Working 9 to 5

Friday, September 30, 2011

So I am going to go out on a limb.  I'm taking a risk in writing this one, because I generally don't write about jobs or relationships or anything that could be interpreted the wrong way.

Just as a disclaimer, I really do like my job.  I absolutely adore my fellow hall directors.  They are, without a doubt, the best people I have ever worked with.  And I love my RAs.  They make what I do so much fun.  Rumor has it that they love me too.

But work in New York is just not what I expected.

In Oklahoma, I generally worked 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (little to no lunch break) and averaged about 50 hours a week.  A normal, full time work week is 40 hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  You are absolutely expected to be at work on time, meaning at your desk and ready to go at 8:00 a.m.  Meetings start at the time they are advertised, so the professional thing to do is arrive five or so minutes early.  This is the only work life that I've ever known.

I've said before that I made applying for jobs in New York a bit of a hobby, but had completely given up on that idea when this one actually came along.  And I definitely prepared myself to step it up.  Working in New York would be much more rigorous, intensive, and fast-paced than some silly little place called Oklahoma.  People in Manhattan actually have no idea where Oklahoma is, or what it is for that matter.

So imagine my surprise with this new reality of mine.  A standard work week is 35 hours here, with typical hours being 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  And by typical, I mean very very flexible.  I attend four staff meetings every week and have five or so one on one meetings per week.  And I have yet to attend a meeting that starts on time.  When I arrive 5-10 minutes early for a meeting, people look at me like I'm crazy.   I just cannot make myself adjust to this new way of working.

Also, I've never had a job that starts at 9:00 a.m.  I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself with that extra hour in the mornings.  I see a lot more of the Today Show these days.

Now, just to put it out there, it's not just my job.  I know you were thinking it.  My non-res-life friends say the same things about their New York jobs.  It's just that they think it's normal.  The two most common excuses I've heard?  New Yorkers stay up later at night, so work is more flexible to accommodate.  Also, since people live closer to work, they are more likely to arrive late.  What???  Those excuses would never in a million years fly in Oklahoma.

I'm just learning things all the time.  But I do adore wearing jeans to work whenever I feel like it.


  1. I say embrace that 9 to 5! And jeans to work... amazing. Hope it's all going well!

  2. I had a similar realization when working in LA, except you get to work around 9 there, leave for lunch around 11, come back around 1, and go home/to early dinner around 4. I never really got used to it, but it was just a way of life out there!