Punched out

My workweek is typically 47 hours or so; this is to give me a chance to look over the system before the crowd comes filing in, and to avoid anguished cries of “How come he got to go home early?”

It’s not at all that I’m bragging:

There is a sense of pride over being able to state that we worked an exorbitant amount of hours this week, last week, or last month. I know because I’ve done it in the past, and probably still do it *sigh*. After all, saying you worked a 60 hour week is indirectly telling the listener how busy your design firm is; how successful your product is; how important you are to your employer. It’s essentially a humblebrag.

We have departments which routinely put in 50-60 hours a week. I don’t think they’re bragging either; I think they’re just trying to keep up with a work volume that hasn’t diminished as rapidly as the available staff. But that’s another issue entirely.


  1. fillyjonk »

    17 February 2014 · 9:52 am

    People in academia/grad school do this ALL THE TIME.

    I tend to be a somewhat credulous sort who takes things literally and it was years before I realized I WASN’T a slacker for not claiming to have spent 75 hours or some insane amount in the labs.

    NO ONE spends 75 hours a week in the labs. NO ONE.

  2. Tatyana »

    17 February 2014 · 1:05 pm

    It is a norm for design/architecture firms. But not because of misplaced sense of pride; the reason is the “non-exempt” status of employees. You got the empty status-symbol of calling yourself a “professional” (in legal terms), which gives the right to your boss to basically exploit you by paying you an annual salary for indefinite amount of hours worked.
    In my almost 18 yrs in the trade I only worked for one firm where the Partners paid overtime to designers – and not 1.5times at that, just a regular pay. That was and still is unheard of in general practice!

  3. fillyjonk »

    17 February 2014 · 2:09 pm

    Oh, in my field, you work until the work is done to your satisfaction. (or to what you think is the satisfaction of your big boss). No overtime. And there is a certain expectation that we will give of our time on “off hours” – in recruitment events, “service to the profession,” and now they’re pushing for “civic engagement” (volunteer work that we document because apparently someone somewhere gets praise for having so many of us doing so).

    I admit, I resent more the administrivia of having to document my “volunteer hours” and what I am doing than I am by the expectation that I do them. Though I also do kind of resent being told “go out on your free time and do this” even though I would otherwise….

  4. XRay »

    17 February 2014 · 8:39 pm

    I’m with Tatyana. ““non-exempt”” being the greatest farce known to business. As actually, there are only two conditions that legally meet that appellation. Working in your specific degree field, or, supervising two or more employees. My company, for one example, would fail either of those tests for many its workers. As would many companies I imagine. Many prefer the ‘professional’ state of view, thus ignoring their actual ‘blue collar’ status.

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