To think 'I'm not a nine to five person' is a slightly pretentious thing to say.

(141 Posts)
Vintagejazz Wed 04-Jun-14 11:45:30

No one is a nine to five person. Yes, some people are more structured than others and can conform better to that regime, - while others will always be running in the door late, forgetting to fill in time sheets and overtime claims and work better with a deadline looming than to a paced schedule.

But there's just something a bit pretentious and 'ooh look how different I am' about someone airily stating 'oh I'm not a nine to five person. I couldn't possibly work at an office job'.
Yes you could if it was the only way to pay the bills. You mightn't be very good at it but you'd bloody do your best if your mortgage and groceries were depending on it.

Sorry, just heard a student, who looked in her early twenties, on the bus coming out with this remark in a very sneery dismissive manner and it riled me angry

runningonwillpower Wed 04-Jun-14 12:04:35

Anyone who defines themselves as a 'I am/not a type or person who....' tends to be a prat.

I'd be pretty smug to be working 9-5! Currently working 9-7 and planning on going back to uni with a view to working in law eventually so it's never going to happen. Silly girl has probably never had to work and live off her own salary in her life.

BeCool Wed 04-Jun-14 12:04:59

I work in a COOL office environment though and mostly have done all my working life. That helps!

Even the hippest companies have offices!

BeeBlanket Wed 04-Jun-14 12:05:29

(Also, I couldn't possibly work at an office job, but that's more because I'm a misanthrope introvert and can't stand the constant company)

TheTravellingLemon Wed 04-Jun-14 12:07:39

I'm not a 9-5 person, I'm a 11-12 person. Unfortunately the need to, you know, pay bills and the like leave me with little choice. Actually, that's wrong. For most of my career I would have killed to be a 9-5 person. Instead I was an 8-8 person on a good day. Now I'm a SAHM and I can't really remember what type of person I am anymore anyway.

Girl on the bus will have such crazy notions beaten out of her by real life. Don't be riled, feel sorry for her. And then laugh at her a bit.

Sounds like she was just speculating about something she has never been exposed to. Naïve people do come out with nonsense, that's how you know they're naïve. wink

UsedtobeFeckless Wed 04-Jun-14 12:09:03

I was a freelance for 20 years and now I'm 9 to 5 and I bloody well love it! grin

No more all-night sessions to meet mad print dead-lines because I've taken on too much rather than see the work go to someone else, no more worrying how I'm going to pay my bills because some publishing house's accounts department is sitting on my money, no more finishing one job and having an existential panic because I haven't got anything else lined up ... I just roll up at 9 with my game-face on and pootle off at 5 with a clear concience. I even get a luch hour to read my book in and everything! Totally fab!

museumum Wed 04-Jun-14 12:09:15

It depends how it's said, my brother is not a 9-5 person, he's a chef. He's also not a working monday-friday person. All his friends are the same, they all work in bars, clubs and resturaunts, they work hardest friday nights and saturdays... no TFI for them... but it's the lifestyle they choose.

Daisymasie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:10:27

It is a pretentious thing to say, but a lot of university students are a bit up their own arses and convinced they'll never be office workers with mortgages and two weeks holiday in Spain every year.
For most of them, reality comes knocking quickly enough and ten years down the line they'll find that like it or not, 9-5 type jobs are the most readily available ones and there are really not that many wonderfully exciting, totally creative, work whatever hours you like, jobs available.

I usually feel 'you poor sod, you don't know what's ahead of you' about students making naive remarks about that.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 12:10:30

Hang on a second! I have worked Mon-Fri 9-5, but for the last 8 years I have worked a 24 hr shift pattern not in an office.

stands up nervously I'm not a 9-5 person, and I'm proud!

I work till 7 in the morning trying to keep people safe, and I work on city streets at 3am stopping people fighting each other. I don't get every weekend off to spend with friends and family. I have worked most of the last eight Christmas days and struggle to get NYE off. I don't get every bank holiday off.
But, I love having mid week days off where I can do a big shop with fewer other customers around, and going to the bank and making dentist/doctors/hairdressers appointments with ease.
I have worked in an office and I hate it, staring at the same walls and speaking to the same boring people who only talk about the inane soap operas they watched last night (this was my personal experience and I'm not saying all office workers are boring soap opera addicts)

Everyone is different but to say all people who have used that particular phrase are airy/pretentious is a little unkind and possibly closed-minded, in my opinion.

That is all. sits back down again

SpeedwellBlue Wed 04-Jun-14 12:13:10

It doesn't bother me really. A friend at school said she would never want to work in an office. She has been happily hairdressing for many years and still enjoying it. She just wouldn't have enjoyed working in an office.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 04-Jun-14 12:13:54

When I said it, and really I think there is only one way of saying it, I meant I was far too creative and freedom-loving to possibly confine my superior, wandering spirit in a boring office, or a call centre, or a shop - eurgh.

I know better now. Sigh.

flipchart Wed 04-Jun-14 12:15:18

After my last post about enjoying shift work I would ga as far to say I am not a night worker!!
I think most people wouldn't have a problem if some said that but they get upset if some one says they re not a 9 to 5er!

I think it's knowing how you best work. I have had work ring me up and ask if I would do a wake and watch shift as an extra because of short staffing. No chance , but if others. In my team want to cover it( some dont mind) I will pick up their shift if needed.

Daisymasie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:18:03

There's a difference between saying that you're 'not a 9-5 worker' and that you're 'not a 9-5 person.

The first is a perfectly normal statement of fact.
The second is a bit 'Get me. I'm so creative/free spirited/different from all the dullards out there'.

I would kvass myself as "not a 9-5" person.

I've always done shift work, well almost.

I can do 14 hour night shifts, cover sickness etc, but a few weeks of 9-5 leaves me drained and headachy.

I struggle with structure, I have my own cleaning routine, it doesn't always follow a pattern.

BFing on demand suited me.

My DH was the opposite, we learned to compromise.

I don't agree with the posts on here, thinking about it, my ex went from 9-5 hours, to shifts, less hours, but needed a permanent steady routine, so left to do 8-6, less money, but he wanted the set hours.

I'm 46, I know what suits my body and mind.

Stealth
It was a cross post. I was thinking that a student that doesn't want to do office work might find themself doing something a bit less glamorous quite quickly.

Stepawayfromthezebras Wed 04-Jun-14 12:26:01

I had a 9 - 5 job when I started working but then as I made my way up the ladder in my industry IT there were no 9 - 5 jobs. They were all ostensibly 9 - 5 but were actually 8 - 6 and then whichever weekend we had work on (at least one a month) without overtime.

But I'm a bit rubbish at working for other people anyway and the 14 years after leaving uni that I was working I was constantly thinking of ways to escape and work for myself. I've managed to make my escape and now have my own business. But it's not something that many of my ex colleagues would have wanted to have done.

There are some people who can accept 9 - 5 routines and the corporate world and the compromises that they have to make for them. But there are other people who just can't and won't tolerate them. I did them while I had to, there was no alternative and I needed to pay the bills but I was bloody miserable and really hope I never have to do them again

Daisymasie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:26:27

I think people who say 'I'm not 9-5' mean that they're not 'set hour' people whether that's 9-5, 8-4, 10-6, or whatever.
It's often used as a way to dismiss the vast majority of workers who work fairly fixed hours, and to imply that they, the speaker, are above all that bureaucratic, regulated nonsense.

popcornpaws Wed 04-Jun-14 12:27:46

I would hate to work mon-fri 9-5, and have never had a job where i have had to do it.
The hours i do a lot of people would hate, but i love them, I've never had to waken to an alarm clock for years.
I still wake early but can mooch around in my jammies, have a nice long bath, do the housework, go for lunch etc all before my shift starts.

I don't think i would ever apply for a 9-5 job, i enjoy time to myself when everyone else is working.

MrsKoala Wed 04-Jun-14 12:28:22

Well i agree with you regarding the luxury of choice. I am not an 'office' person but i say that with total embarrassment rather than smugness and still have to work in offices (when not a sahm) even tho i cry on my way in and on my way home (and have even had jobs where i have a designated cry area in the filing room). I am shit at everything office related; computers and tech hates me, photocopiers hate me, printers hate me. I am rubbish at excel and database and have to be told everyday how to use them (despite going on 7 different excel courses blush ). I am disorganised and have a terrible memory. Bosses have sent me on numerous time management courses but nothing sticks. My colleagues always end up getting sick of the constant questions and picking up my slack and i never make any friends. I have to go to interviews and lie to get a job then muddle thru in an utter panic that i will be found out. I rarely pass my probation without many many intervention meetings and bosses always express how totally bewildered they are that someone who comes across so bright and capable can be so completely and utterly shite. So in retrospect i am 'not a 9-5 person' and i envy those who can cope in this environment because i am seriously lacking in every functional skill needed to earn a living. I just pity anyone who gives me a job or has to work with me.

backinthebox Wed 04-Jun-14 12:28:37

I'm not a 9-5 person either. I just finished a night shift which started at midnight uk time. I couldn't work in an office, it would send me mad. But happily, it takes all sorts of people to do all the kinds of jobs that need filling, so that the unpretentious office people can be served in shops after they have finished working, go to hospital at any time of day or night when they are ill or injured, go in holiday at weekends and bank holidays, provide you with your entertainment in pubs, restaurants, cinemas, etc. keep you safe in the police, military, fire service. I'm fairly sure that most of the people who do these jobs are happy with their shifts, would be more than happy to stand up and say they are not really 9-5 people, and what is more - I bet most of them are unpretentious with it!

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 12:29:07

daisy I disagree. Saying 'I am not a 9-5 person' doesn't mean I am judging people who are, it means I wouldn't want to work M-F 9-5. This is not an insult to those who do.
I think it says more about the easily-insulted or over-sensitive nature of people who get upset by that sentence than the people who say it.
If I say something about myself, and someone hears it and assumes it is an insult to them, that is the listener's problem, not mine, ie if I said 'I'm not a brunette', would all brunettes think I was judging brunettes?

I've mostly heard it in the opposite way - 'I'm not a 9-5 person, I work three thousand and nine hours per week and seventeen of those are while I'm using my blackberry on the treadmill ..' kind of thing.

hmm

PixieofCatan Wed 04-Jun-14 12:32:56

I'm not a nine to five person, an office job would not suit me at all. It suits some, not others. I don't think it's pretentious (unless said in a pretentious manner), but then maybe that's because I work 10-12 hour days as a nanny instead and have time off midweek. Suits me much more!

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