Sunday, November 15, 2015

Three Day Weekend...

Friday Evening, 13 November 2015
Editor's Note: Yes, I do know what's going on in the outside world. I choose to stay away from that insanity, for the most part, here at The Chant. From time to time I will comment on that insanity. But not today.

At some point in the past year, the organization which employs me (and pays me well for my services) decreed that the entire company was to be taxed, er, no, that's in Luke and is part of the tale of Christmas. Which comes after Thanksgiving though you wouldn't know it walking into a CVS pharmacy. Not that I have any problem with the pursuit of profit and the gainful employment of the citizenry, but...

Bless me Father for I have digressed...

Earlier this year, my employer decided that everyone should work a similar schedule, check that, the same schedule. Except for the "bargaining unit", which I'm led to understand means the folks in the union, who do not consider themselves to be employees rather instead they seem to be part of some guild, or something. Though I used to be in a union (ten thousand years ago, or thereabouts) I never did understand all the various nuances in that membership. I paid dues, they covered my not insubstantial derrière whenever I ran afoul of management. Which wasn't often, but often enough that I was beholden to the shop steward. To whom I would bow and scrape and...

Damn! Did it again didn't I?

So everybody not in a union (civil or otherwise) was to work the same schedule. It is written.

That is to say, well perhaps I should explain the situation prior to the decree coming down from on high, brought forth by the Angel Gabriel and...


Alright. Under the old way of doing business, vis-à-vis the work schedule, one could choose to work a standard week. Five days, 8 hours a day. Or one could choose to work a 9/80 schedule (which I once referred to as the 0.1125 schedule, much to the confusion of management, until one of them, brighter than most, figured it out). Over the course of nine days, one would work 80 hours. Typically by working nine hours a day on Mondays through Thursdays, an eight hour day one Friday, then be off on the next Friday. Thus one would have a three day weekend every other week.

There used to be two 9/80 schedules, one yclept "A," the other "B." I would have given them much more clever names but the boss told me to sit down and shut up, if I knew what was good for me. Turning to the shop steward I realized he wasn't there, as I am not in the "bargaining unit" anymore. (Nor am I in Kansas.) So I sat down and held my peace.

Now apparently, someone in management decided that having people on one of three different schedules made it deuced hard to schedule meetings on Fridays. Some people were always there, others were not, depending on whether they were on the "A" schedule or the "B" schedule. Ergo, for any given meeting scheduled on a Friday, one-third of the people invited to the meeting would not be there. (This was explained to us in simple terms by management. No PowerPoint was involved. Which amazed me.)

Of course, I immediately revolted. I liked my 8 hour days, I was told that if I liked my 8 hour days, then I could keep my 8 hour days so...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I mentioned that if there were difficulties in getting everyone to attend meetings on Friday then there were two solutions which had not been mentioned. The simplest being, don't have meetings on Fridays.

"We can't do that." sayeth management.

"Why not?" asketh I.

"We can't tell project leads not to schedule meetings on Fridays. It would be impinging on their rights and responsibilities as leads." was the answer.

Alrighty then...

"Why not just fire all the assholes?" I asked.

"Now Sarge, how do we know who the assholes are?" asked management.

"Easy. Anyone who schedules meetings on a Friday is ipso facto an asshole. If you say that you are going to fire all of the assholes and you define an asshole as someone who schedules meetings on a Friday, then..." I explained, with what I considered impeccable logic.

"Sit down and..." management began.

"Roger that, I know the rest."

At any rate, I later discerned that the switch was made to make the life of the time keepers and the payroll types easier. As they are the people who cause my pay to magically appear in my account every two weeks, I said no more. As 9/80 was mandated, a 9/80 guy I would be.

Until I had that whole surgical interlude at the end of July running to the end of September. Upon returning to work I decided (with the advice and consent of the Senate, er, my supervisor) that I would be working a regular week for the foreseeable future. Nine hours of sitting hunched over my computer keyboard was rather taxing upon those various and divers parts of my anatomy which had been ripped asunder and then stapled back together. So it was me for an 8 hour day.

Then I began to notice something, two day weekends are short. As time went on, they seemed to get shorter and shorter. I was vexed and frustrated. Well, it wasn't that bad. As my anatomy has now, more or less, returned to its previous state of allowing me to remain hunched over my keyboard for nine hours, I made the jump back to 9/80.

This, dear reader, is my first weekend back on the 9/80 schedule. It is, of course, a three day weekend. As a bonus, the Thanksgiving holiday (which comes before Christmas, yeah CVS, I'm looking at you) will be a five day weekend. The 9/80 Friday will be observed on a Wednesday that week and Thursday and Friday are also off days, holidays dontcha know?

I will also avail myself of vacation time to take the entire week off. Sweet, neh?

The back yard is starting to look pretty bare. (These photos were taken at the same time as the opening and closing photos. This camera has some sweet low light capability!)
The homes across the street.
The trees in the front yard are essentially bare.
Night falls.
'Twas a lovely day to start the weekend. Sweet sunset as well.

See you on the morrow. Good day...


  1. Well that was a nice visit to the pinball machine that is your mind.

    The only thing I miss being retired is three day weekends and calling in sick.

    1. Pinball machine? I never thought of it that way, but you're absolutely right, my mind is like that most days.

      When I was out on medical leave of absence for two months weekends weren't all that special. I had to check the calendar to determine what day of the week it was. It was kind of nice, all my days were Saturdays. My weekends were 7 days long.

      Having a foot of colon removed was a small price to pay I suppose.

      Someone asked me if I could "be retired full time." Why yes, yes I could.

  2. Upon signing on with my current employer, I too was acquainted with the trials and rewards of that thing known as the 9/80 schedule. While indeed the 9-hour days can seem much longer than you would imagine the addition of a single hour would result, that additional weekend day every two weeks is a wondrous thing - especially when you consider it comes on a Friday, when the rest of the business world is a'work.

    With this employer, I actually am one of those humans to which you refer to as 'Lead'. But I do not schedule meetings on Fridays. In fact, truth be told, I schedule as few meetings as possible. And while I would like to claim that the reasons are the result of a selfless and altruistic love for the members of my team, but that would not ring true. In fact, the reasons are very selfish. My team's effectiveness (and by transitive property my effectiveness as its leader) is judged by the amount and quality of the source code we produce. I realized early on that there is a shocking lack of code production during meetings. So the obvious solution was to minimize meeting time, and thus maximizing code-production time.

    1. Ah Bill, you are one of those who "gets it." Must be all that training you received in your formative years.

  3. I remember nine hour days.
    But there is no way I have fond memories of them.
    That's because they were a part of a 54 hour week.
    Maybe there's a story there, huh?

  4. "Retired" and working 3/12. Keeps me under the magical "full time" status.

    1. I presume benefits are a key factor in your decision to remain "full time." Makes perfect sense. Gets you out of the house as well!

    2. No, still part time. The employer avoids anyone getting benefits.

    3. Ah, "under" I see that I misread that.

      Gee, employers not wanting to pay benefits. Wonderful.

  5. I'm retired . . . from the army since 1994, from work in general since 2001. I, too, have trouble remembering the day of the week, with every day seeming to be a week-end. (Hint: If there's naught but college football on TV it's a Saturday. You can start your calculations from there.)

    1. I shall keep that in mind. Watch for me being completely confused on New Year's Day.

  6. 9/80 is one of those flexible situations that doesn't make a lot of sense unless your main counter. As a worker is free and you're trying to do because inevitably to be able to finish something but you have to take the day off. Is one of those flexible situations that doesn't make a lot of sense unless you're a main counter. As a worker is free and you're trying to do because inevitably to be able to finish something but you have to take the day off.

    1. And you are absolutely correct.

      Fortunately we can work on those "off" Fridays if we either need to or want to. They don't close the plant down as manufacturing is still a 5/40 thing. (What little we have left!) There is some flexibility but truly only the beans counters truly see any "benefit" there may be in it.

  7. Hmmm...

    Math without shoe removal and "fire the @$$holes." You can always tell an enlisted man. You just cant tell him much...

    Or, you can take the man out of the military, but you can't get the enlisted out of the man. Even with woolite.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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