have all been 35 hours a week with an unpaid one hour lunch (and two paid 15 min breaks). As others have mentioned, the hour lunch can be flexible (ie, leaving work an hour earlier, or taking a half hour midday and then leaving 30 mins early). Work is either 8-4 (schools) or 9-5.
posted by saucysault at 5:19 PM on December 7, 2019

I work for the Feds, and technically it's supposed to be 8 hrs 45 mins with a 45 min lunch, and 9am-3pm core hours. In actuality, so long as you work your 40 hours and get done what you're supposed to (logging on from home if needed), no one seems to care. I work 7:30-4ish and that's on the late side, most of my co-workers have longer commutes and get in closer to 6(!) to beat the horrific DC-area traffic.

Having standard hours (and being able to leave work at work, plus paid OT) was a major motivator for me to leave the private sector. My last few tech-adjacent industry jobs had me working 9-8 at a minimum, with 9-10 being not uncommon (plus most of my Saturday afternoons), zero OT of course.
posted by photo guy at 6:27 PM on December 7, 2019

Yes, things changed. In the 90s, my mother was working as an administrative assistant and expected to work 35 hours a week - 9 to 5 with an hour off for lunch.

She changed jobs a couple of times in the 2000s, and ended up at a place working 40 hours - they expected her to work 8-5 or 9-6, if she still wanted to take an hour for lunch.

I felt like it's a scammy way for employers to get more work out of people without paying them more.
posted by jb at 9:14 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've heard it was either (a) 9 to 5 but you were paid for lunch and now you're not any more, or (b) we're all being scammed, or (c) West Coasters have to live on East Coast time, so we've never had 9 to 5, it's always been 8.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:02 PM on December 7, 2019

I think start times are related to commuting distances/house prices, where I work we have flexi time and the people with the longest commutes arrive the earliest, otherwise they would be stuck in traffic for hours every day. The people who can walk or cycle tend to arrive around 9.
posted by Lanark at 8:37 AM on December 8, 2019

Commute times into NYC make sense as a possible explanation; plus, the movie is set in NYC.

8:00 start times in Eastern Time are tough, y'all; your TV shows all start an hour later than they should.

Finally, I feel like we should make 9-5 the law in TN--if Dolly said it, it ought to be true. Anyway, as a bonus, here's the video.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:32 AM on December 10, 2019

As a professional I've always worked more-or-less 9-5 with an hour lunch, although really it usually ends up being more like 9-6 a lot of the time.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:26 AM on December 10, 2019

in philadelphia in the early 2000s, my jobs were 9-5 with an hour lunch (that you were often working through) for an actual 35 hours per week in the books. from 2009-2014 i freelanced. now, in the late 2010s, in the midwest, my hours are 8-5 or 9-6 with an hour for lunch, for an actual 40 hours per week in the books. all of this is white collar office type work.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:52 AM on December 10, 2019

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