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The Life Of Nine To Five

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When I was a lazy student getting up at 12pm and attending the odd lecture or two, I looked at people working 9-5 and thought what a nightmare it would be. In fact I dreaded having to do that. I imagined a life of living for the weekends. Having to get up on weekday mornings, going in on a Monday counting the hours until Friday night and freedom to do what I wanted to do. I thought that I’d not be able to do anything on a week night as I had to be in the office the next day. My daylight hours would be spent chained to a desk dreaming of my student days.

In short, I didn’t want that life. I loved the free time afforded to me from being a student. It let me do the things I enjoyed like mountain biking, running, sleeping and avoiding daytime television. But here I am years later working 9-5, Monday to Friday. Is life the way I imagined it to be? Am I distinctly unhappy, constantly looking forward to the weekend? The answer is “partly”.

Whenever people discuss taking a year out to go travelling, the best advice is generally to do it between University and “real life”, otherwise you’ll never get around to it. And this seems to hold true for most people I know (myself included so far). The argument always went that you’d get sucked into working life and feel it’s too large a risk to quit your job, travel and then try to get another job again afterwards. People get too comfortable and I can well understand that. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule, but majority rules (I realise that I’m not too hot on wordplay, but there you go).

I always assumed that I’d get on the career ladder and try to get myself up to more senior roles, more responsibility, more pressure, longer hours and more money. But that’s not the way it’s turned out at all. And given the choice between my current life and the life of a student, I’d take this one every time. It’s got a great deal to do with actually enjoying my work and earning many times more money than I did between ages 18-24. And it’s got a lot to do with the fact that I want different things out of life.

For one thing I’m not career minded. All throughout my younger days it seemed that a “career” was all that mattered after education. But now, as a software engineer, I think to myself “what’s the point?”. I’m not interested in things like promotions and long term goals and objectives. I’m more interested in what I’m doing just now and next after the thing I’m doing now. I enjoy problem solving and I spend every day solving various problems, some that take a few hours, others that take a few days. I get to be creative and use my brain. I get to work alongside people I like and respect. I also get paid for the privilege. What more could I want?

So I work from around 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Big deal. If I hated what I was doing I’d be watching the clock all the time and be annoyed that it’s dark in the evening and my working life consumes most of the daylight hours. But I’m not. Sure, I look forward to weekends but by playing football at lunchtime a couple of times a week I manage to break up the 5 days somewhat so it just flies by. I spend weekday evenings either doing sporty things or watching TV (and occasionally writing website articles), so it’s not as if I’m so knackered that I have no life outside of work.

I guess that when I escaped University I found the world I was entering into to be completely different to the one I imagined. I got lucky and got a good job and moved to a lovely part of the world. But I believe that you make your own luck. So I’ve either lowered my expectations on life and am making the best of a bad situation, or I’ve got a better perspective on life and am making the best of a good situation. I think I prefer the latter, and it feels more real to me. I guess the moral of the story is that students don’t know a damn thing about real life until they actually enter it for real.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

10 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Can’t believe you got no comments for this!

    I was living 10 till 12 on the dole and loved it. The lack of money sucked big time.

    Now I am back on the bus at 7:55 and getting home after 6…. it sucks but I can drink and take lots of drugs

    Reply

  2. SCOTLAND HIGHER GRADE MODERN MATHEMATICS PAPER 2003
    HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL

    GLASGOW REGION

    Name……………Nickname…………..Gangname…………
    1. Shuggie has bought half a kilo of cocaine for distribution. He wants to make 300% on the deal and still pay Mad Malky his 10% protection money. How much must he charge for a gram?
    2. Wee Davie reckons he’ll get ?42.50 extra Marriage Allowance a week if he
    ties the knot with Fat Alice. Even if he steals the ring, the wedding will
    cost him ?587. And he’ll have to start buying two fish suppers every night instead of one. How long will it be before Davie wishes he’d stayed single?
    3. When Rangers play Celtic, their fans sing The Sash every 10 minutes when they’re winning and every 15 minutes when they’re losing. How many times did they sing it at last season’s Cup Final?
    4. Joey and Davie stole a 1999 green Toyota 1600GL with 35,000 on the clock – and got a grand for it. How much more would they have got if it had been metallic silver, done 29,000 miles and had low profile tyres?
    5. Jake the Flake and Fingers got grassed up for dealing speed. The Flake got 18 months but Fingers got 3 years. How many more previous convictions did Fingers have?
    EXTRA CREDIT: Who was Fingers’ Brief?

    EDINBURGH / BORDERS REGION

    Name…………..Rugby Club…………Daddy’s Company………
    1. Gavin has a spare ticket for Julian Clary at The Festival Fringe. But Benji and Adrian BOTH want to go with him. How long does he cry before giving them the tickets?
    2. Half of Peter’s friends say that they went to school with Ewan McGregor. Another third say they were Gordon Brown’s flat mate at University. A sixth
    say that their dad played rugby with Tony Blair’s dad and the rest say Sean Connery was their milkman. Only one is telling the truth, so how many friends does Peter have?
    3. Todd wants to be a lawyer, but is as thick as Edinburgh Castle. His daddy is a Freemason and a QC. How long before Todd becomes the Lord Advocate?
    4. Tamsin’s Personal Trainer charges ?250 a week, but has sex with her whenever she wants it. Jasmin’s Life Coach charges ?50 a week but has refused all sexual advances. Which one of the women weighs 19 stone?
    5. Princes Street is 2467 yards long. On average, there is someone begging for money every 195 yards. You walk at 3.1 miles an hour. How long will it take if you tell them all to sod off and work for a living?

    HIGHLANDS REGION

    Name…………Glen…………
    1. After Hector’s death, Archie has to pay Death Duty on Glenbogle. With 25,000 acres, Archie must pay ?1.76 for the first 15,000 acres and 90p per acre for the remainder, including VAT. How many people actually give a toss?
    2. An Afro-American called Zachary Obisanjo Kokobobo asks a Tartan Shop in Inverness if he has any Scottish Geneaology. How long does it take to flog him full Highland dress and matching kilts for his wife and 10 kids?
    3. If an Aberdeen supporter laid every sheep in Grampian Region end to end, how many people would be surprised?
    4. If you caught a Loch Ness Monster 115 feet long and each foot weighed 27lbs, how much money would you make by selling your exclusive story and pictures?
    5. Sorry, question 5 has been delayed by heavy snowfall and will be here as soon as the Cockbridge – Tomintoul road re-opens in the spring!

    Reply

  3. Very funny… And come on ade, put a bit more effort into formatting your comments – I spent ages sorting the line breaks out!

    Reply

  4. I am

    truely
    sorry about the shite
    fo
    r
    matting

    I was un-intentional in the last pos
    t unlike in this

    where I am being
    a

    c
    u##

    Reply

  5. I recognise the feelings from the first part of the article, but don’t agree with the last. I have a nine to five job and I hate it. Still dream of a more interesting life.

    Reply

  6. I can totally relate to this article though the last part seemed like it was just threw in. I’ve been out of College now for almost a year and work 9 – 6 and I hate it as well. I dream of a better life which I’m trying to make come true… but the biggest problem is… doing what??

    Reply

  7. I can assure you I didn’t throw the last bit in, you may have inadvertantly missed my point. I was attempting to write it in two parts, the first from the past looking forward and the second from the present on the present.

    My point was really that my preconceptions of my life as it is now were completely wrong. I learned to be optimistic and make the best of any situation – something I didn’t realise I’d do when I was younger.

    And hey, make the most of the fact that you have a life to live. It can be gone in an instant…

    Reply

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