Sunday is always strange because you wake up relieved that you still have one day left, but sad because you only have one day left. The anticipation of Monday begins to creep up when you first wake up and realize tomorrow is Monday. It gradually builds as the day progresses until Sunday evening arrives and your day feels a lot like reaching the end of a milkshake. Equal parts satisfaction and regret. With nothing but air in the straw and that familiar, sucking sound of emptiness, you realize it is time to give it up and put the cup down. Tomorrow is Monday.
As a young lawyer, I am one of the lucky few in this American workforce that is blessed to love going to work. According to a 2014 job satisfaction survey conducted by the Conference Board, 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work. Forbes reports that: “Every year since 1987, the Board has run a job satisfaction survey. Nearly three decades ago, 61.1% of workers said they liked their jobs. That number has slid over time, reaching an all-time low in 2010 following the Great Recession, when only 42.6% of workers said they were satisfied in their jobs. It has been ticking back up since then but rose only .4% since last year.” See “Most Americans are Unhappy at Work” Susan Adams. June 20, 2014.
Those are scary statistics when you consider that most people spend more time working than anything else. A Gallup report released shortly after the Board’s survey also shows that the average time worked by full-time employees has increased to 46.7 hours a week. Combing the two, you get nearly a full-extra eight-hour day of unhappiness for the majority of Americans!
I can thank my parents for saving me from that majority. My mother and father always preached to my brother and me to “find something you love doing because you will spend the rest of your life doing it.” Those words could not ring more true lately because I do fall into the group of Americans working more than 40 hours a week. Thankfully though, those hours are not unhappy ones.
No matter how you slice it – work is still work. And this work especially carries a unique level of responsibility. As lawyers, we are tasked daily with solving other people’s problems. While the stress from not performing this essential task is ever-present, nevertheless Saturdays and Sundays do offer much needed solace. And with it, time to recharge and prepare again for Monday’s challenges.