Work/Life Balance

I’m definitely going to have to work on this whole work/life balance thing, because the hours I’ve put in this week are not sustainable. Let’s put it this way: I could leave before noon today and still get 40 hours in for the week.

Part of that is my own doing: I’ve intentionally worked longer hours because of Battlemoor next week. And while my new employers were understanding and let me have the time off, I won’t be getting the time off paid. So I’m trying to frontload my work hours, so I won’t miss out on as much income.

I’ve also been working through lunch, mostly because I haven’t been at a good stopping point once I inevitably get hungry. It’s quite easy to just grab a sandwich and keep plodding away at AutoCAD, easier than having to switch mental gears. And if I’m not hungry, I tend to be in a better mood, more receptive to learning things and whatnot.

But the sheer amount of new information and responsibilities is finally getting to me. I barely fenced at practice last night, I was so mentally exhausted. So exhausted, in fact, it was making me physically tired as well. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t had much energy left for writing about anything other than my new job. So, why am I giving 110% at work when it leaves me no energy to do the hobbies I love? Oh right, because I’m the “new guy” and feel the need to prove myself lest they cast me off at the end of my probationary period in November.

It also doesn’t help that all my coworkers in our small branch office are salaried, whereas I’m paid hourly. Sure, I’m eligible for overtime, but it also means that I may not be able to use the habits of my coworkers as a proper metric of time investment. But it’s really hard to feel comfortable leaving “early” when everyone else is still working. Even if “early” just means leaving at 5pm or so after only 9 hours of work (no lunch, remember).

I’m clearly going to have to do something about that.

In other news that did make me feel a bit better about things, the project manager/head of the local office admitted that I had ended up with a doozy of a first project (I’ve been reviewing construction documents and addressing comments from various parties involved). It was the first set my friend from grad school put together when he started working here, and it’s a weird hybrid of our office’s methods and someone else’s prototype. So if something doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not just me. Which is comforting, but I’m still not sure how I was supposed to know that.

That’s the other thing: I feel like I’m floundering, but I’m worried that if I’m too blatant in admitting how much help I need (or confusion I’m facing) it’ll reflect badly on their decision to hire me. See previous comment about 90-day probationary period. So if I ask for help, I risk looking incompetent. But if I don’t ask for help, I might not perform as efficiently as I do. Hello there, Catch-22.

Oh well. I’m probably overthinking it, as per usual. But in the end, I have to do something about these long hours if I’m going to maintain any sort of sanity. We’ll see what time they kick me out this afternoon.