Why I want a 9-to-5 job reason #2: the routine.
Happy daylight savings! #givemespring
In other exciting news, the Michael Kors project is over and my clutch is in the mail. WOO!
Yesterday, Saturday, March 10th, marked a month of resisting the temptation of snacking on baguettes at work. I celebrated the French way and had a baguette with some cheddar cheese for breakfast at 9am as the brunch shift began and I stared down 13 more hours. It was beyond satisfying.
A night out with the girls and several hours of sleep later, I am back at it for another brunch shift eagerly awaiting my afternoon and, once again, really craving those 9-to-5 work hours.
Now, I know in my last 9-to-5 post I was venting my frustrations about the daunting routine being an intimidating factor about having a 9-to-5, but, the routine aspect actually appeals to me as well.
Currently, my work days have me constantly watching the clock counting the minutes until when I have to go to work. I’m always calculating how long I can work out, how much time I need to save to devote to personal hygiene, how many hours I can sleep before waking for brunch, how much time I can devote to being creative and writing, etc. etc. One of the most frustrating things is when I’m on a roll with a good idea and/or my writing and I have to stop to go to work. To stop doing something you love in order to have to go do something you dislike is a belittling feeling.
My obsessive minute counting boils down to two important things: the hours of my work day and the nature of my work.
The hours that I work: Firstly, the hours that I work are so obscure. I often feel as though they are working against what my internal clock is telling me my body wants. Recently I have generally been working 6 shifts a week, from 1pm to 11pm, with the exception of my Saturday double, 8am to 11pm, and Sunday brunch shift, 8am to 2ish. While counting those minutes before work, my levels of anxiety are always heightened as I’m feverishly attempting to hold on and enjoy every second of freedom.
While these are the hours that I’m actually in the restaurant, a restaurant that is open seven days a week does not stop because I do. Things have to be ordered and prepared daily, people have to be called back, etc. etc. If there is confusion about a reservation or an order and I’m not in the building, a phone call is made no matter what I’m doing. There are no concrete boundaries in this position. Personal life is always at the risk of being interrupted by a work “crisis.”
It would be comforting and sustainable to work a job where there was a set time to go to work. Where there were hours when I was going to strictly focus on work finding comfort in the fact that when work hours were over, there would be hours for personal time.
The nature of my work: I’m doing a job I don’t love, fact. The idea of going to work is not a pleasant one. While I am currently in a transition phase at work, I have spent many unhappy hours getting to this phase. I am big on enduring, on “toughing it out,” as my father, like most parents, encouraged me to do as a kid. I never see how bad it is until I get too deep and then bailing becomes that much harder and overwhelming. It’s like bailing out a sailboat. If there’s just a little water to get rid of it’s quick, easy and painless. But when your boat is half full of water and sinking, panic sets in and the task of bailing becomes much harder.
Much of my dislike of my current management position stems from lack of sense of accomplishment. The day in, day out tasks are somewhat the same and don’t give me any real sense of achievement. Organizing wine only to have it be disorganized later, printing out mailing list cards only to have to enter them into an electronic mailing list later, checking the messages day in day out to take reservations; these things don’t really get me fired up. It is hard for me to track how that contributes to my success. If I was doing something that I loved with greater, long term accomplishments towards my goals, I would be a much more satisfied person.
I think having a 9-to-5 job, a set group of days and allotted hours where I set out to work, say working at a public relations firm or writing for a magazine, would give me the satisfaction I’m craving AND leave me having time to make some personal life accomplishments too. Like finishing the book I’m reading!!!
My personal thoughts on this matter aside, I’m most certainly not saying that the restaurant industry is like this everywhere and for everyone. Some peoples’ brains function during these hours and they are able to turn it on and off just as in a 9-to-5 job. Further I know many people that get great satisfaction out of their restaurant jobs, I am just not one of those people.
The fact that I have been able to come to this conclusion about myself and my work in the biz, despite how upsetting at times, makes me happy that I did it. It has really been a contributing factor to my dive back into writing and I’m very grateful for that!