Tag Archives: working long hours

Working 12 Hours a Day for a Month Has Turned Me Into a Raging B

16 Nov

Wow, I am in a bad mood today! I feel like the frustration and stress that’s been simmering under my usually cheerful veneer has decided to expose itself today, approximately three hours before I head off on a week of vacation. Just this morning, I rolled my eyes twenty-two times, said “Are you kidding me?!” six times, got up from my desk in a huff twice, and felt the hot sting of boiling anger and tears once. It’s been pretty intense.

Ah, I was so close to getting through this week without combusting! I think it’s the combination of little sleep and a lot of work that is pushing me closer and closer to the edge. For a solid month, work has been back to its frenetic, breakneck pace, which on the one hand, I like! I’m much more productive with a full plate and it’s much more satisfying to slash away at a to-do list that has more important tasks on it than “Call Groupon for a refund on a painting class package I bought on a whim before realizing I am a horrible artist.”

But on the other hand, I’ve had no time outside of work to do anything but stress about what I’ll be doing the next day and how much sleep I can get in between. It’s been wearing a little thin. My apartment is a mess, my desk is a mess, my hair is a mess…thank God the weekend is near! This week has been crazy and never-ending, and I’m so close to heading out of the city–anything that’s getting in my path is going to get slapped!

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Back Into It

31 Oct

Phew, what a week so far! It’s been a bit stormy in New York the last few days, but thankfully I escaped relatively unscathed. I hadn’t done too much to prepare for the storm, and unlike my neighbors, did not purchase thirty pounds of meat and a dozen loaves of bread to sustain myself. Instead, I made pie, went to the library, and downloaded the new Taylor Swift album. Could I have been any more ready?!

However, my preparations were short-lived, because I had to trek into work on Monday anyway! But just a few hours later we were all sent home, so I  high-tailed it back to the comfort of my toasty abode, excited for the free afternoon! But in a little less than two hours, I had cleaned my kitchen, color-coded my earring box, organized my coat closet, polished off some apple crisp and finished my library book. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO HANDLE FREE TIME.

Unsurprisingly, when we were called in on Tuesday to cover the storm, I was excited! It’s not like I’m an advocate for disaster, but I love “being in the trenches” with the people I work with. It’s always amazing to see how quickly people can get things done with a looming deadline and copious amounts of free coffee! All the running around and frantic organizing,  with scripts flying and phones ringing reminds me of what I love about journalism. Plus, the congenial patting of backs at the end of the night is always nice!

This particular story came right after another huge project I was working on, so it’s basically been a continuous three weeks of controlled chaos, which is apparently my preferred work environment! Between travelling, some writing opportunities and the growing distance between me and the weeds of boredom, this whole month has ended up being like a giant reset button for my work psyche! …The Taylor Swift CD has also definitely helped.  (I cannot tell a lie!)

Sunday (No) Funday

22 Oct

I haven’t had to work on the weekend in a while, and let me tell you, it’s been grand! I feel like I’ve paid my dues enough with my previous jobs, where I worked every single weekend and holiday for a solid year. Sure, there are people who have worked every weekend for twenty years, and I feel bad for them. Because working on the weekend is one of the most depressing things you can do with your life. The office is empty and dark, and you can’t avoid the constant online-updates of people apple picking or brunching or hanging out in the park and generally having way more fun than you!

I love my weekends now, because I appreciate the break. But when I was in college, I wasn’t such a huge fan, because everyone just slept right through them! I, on the other hand, was incapable of sleeping past 10 am, and would spend the weekend waiting around for someone to go to a museum with me! But now that I don’t have as much free time during the week (and more awake friends) weekends are so lovely! And knowing the type of week I have coming up, I was looking forward to a relaxing one, but as usual, work had other plans! I worked all day on Sunday, and stayed later than I do on a normal weeknight!

Obviously, this was not my initial plan. I had planned to come in for a few hours to get a head start on things. I didn’t expect to see anyone, or talk to anyone, which is why I basically wore my pajamas and no make-up. This alone should have been a sure-fire sign that I would be interacting with someone other than my computer mouse, and sure enough, not even five minutes after sitting down, I ran into my boss! The rest of the afternoon just involved me hiding from her and trying to get my work done as quickly as possible while avoiding the urge to go to Sephora and use all their makeup samples. But before I could even do that, I saw three other people I knew! Where was the office quiet I had dreaded just hours before?!

When I finally left last night, it was under the cloak of darkness–both of the night and from the shirt I put over my head so no one else could see me! I’ve never been more excited for a Sunday to end!

So Close…Yet O So Far

12 Oct

For two nights in a row, I’ve attempted to leave work, only to get roped back in as I’m walking out the door! Well, the first night, I was actually out the door and half-way up the street, after leaving a little early to meet up with some friends. Out of habit,  I checked my email one last time before descending the stairs to the subway, and wouldn’t you know! There was an urgent message for an assignment that needed to be done that very night! For a full minute, I contemplated continuing down the stairs, before my conscience dragged me back up and back to work. When I got back to my desk, it felt like I had never left! Hmm, I wonder why…

Then last night, after a much more pleasant day, I slung my purse over my shoulder and was making my way down the hallway when my desk phone rang. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to sneak off that easily, I answered it, plopped back into my office chair, and settled in for a few more hours of office duty!

Obviously I don’t have a problem working late–I do it more often than not! But when you have it in your head that you’re leaving, and then someone else more important than you has it in their head that you’re staying, it makes those final hours drag!  Especially after the week I’ve had, I was looking forward to getting as far away from this place as possible, but as usual, work had other ideas! As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours, and this week has been a torrential thunderstorm!

But fortunately, the end is near!  Tonight, I have a bus ticket out of this city and up to New England for a weekend filled with relaxation, plaid, and some sisterly bonding. It’s just what I need…as long as I can get out of here on time! I should start applying the camouflage now if I have any hope of making that bus! Wonder if anyone will notice if I cover my face with an accordion file…seems like a fail-safe route to me!

The March to Margaritas

13 Jul

Five o’clock is here, with just an hour to go! This has been a long week and I am whooped! I came in Monday morning expecting to be moderately busy, but plans quickly changed and the week motored by! Three thirteen-hour days, four humus wraps and a few pats-on-the-back later, I’m now sitting semi-comatose at my desk, researching happy hours. Friday ow ow!

Despite my exhaustion, this was a really great week, and I’m proud of the results! All the hard work and craziness from the last few weeks was all worth it when things went smoothly and everyone was happy. Regardless, it’s still hard to keep up that kind of work schedule, so it will be nice to wake up a little later than 6:30 am and sip–rather than guzzle–my morning joe!

But of course, it never really ends. Just minutes ago, while packing my purse and breathing a cleansing sigh of relief,  I got an email with one final time-consuming task! Looks like those margaritas will have to wait! O well…with my weekend waiting in the wings and visions of colorful cocktails dancing across my mind, I have my last gasp of motivation standing at the ready! Let’s do this…so I can bust out of this joint!

Getting Myself Together

3 Apr

It’s been a really busy few weeks! For two weeks straight, I was working on week-of-air pieces, which meant many late nights and zero time for anything else. When last Friday night rolled around, I surveyed the sorry state of my apartment: two weeks worth of clothes I hadn’t put away, a huge pile of laundry I hadn’t done, and a fridge holding a moldy head of lettuce and a bottle of maple syrup. Instead of tackling any of this mess, I promptly collapsed into bed and watched two episodes of Mad Men before falling asleep on top of my keyboard. The life I lead!

But Saturday–you could not stop this. I cleaned my apartment like my life depended on it! I folded clothes, organized my dresser, color-coordinated my closet, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, washed, windexed, wiped and swept until there was not a corner of my apartment left unscathed from my scouring. Then I did laundry, returned my library books, grocery shopped, went for a run, and met my friends for dinner and drinks. SHA-BOOM. PRODUCTIVENESS.

I’m realizing that my life lately is all or nothing–and mostly that means all work and nothing else. I usually consider myself a really good multitasker, but I can’t seem to multitask both my work and social lives these days.  But Saturday was really refreshing because I felt like I was able to get myself back in order and clear my head. Now I just need to learn to intersperse these moments of at-home productiveness into my busy work weeks so I can avoid spending two hours of my weekend scrubbing my bathroom tiles!

So Late It Was Early

26 Mar

Why I continue to freak out over my boredom at work is beyond me, because it always comes back to slap me straight across the face with a whopper of a week! Last week set a new record for work-latedness, when I left through the revolving doors at 3 A.M. Yes. Read that again. 3 A.M. This was after I declined seeing the midnight showing of The Hunger Games because I was afraid I would get home too late and be tired the next day. Silly me. Silly, silly me.

So what exactly is there to do until 3 AM at the office, you may ask? Fortunately, enough to keep me awake! I logged interviews, pulled pictures, worked on graphics….my to-do list never waned! And it was a good thing, because otherwise my brain would have internally combusted and I would’ve been caught snoring on my keyboard! There were also a lot of whispered conversations with my colleagues along the lines of “WHEN IS THIS DAY GOING TO END I NEED MY FREAKIN BEAUTY SLEEP!”

I love my job because it’s so varied and everyday brings something new, but the downside is that you can absolutely never anticipate what that new thing is going to be, and how late it’s going to keep you at work! We were all running on fumes and copious amounts of caffeine on Friday, and between freaking out about the bags under my eyes and the to-do list that kept growing until the last possible second, this was certainly the most overwhelming week since starting here. But as usual, the payoff was so gratifying and my adoration of the people and the work we do was enough to keep me awake until 7:30 when we could go home. I then promptly hopped in a cab and passed out until I got to my front door!