The 87-hour work week (Yes, there is a hell)

I wake up between 7 and 8 in the morning. The red light on my Blackberry flashes and I check my email while I’m still in bed. Then it’s a short walk to my laptop.

The workday begins. And it’s intense. Not a leisurely day. Juggling to-do items, and nervous people who have never done a multi-city event before, and email – loads of email, which makes me remember I used to be creative in this job. Now I write email.

Chisel this on my tombstone: He wrote a shitload of email, and some were well written. My legacy.

As the day goes on, I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk. I take a couple of short breaks during the day, and I eat dinner with my family before going back to work until between 11 and midnight.

My dreams are made of these. © Tryfonov -

When I work at Home Depot, I plan and saying clever things, such as, “ex-screws me, do you need help?”  © Tryfonov –


Tomorrow will be my 24th work day in a row. At least my schedule is easing to 11 and 12 hour days, but I am tired. And I think a lot about doing something else with the remaining hours of my life. I should be able to do better than this.

I dream of working at The Home Depot in the screws and bolts aisle, and telling customers the unique qualities of flatheads, phillips and square-drive heads – when to use galvanized, stainless steel, or deck screws – and when to give up and call a contractor.

I dream of simplicity and meaning.

9 thoughts on “The 87-hour work week (Yes, there is a hell)

  1. Holy rusted metal batman! That is no good, if it makes you feel any better I was answering work emails in the ice cream shop wile getting ice cream and a shaved ice for my niece and wife. And I just work at a bicycle shop..Thank you for finding the few min to put up this blog post, go snuggle up to your wife!


    • Colin,

      Nice to hear from you. I hope all is well with you and your wife. I hope working at the bicycle shop isn’t stressful. I like to think is isn’t, except for all the customers that come in and ask you price match with Amazon or something like that.


      • Saying no to a customer is easy, its much harder to say no to somebody that signs your pay check. And things are great at home, and I should be starting into the next Vertex drug trial in a week!


  2. Ahhh…Home Depot. Don’t think they offer the benefits you would be seeking but feel certain your screw expertise would come in handy (O.k. get mind out of gutter ya’ll.)

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my emails and keeping the trash talk going but don’t see how you squeeze it in there!!

  3. What employers expect from their workers these days is inhumane. I too wish for simplicity. I feel like I deal with one clusterf**k after another. This is our current drama: Sofie cultured positive for mycobacterium at her last clinic visit and the lab notified the health department. It would have been nice if they’d notified us and given us a heads up, but no. Despite all TB tests being negative, and a beautifully perfect X-ray, they have her under isolation because she has a cough. Um, she has CF. She’s had to go to the TB center 3 days in a row for sputum cultures. I can’t think of a better way to make sure she gets TB. It’s so frustrating.

  4. As Nike (?) says – “Just Do It!” If you are working 24 days in a row – AND – such long hours… YOU definitely need to listen to that inner voice that is telling you time for a change… Dream it and do it
    Google Gary Morland… he has a good blog for you
    My fingers are crossed for you.
    Your Philly Friend

    • Yo, Lisa G,

      Damn nice to hear from you. And you turned me on to a very cool blog. Thank you. I like it. I may read his book when things settle down. Again, thanks for the tip. I think it’s going to help me.

      Wishing you the best, as always.


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