Better living through quitting - at a reasonable time. What is this "reasonable time" you speak of, anyway?
If you've been exposed to a wide variety of jobs it'll be readily apparent that a "long day" has different meanings to different people. In a recent conversation, I realized however that what's considered normal is not, however, all that obvious to someone who may have 'grown up' in a CA firm.
This simple insight allows you to marvel at the sheer variety of attitudes towards what a "normal" quitting time is for people - even at the same company, even doing similar jobs. First, consider different career tracks.
Emily Haines doesn't even start work until after 9 p.m. some nights
While rock stars are night owls virtually by default, the office crowd that comes out to cheer them on instead of going to sleep at a reasonable time lives a very different - and much more "traditional" lifestyle. Staff in the hardcore units of a company like the finance department will typically stick around late when major deadlines like month-end close arise, and volunteer - or find themselves "volunteered" - to assist with all types of special projects. This is simply not the case for typical line staff and other shift workers, who will consider leaving 5 minutes quitting time from the regular shift "staying
Just ask yourself - in your company, what's considered skipping out laughably early versus simply "leaving a little early"?
- Taking off at noon
- Sneaking out at 2 p.m.
- Beating the rush hour traffic by leaving at 4 p.m.
- Trying in vain to beat rush hour by leaving at 4:30 p.m.
- Leaving with the rest of the herd at 5 p.m.
- Sitting around hoping for traffic to recede until 6 p.m.
- Maybe I'll have dinner at home tonight and leave at 7 p.m.
- Oh good, we've finally tied up the lead sheets. Let's go home at 9 p.m.
- Nuts, we missed fourteen adjusting entries. Return back to the audit room. It's 11:30 p.m., let's give up.
- The audit committee meets in a day? Guess it's time to go to a downtown hotel room at 2 a.m. to crash for the night.
I witnessed friends or clients experiencing pretty much all of these scenarios. The extreme ends are naturally rare, but working at various audit sites it's interesting to notice the times when the elevators get rammed with traffic, and equally interesting to find yourself on jobs where you end up the only person in the building, aside from the cleaning staff, who seem to take on increasingly levels of pity on the young auditors who are trying to finish just-one-more-file.
Being the kind of person who gets addicted to finishing just-one-more-task is probably a helpful quality for young auditors. And this is how I can argue that investing hours of time in Civilization tuned me into a tireless machine. Yes, that's it.
So, what's your quitting time? Share your comments. I hate the login-to-leave-comments thing too, but on this site it kicks you into the system nice and fast, so don't be shy.