You know the average business person (woman, in my case) gets the shaft when it comes to life vs. work balance. See, those of us who work the nine-to-five gig are really at a serious disadvantage when it comes to balancing work time and personal time. Yes, I know we choose to put big-fat-corporate-butts in our ergonomic chairs, rolling around in our cube-farms, but a girl’s got to pay the bills somehow!
The average person who works nine-to-five is working the standard business hours, meaning the hours that businesses are open for business. There are no after hours special for other business people, like there are for service-industry workers. You know, like at the local bar where you show up in your bar/restaurant uniform and you get discounts on beers? Wouldn’t it be nice to get to go to the bank at 9 pm and show your little corporate badge and get in to do business while all the other bank-goers look on at your late-night-deposits with envy? Ok, so I’m sure the people who are hanging around outside a bank at 9 pm are probably not the type to be making deposits at any hour, but you get my drift, right?
Somehow, our companies expect us to juggle our own personal business (i.e., paying mortgages, making deposits, shopping for a new purse…) within these hours without, of course, stepping on our companies toes by using company resources to pay our bills, reserve cabins in the Smokey Mountains (Oktoberfest in Helen, GA anyone?) or using the mailroom for receiving E-bay orders. (I seriously never would have gotten busted if the damn seller didn’t ship their “Like New” Ralph Lauren purse that I won for a measly $45, in E-bay designed wrapping paper around the box!)
So, where does that leave us nine-to-fivers?
That leaves us on our lunch break, running around like mad people trying to plunge 18 pounds of “to-do” crap in the toilet of a one-hour lunch break that we are allotted. Seriously, one hour? I can’t even get properly dressed for work in one hour, let alone get most of my daily errands ran. The post office usually takes up 15 minutes of time and that’s just dealing with the counter person and trying to explain to them that, “Yes, I know I’m mailing a book, however, I do not wish to mail it media mail, I wish to mail it first class mail as it is cheaper and usually arrives sooner regardless if you can’t get past the fact that I am mailing media at the non-media rate.” And that’s not even factoring in the wait in line or the drive over there!
How do we find that time to do those small but important tasks without having to rush ourselves through lunch, eating while driving back to the office or having to skip lunch all together (since that’s really bad for your metabolism) without getting fired?