Where I don't care what others think

Hours of Operation

March 13th, 2012 Posted in Problems, Stupid People

It seems strange to me that so many have agreed to operate on schedules that are often not beneficial to the parties participating and seem, more often than not,  to be detrimental and broadly undesirable.   What seems to be even stranger is that these schedules don’t just exist in small clusters but are continually reinforced by the collective populous.  I think banks tend to demonstrate this quite well.

If I were running a bank or financial establishment in which people physically interacted with their money or account I’d want to keep hours that mirrored the needs of the people’s money I was holding.  My local credit union back home was open 9-5 weekdays, except for Thursday when they were open until 6.  On the weekend they opened up shop for 3 hours on Saturday morning from 8-11am.  To me it seems like they’ve only created a total of 4 hours that actually cater to the needs of the people doing the banking, the 3 hours on Saturday plus the “late” night on Thursday for you to deposit your paycheck.  So kind of them.

When I was working a “regular” job that kept me in an office from 8-5ish it was impossible to visit the bank when I wanted to check up on my money.  Sure, I could rush home on Thursday and wait in line for a long time OR wake up promptly Saturday and get to the bank but that’s not really how I want to spend my Saturday morning.  I’m sure the counterargument to this bank scenario is that I, running my mythical bank, would have to find employees that could work the hours desired by customers.  I don’t have any qualifications in human resources to say this is remotely feasible, but if a grocery store in the outskirts of a pseudo city in “upstate” NY can be open 24/7 I think a community bank can afford to be open until at least when American Idol comes on.  I’ve never been quite sure what “props” are, but I’d like to award them to the grocery for letting me indulge my desire to go grocery shopping between 10pm – 1am.

Providing what most would call extended hours makes it much easier to distribute the load, and I suspect you end up distributing the portion of the load that you actually don’t want in an establishment during other times.  I get frustrated, not visibly so, waiting in lines behind slow old people… especially when they’re at the self checkout… and as a result I spend less time making you money (aka shopping) and spend more time trying to go as fast as possible to get in line before that man being wheeled there his stretcher.

Even in my own place of employment, which is fairly liberal about these sorts of things, I feel weird showing up after 9am, like I should be apologizing to someone.  Given, my specific line of work does put me on call most days from 8-4, I’m a big believer that being on call means available, should someone call not hunched over the phone waiting for it to ring.  There’s no one to apologize too I’m sure, but I just feel guilty walking in when everyone is already there.

Working summer jobs I didn’t mind the early mornings so much, nor did I really mind them in college.  I think now that they’ve become consistent with no end in sight it is a much different ballgame.  In college I could easily muster up the energy to get up at 6am for a few days if needed to work on a special assignment or something because there was that direct motivational link and because I knew that I would, inevitably, have a few days where class started >= 10AM so I could do whatever I wanted all morning.

Unlike my colleagues (or at least I’m assuming), I go home and “hang out with the wife and kids” or something like that; nor do I really take a break from work to watch TV or <insert social activity> unless there is a good episode of Jeopardy on.  I go home and usually spend anywhere from 2-4 hours doing programming of my choice now, using whitespace as freely as I want.  At some point the reverse of the morning starts to set in where I start to feel guilty that I’m still up, despite the fact that I could be wildly productive, because I know I’m suppose to be somewhere by an acceptable time in the morning.

At MassMutual I got around this by doing magic when I was at home; as in I wrote code to solve problems in ways they couldn’t fathom and as a result I could show up whenever I wanted.  While my stay there was short (it turns out if you automate a problem they’ve hired 4 interns to do you’re unlikely to stay employed for too long) it ended up being at least a beneficial time arrangement.  I haven’t rule out an arrangement like this at work, but coding up some magic is going to take a bit more work.

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