Working for the Weekend
posted November 19, 2012 12:59 PM by Sarah Barton
In high school and occasionally during college summers, I worked on Saturdays. It wasn’t ideal, and I’m sure my bustling social life suffered irreparable damage, but somehow I survived. Since then, most of my Saturdays have been unadulterated Sarah time. A typical Saturday involves waking up (not sleeping in, as I have lost the capacity for that), going for a run, sitting on the couch, and going out for dinner and drinks. In short, Saturdays are great.
Now imagine my horror when I found out that the branch library where I work, which until two weeks ago was closed on weekends, would now be open on Saturdays, and that I will sometimes have to work on Saturdays. I was out of town the first weekend the library was open, but this past Saturday I had no excuse. I went to work. And it wasn’t all that bad.
I must confess that I was only scheduled for two hours, so there was still ample time for running and sitting and going to dinner. And it was nice to make, rather than just spend, money on a weekend. Working on weekends is not, however, something that I want to get used to. One of the things that I fear about full-time library job is coming in low on the totem pole and having to work shifts outside of the Monday-Friday, 9-5 workweek. Frankly, the Monday-Friday schedule is one of the things that I find appealing about a corporate library job. That is not to say that all library jobs outside of the corporate sphere have non-traditional hours, but working nights and weekends is a distinct possibility. Would working weekends be a deal-breaker for me when choosing a job? Honestly, it might be. It would certainly end up on the “cons” list.
I’ve never really thought about it this way, but for the past several years my weekends have largely been spent doing things that I want to do. All it took was two hours on an idle Saturday to make me realize how lucky I am to be able say that, and how in libraries, work-free weekends are not guaranteed. I suppose that Sarah time does not need to be limited to weekends off, but I would always prefer to work for, not on, the weekend.