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

plantsitter Wed 04-Jun-14 11:48:35

I agree. Just like people who say 'I'm a big picture person' or 'blue sky thinker' meaning they are FAR too special and important to learn how to send a fax.

Hmm ikwym. Its just a way of asserting your specialness though isn't it, which people are very keen to do.

HayDayQueen Wed 04-Jun-14 11:50:48

That is annoying.

A reply of:

'gosh, it must be so nice to have the luxury of choice'.

usually does the trick.

NigellasDealer Wed 04-Jun-14 11:50:51

do not worry students are well known for coming out with pure shyte from their increasingly pampered perspective - real life will slap her in the face sooner or later.

maninawomansworld Wed 04-Jun-14 11:51:24

Well fast forward 10 years and that same girl may well KILL to be a 9-5 person once she's had a decade of working 12 hour days and never seeing her family!!
Seems to me that the young and ambitious take that slightly uppity, snarky attitude as if everyone else were some sort of lazy arse for wanting a home life but most hit their 30s and think 'why the fuck did I waste all that time at work doing unpaid overtime?'

MaidOfStars Wed 04-Jun-14 11:52:04

I'm not a 9-5 person, I'm an 11-7 person (but more often, a whenever-I-want person, never 9 am mind). But I assume the claim is less about what actual hours you work and more about your oh-so-cool, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to working which sticks two fingers up to The Man?

It's the same as "ooh I could never work in an office"
need to be out there in the real world doing real stuff

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 04-Jun-14 11:55:04

Yep totally agree OP.

Good for them if they can afford not to be.

MrsWinnibago Wed 04-Jun-14 11:55:10

I'm not a 9 to 5 person. I don't go around saying it but I'm not and never have been.

I've always had part time evening jobs or worked for myself so I can choose the hours...and yes, I DO have bills to pay. I've just arranged my life so that I don't "have" to work 9-5.

So what are the shift patterns at McDonalds?

ComeHeather Wed 04-Jun-14 11:55:49

"I really only do the strategic leadership stuff"= don't expect me to put more paper in the photocopier even when it was me that used up all the stuff in there. And I won't be making a round of tea either. I will just mainly be focussing on me. Cos I am key to the brand.

Etc etc until everyone else in the office dies of boredom or implodes with irritation.

EduCated Wed 04-Jun-14 11:55:57

YANBU, I still struggle with 9-5 and making myself fit to that schedule, and am lucky to be in a job that gives me a degree of flexibility on it. My ideal schedule would be more like 11-7. But hey, that's life an I just have to suck it up and get over it.

The people I've come across who come out with gems like that tend to be lazy sods.

flipchart Wed 04-Jun-14 11:57:05

If its meant sneery then YANBU. However I am happy to say Minot a 9/5 person. I have done the Monday to Friday bit and hate it. For most, but not all, of the last 30 years I have been working I have done mostly shifts which include 7.00 m starts and midnight finishes and work 3 weekends out 5.

I like having a couple of days off mid week when it's quiet and early finishes or later starts so I avoid rush hour.

I am not a 9/5 person and proud ( but not pretentious!)

Summerbreezing Wed 04-Jun-14 11:57:11

It's the kind of rubbish you often hear zelebs coming out with as well. Most of them, if they hadn't been prepared to debase themselves on Big Brother or whatever, would have been lucky to get any kind of a job never mind a regular one with regular pay.

It's an idiotic thing to say. And yes, it's usually people trying to convince themselves they're speshul.

HeeHiles Wed 04-Jun-14 11:57:31

Ooh - I would love the luxury of a 9 - 5 job! Mine is just 6.30 am to about 11pm sad I'm self employed!

Id like tp point out that I think chaz x posted with mrsW grin

DoJo Wed 04-Jun-14 11:58:46

I think it's fine to aspire to something better than what you perceive to be a boring/unfulfilling/stifling job. Circumstances may change and you may not be able to live your dream without some compromises, but if you don't try you will never manage it.
I'd be more concerned about getting this riled by an overheard remark from someone you have never met on a bus though - perhaps she had just left a soul-crushing 9-5 job for something a bit more stimulating and was glad to see the back of it.

sezamcgregor Wed 04-Jun-14 12:00:31

Just wait to see that student in a few month's time when they can't get a job even thought they are armed with a degree working 13 hour shifts in a pub and would do anything to get a regular job with regular hours - and a Friday night off!!

They're right - they can't work 9-5 ;)

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 04-Jun-14 12:00:44


It's exactly the sort of thing I used to say. blush

Summerbreezing Wed 04-Jun-14 12:01:49

I always hated working 9 to 5 and was even worse with flexi time as I was crap at keeping records, updating my clock etc. But that wasn't because I was special and different, it was because I was just crap at it. But I still had to hold down a 9-5 type office job for years, whether I liked it or not, because I needed the money. And during those years I met organised structured people, disorganised forgetful people, creative types, intellectual types, sociable types, total introverts etc etc etc

There's no typical 9-5 person, whatever the 'I'm too cool to work in an office' types like to think.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 04-Jun-14 12:03:27

Ideally i'd be a 9.30- 1.30 with all school holidays off person but i dont think i'm alone on that one grin

BeCool Wed 04-Jun-14 12:03:46

I've come to love love love the 9-5 thing. All nicely packaged up so work doesn't interfere with my non-working life. I would prefer 9.30 - 2.30 but don't fancy my chances.

The woman you overheard was being a dick in a way that only pretentious 20-somethings can be.

BeeBlanket Wed 04-Jun-14 12:03:58

I arranged my life so I didn't have to work 9-5, going freelance because like maidofstars I'm an 11-7, or even 12-8 person. Or in fact, just a late person. Left to myself I like to sleep late, start work late, and then I really get into the swing of work around 3-4pm and work like a demon until 7/8, then eat late and go to bed late. Me and DP are similar so we used to be up at 1 or 2am doing creative stuff, chatting and pottering.

For 10 years it was lovely because I could work to my rhythm. Then I had DC and I have to fit in with the 9-5 because of school and nursery. The part of my day when I would naturally be most productive is now spent haring around doing pickups, trying to cook tea and marshal squabbles. I have to tear myself away just as I'm really getting going.

I don't at all regret having a family, but that aspect of it is really hard. I don't go around saying "I'm not a 9-5 person" but god I miss that amazing burst of productivity and the feeling of being able to work with my natural clock.

I agree we all have to suck it up but I do think different people have different natural timetables.

HolidayArmadillo Wed 04-Jun-14 12:04:17

Having done 8 years of shift work I'd struggle doing mon-fri 9-5 these days and have indeed not gone for promotions knowing that's what it would entail. I suppose it depends how it is said, I'm lucky that due to shift work I always work less days per week than I have off, I wouldn't like to go back to having just Saturday and Sunday off again, I'm not a 9-5 person anymore, however I don't look down on anyone who is, I envy them at times going Home to their family every night and being able to plan stuff in advance, I just couldn't put those hours in anymore, doesn't make me or them a bad person, just different!

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.

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.


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!

I might if you said "I could never see myself as a brunette" implying something rather not so good about being brunette.

Which is what the ops sentence is implying about 9-5 working.

backinthebox Wed 04-Jun-14 12:34:16

Oh, and DaisyMaisie, the regulations and bureaucracy surrounding my job in aviation, and I suspect the jobs of those who work in medicine, polices, and many other shift pattern jobs, has to be seen to be believed! There are over a dozen manuals each at several hundred page for my aircraft type alone, before you even get onto the none-fleet specific stuff, which rolls in at thousands of pages. And it gets updated monthly, and we have to b familiar with it all!

I would have to say that rather than being pretensions, it is 9-5 office workers who seem to be defensive of their roles in life!

It's not an identity though, is it?

If you say 'I'm an [insert word] person' you're implying it's fundamental to your sense of self. I do think that's a tad pretentious when, as the OP says, you could have a bad break and find yourself working in a perfectly normal 9-5 office job. It might not suit you, but would it really change your sense of identity?

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 04-Jun-14 12:37:59

I don't go around announcing 'I'm a....person' or 'I'm not a ...person' anyway.
I don't like the phrase.

backinthebox Wed 04-Jun-14 12:38:44

But are they implying that there is something wrong about 9-5 working or merely stating that it doesn't suit them? It doesn't suit me - great! This means that someone who prefers regularity isn't being forced to do a job with no set predictable pattern to it, whereas I rather like that.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 12:39:09

Minnie but we are talking about 'I'm not a 9-5 person' not 'I could never see myself as a 9-5 person'
Of course, the other take on 'I could never see myself as a brunette' is that, having been a blonde my entire life, I couldn't imagine what I would look like with any other hair colour. I still can't see an insult, implied or otherwise, in that phrase.

PixieofCatan Wed 04-Jun-14 12:40:57

LRD Unless said in a sneery manner, I take the phrase to mean "It does not suit me at all." rather than "All those in that kind of job are below me." I think it's just a phrase that's been used for a long time, rather than a perception of who you are.

Daisymasie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:42:33

hot it can be said in several ways, that's true.
But it is often said in a dismissive, 'oh all those office drones' kind of way.

I was never any good at 9-5 type working. I work best to tight deadlines and in short sharp bursts. I'm not particularly organised so all the paper work that went with keeping time records and totting up annual leave and working out how much time in lieu I was due rarely got done and was always in a muddle.
I witnessed people who were always in at 9 sharp, claimed any overtime immediately, knew exactly how much leave they had taken etc. But to be honest, I didn't witness their outputs being any greater than mine. We just worked differently.
So yes, by nature I'm not great at a nine to five regime.
But I had to accept, for many years, that I just had to do my best to conform to that ideal, because that was where the jobs were.
It's taught me to never speak dismissively of '9-5' people, which a lot of students in particular do. Most of us, for at least a part of our life, will have to be 9-5 people whether we like it or not.

Maybe so.

I'm on the fence, because I think sometimes people don't realize how it comes across. If you're talking to someone who loves their 9-5 job, they're unlikely to mind. If you're well-paid doing something you love, and your mate is working 9-5 and hating it, no wonder they feel a bit irritated at 'it wouldn't suit me,' because it probably doesn't suit them.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 12:45:38

LRD I agree, it's not an identity thing, but when talking about jobs or careers it's perfectly acceptable to describe yourself like this. If I now had to take a new job and I was offered one in an office working 9-5 I would moan to my friends and family that 'aargh I'm not a 9-5 person' as I'm not used to those set hours, and hate rush hour commuting, hate sitting in the same office every day... This doesn't mean I look down on those who do.
Obviously I would probably still take the job to pay the bills!
It would be pretentious if, when introducing yourself at a party you said, Hi I'm so-and-so, I'm not a 9-5 person, but when talking about careers I can't see the issue.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 04-Jun-14 12:45:59

I agree Daisy.

Do people who say it really think the ...I dunno 80% of the working population engaged in 9-5 work are all "9-5 people," or do they think they are just doing the 9-5 because that's the job?

I suggest the later.


Yeah, I can picture that party.

Some people do do that, though. It's part of the 'ooh, me, I'm so free-spirited innit'.

""you could have a bad break and find yourself working in a perfectly normal 9-5 office job""

I would really struggle, I've given up set hours for more money, for "anti-social" shifts. If I had to go for a new job, I would look at Retail or Care on NMW, and avoid a 9-5, because I couldn't do it without it taking a toil.

I also don't look at a clock, unless I absolutely have to.

My Mother will always ask me "how long did the journey take", what time did you get home and I have never been able to answer her.

I was accused of lying as a child and probably would be by the Police.

We can change ourselves, but in a sense, this is a part of who we are. My eldest is the same, she is constantly on call, doesn't know her working hours, likes that aspect.

My middle DD likes her weeks mapped out.

I meant less money for irregular hours.

Are 80% of people working 9-5? I doubt that given Care is a major employer, then retail, then the service industries and even factory work has rolling shifts.

Vintagejazz Wed 04-Jun-14 12:51:09

Maybe you had to be there, but believe me this student was saying it in a very dismissive, looking down her nose way.
Fair enough, I realise it can just be said in a straight forward, factual way but I have heard it so many times being used in a superior type of way and it did annoy me when I was miserably toiling in to my office job every morning and trying to find other options.
If someone said 'ooh I could never work in a shop' or 'ooh I could never be a cleaning lady' I would feel just the same. If you had to do it you would do it, whether you liked it or not. It mightn't be your natural forte or something you're particularly good at, but saying you 'could never work in an office' does sound pretentious to my ears.

PixieofCatan Wed 04-Jun-14 12:51:43

I think more often than not people do say it in a sneery manner, which may be why it's perceived in a sneery manner, iyswim?

John That's it though, they may not be 9-5 people either, but they do what they need to survive. A lot of people work 6/7 days a week, they aren't 1-day weekend people, but they do it to survive.

pleaseaffixstamps Wed 04-Jun-14 12:54:50

An office job doesn't suit me at all, and yet I do one, as that's my skill set, and I have bills that need paying.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 12:56:02

vintage I think this is what this discussion is all about; people who are unhappy in their job, hearing someone dismiss that job, and feeling insulted because, actually, they don't want to be doing it either.
As someone else commented, if they loved doing that 9-5 job they wouldn't care if someone said 'I could never work 9-5' because they love their job.
I've got to go out now as there is loud drilling next door, and my dog is not a loud-drilling kind of dog. hope I don't upset dog owners whose dogs love drilling ;-)
Get back to work you 9-5ers!

calculatorsatdawn Wed 04-Jun-14 12:57:35

I was a total bellend as a student 'ooh look at me, I'm getting a degree and the rest of you are peasants'.

My favourite one was me and my housemate banging on about people who claimed they couldn't find time to go to the gym. 'well I MAKE time to go to the gym and I'm doing a degree so I'm really busy'. I used to go to the gym for 2 hours a day, do an hour of yoga and was a hollistic vegetarian.

I had 20 hours of lectures a week for christs sake, I've done that now by tuesday lunchtime and my ex temple of a body is now a shrine to working late and eating crisps out of the vending machine for tea.

Let them have their dreams, if you knew what life was really like when you were young you woudn't bother.

I am calculatorsatdawn and I was a total twunt.

Cartwheelsonthelawn Wed 04-Jun-14 12:59:48

No one ever says 'I'm not a hoovering person' or 'I'm not a supermarket shopping person' or 'I'm not a collecting the kids from school person'.

They're just things we have to do in life if we don't have the luxury of being able to choose to have a cleaner/personal shopper/nanny.

Same with 9-5 jobs. Very few people leave school planning to work set hours (9-5, midnight - 8am) or whatever in an office or call centre or wherever. It's just the way life works out for the majority of people. There simply aren't enough free wheeling, creative type jobs to go around.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 04-Jun-14 13:00:26

I think I might have been your housemate, calculators!

Cartwheelsonthelawn Wed 04-Jun-14 13:03:11

Sorry meant to add - so the people who say they couldn't do it because they're not that type of person, are being a bit silly. What they mean is they hope they don't have to do it. But do they really mean that if they were on the breadline and about to be evicted and a 9-5 job came along in the local building society they would go 'oh no. I'm just not a 9-5 person. I couldn't work in an office'.

calculatorsatdawn Wed 04-Jun-14 13:11:12

JohnFarleys grin

it didn't help that he did medicine and I did law so as far as we were concerned we weren't just any students, we were the sort of students that if people saw us in the street they should salute us before taking off their coats and laying them over puddles for us to walk on.

softlysoftly Wed 04-Jun-14 13:11:44

YANBU but as a student I did the "I will never work in an office" thing.

I wanted to work in the glamourous world of advertising dharling!

I do work in the glamourous world of advertising, guess where from, go on guess grin

Young people and students are arseholes FACT.

NinjaLeprechaun Wed 04-Jun-14 13:11:53

Some people, really, really, truly, are not "9-5 people". Some of them would rather be living on the street than doing that type of job. I've known a few who were. Most, of course, just work harder to find a job that suits them.

I had a friend years ago who worked on a fishing boat in Alaska. That's not a "9-5" job, it's a "June-Sept" job. 20 hour shifts with 4 hours downtime, 7 days a week? No problem. 8 hour shifts with weekends off? No chance. He was not a 9-5 person, but would he be pretentious if he said you couldn't do his job?

pleaseaffixstamps Wed 04-Jun-14 13:17:32

Cartwheelsonthelawn I am totally not a hoovering person, so much so that I gave my ex the Henry in the divorce and got rid of my rugs! I use a broom. (I'm not a broom person, either, but loathe it slightly less.)

I'm also not a picking the kids up from school person, but <checks clock> I'll have to leave work in about an hour to, er, go and pick my kid up from school.

I am absolutely a lying on the sofa reading a book person, but sadly the world hasn't recognised it yet.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 04-Jun-14 13:17:57

ha ha. Ah, it wasn't me then... I did politics with a view to avoiding the dreary 9-5 by becoming the Head of the United Nations.
Sadly for the world, this did not come to pass.

Happyringo Wed 04-Jun-14 13:18:17

I'm a nurse who much prefers the more 9-5 routine working in clinics than the shift pattern of a ward. So many colleagues say "oh god that would bore me rigid" or somehing like that. I find it really offensive if it's said in a sneery way - I feel they're implying it must mean I'm boring or can't cope with anything out of the ordinary. I just think if we all liked the same then the world would be pretty dull actually!

calculatorsatdawn Wed 04-Jun-14 13:25:27

Sadly for the world, this did not come to pass

just made me actually laugh out loud at my desk, in the office

It's never said nicely. The only possible reason for saying it is derogatory.

I worked in a bank. The amount of times I heard I could never work in a bank was ridiculous. And nobody ever said it or meant it factually.

Because the better thing to say is "I do x" but that doesn't get across the dismissiveness does it?

Dubjackeen Wed 04-Jun-14 13:32:35

It's the same as "ooh I could never work in an office"
need to be out there in the real world doing real stuff

^^ this, exactly. I have to bite my lip hard in order not to reply when I hear it.

Ladyflip Wed 04-Jun-14 13:34:58

I disagree Minnie. DH says it because he is a farmer who works many many more hours than 9-5, 5 days a week. He says he would hate to do my job (in an office, customer facing) because he can't bear having to deal with people, whereas I dislike jobs where I don't speak to a soul all day. I would hate to be outdoors (with the exception of about 3 days in May where the weather is nice but not too hot), he would feel hemmed in with just my office to sit in all day. It's not derogatory, it's just people being different.

Slutbucket Wed 04-Jun-14 13:39:33

I'm not a 9-5 person either. I choose jobs where I choose my hours and can mix the work up a bit . I would truly hate a job in an office 9-5. I have kd be it and it wasn't for me. Really don't see what the problem is....,,

Slutbucket Wed 04-Jun-14 13:40:12

Not sure what my phone was doing!

aquashiv Wed 04-Jun-14 13:42:53

Silly throw away comment

lljkk Wed 04-Jun-14 13:46:22

mmm... I dunno. It reminds me of the "I had to do XYZ with my baby because my sleep/sexlife/relationship/whatever is so important to me." Like the rest of us really enjoy sleep deprivation or not having whatever in an ideal state. hmm

Sometimes you have to hear comments as being about them & them alone, nothing to do with other folk.

auldspinster Wed 04-Jun-14 13:46:51

I'm a civil servant with flexi time so I tend to work 7 till 3 but do 5pm twice one week and once the next so i do accumulate lots of flexi.

Which means i've still got two thirds of my annual leave left half way through the leave year.

SelectAUserName Wed 04-Jun-14 13:57:34

Left to my own devices I'd be a can't-be-arsed-to-work-at-all person. But sadly the rent won't pay itself, so I work in an office in a roughly 9-to-5 job with a degree of flexitime. Having worked in a long hours culture place, I love being able to leave round about 5-ish and not feel guilty.

There's nothing wrong with saying "I prefer to work outdoors, I'd struggle in an indoor job" or "I like the flexibility of working for myself" or even "I couldn't be X because I don't have the right skills" (e.g. "I couldn't be a carer because I don't have the patience or people skills, I'd end up murdering someone" - so highlighting their own negative aspects) but all too often the person saying "I couldn't do X/I'm not an X person" are being dismissive of others' choices/necessities and/or trying to flag up their own special snowflakeness.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 14:06:46

"It's the same as "ooh I could never work in an office"
need to be out there in the real world doing real stuff

^^ this, exactly. I have to bite my lip hard in order not to reply when I hear it."

I fight with drunken idiots, I've rolled around the floor with a mental health naked man covered in his own excrement more than once, I see dead bodies on a regular basis, I have performed CPR on a woman who jumped from a great height and was dying in front of me, I have attended car crashes where people have to be cut out and surgery performed on them in the street, I stop men beating up their wives, I have to strip search drug addicts with not great personal hygiene... ad infinitum

I could not work in an office, I'd hate it.
I think I am out in the real world doing real stuff.
I don't think exposure to office work, or enjoyment/acceptance of it, marks you out as better than someone who doesn't enjoy it and won't accept it.
I would not be offended by someone telling me they 'couldn't be a police officer'. Most people couldn't.

"It's never said nicely. The only possible reason for saying it is derogatory."
It is not derogatory to say you don't like doing something.

FannyFifer Wed 04-Jun-14 14:18:29

I would say I'm not a 9-5 person but not in a twatty way.

I've always done shift work (nurse) so work weekends and have days off during the week.

I don't get how 9-5 folk get Dr/ dentists appointments, get deliveries etc

museumum Wed 04-Jun-14 14:28:12

After uni then a masters where I waitressed and volunteered in work-related roles as well as study I was DESPERATE for a 9-5 job... the thought of beign able to relax at bedtime without thinking I should be writing a bit more of my dissertation or knowing I could pay the bills without accepting every bit of waitressing overtime that nobody else wanted on a saturday night.... even though my 9-5 job was more 8-7 it was still better than my masters year.

theimposter Wed 04-Jun-14 14:33:28

YABU. Although I am often broke from being self employed I am best working late in the day when I can create/work with little distraction so prefer this lifestyle. My whole family are night owls; I think it's a genetic body clock thing. I've tried getting up early to be tired earlier but all that happens is I'm even more knackered for my PT job in the mornings as my brain whizzes round at 1am. Luckily my job is a post 9am start and I can get by on 4-5 hrs sleep.

Saltedcaramel2014 Wed 04-Jun-14 14:34:33

I agree this sounds like a twatty and naive comment. But, like others here, I understand where it's coming from. We do have choices in life - admittedly some people have more than others, due to luck/privilege. I was working in an office and truly crap at it, v unhappy too. So I started up on my own and made it pay. It wasn't easy, it would have been easier to stick it out where I was. But I work far more efficiently to my own hours - early mornings and late nights - and I don't feel that's pretentious, just another sign of how human beings don't all follow the same pattern

Hotfuzz (cool name) I think we're both saying the same thing. Working in an office clearly doesnt suit you. It does suit me. I'd fine the unpredictable nature of your job very stressful (assuming I had the skills to do it in tbe first place - I can roll around on the floor when I'm drunk, does that count?).
I dont think there's anything wrong with saying a certain working life doesnt suit you. But I hate it when it's phrased as something lacking in the lives of the people who do work like that.

But give me a nice spreadsheet or some data that urgently needs analysing and im your woman

Summerbreezing Wed 04-Jun-14 14:57:47

It's not always meant in a derogatory 'get me and my specialness' kind of way. But a lot of the time it is.

There are a very small number of people who genuinely could not work in a regular hours office set up. I mean people who would literally rather live in a cardboard box than go into a nine to fiveish type job every day. They must be an absolute tiny number.

There are lots of people who hate the idea of working the same hours every day in an office/factory/shop set up - including an awful lot of the people who actually do it. They are not people who couldn't work in an office.

I am one of the latter type. I don't want to work hours decided by someone else and that conform to other people's preferred work pattern. But when I have to do it I manage.

Summerbreezing Wed 04-Jun-14 14:59:09

Exactly Stealth. It's the implied superiority in the expression a lot of the time that's very annoying.

CruCru Wed 04-Jun-14 14:59:50

I was once told by a Magic Artist (? No, I don't know what that is, I was living in Brighton at the time) that he "couldn't bear that corporate game, it wouldn't suit his temperament" (on hearing what I did for a living, which is pretty corporate). Hahahaha. You get a lot of that sort of thing in Brighton.

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 04-Jun-14 15:00:34

I would love to be a 9 - 5 person. In fact I am a 9 - 5 person, unfortunately most of my jobs are more 24/7. Not that I'm in work all that time, but they tend to require more than 8 hours in the office and then constant email/text connection and a lot of out of hours thinking. I think of 9 - 5 as meaning people who do "just" a job rather than have a career. As I've got older the idea of "just" a job is much more attractive!

Summerbreezing Wed 04-Jun-14 15:02:20

Slightly off point, but given the amount of technology available today I suspect a lot of workplaces could actually be a lot more flexible in the way they allow their staff to work. Teleworking, for instance, could surely be allowed in a lot more places than it is; also hot desking, working irregular hours as long as you're contactable by phone or email when you're needed etc.

I do think a lot of people are being unnecessarily tied to regular hours in a communal location when it isn't always necessary.

I did once say to a dentist "urgh so you just look in peoples mouths all day?". I was a child.
get me and my glamorous data analyst job. At the time clearly I was going to be the next madonna.

Agree summer technically I dont work 9 to 5, I work quite flexibly and am lucky to do so. But it's still a "boring corporate office job" (other than to me, it's my dream job)

NoodleOodle Wed 04-Jun-14 15:08:55

I believe some people are 9-5 types who suit and enjoy that work pattern, whereas others have a different natural rhythm. If you can make an alternative rhythm work then I don't see the problem with stating "not a 9-5er".

NoImSpartacus Wed 04-Jun-14 15:09:36

Oh YA SO NBU. My friend comes out with this sometimes, in a 'I'm far too creative and talented and special to work in a boring old office, with other boring old office dullards' kind of way, which is a little insulting as I'm one of those dullards grin

careeristbitchnigel Wed 04-Jun-14 15:15:05

Hotfuzz, i'm an ex-bobby, am currently civvy staff but waiting for a start date to rejoin.

I work in an office role. I HATE it. The politics, the bitching, the cliques, sitting at the same desk every day, seeing the same people, sitting with people that make me want to strangle them.

Stepping over bits of body was preferable and i will unfurl a flag on my last day.

noddyholder Wed 04-Jun-14 15:18:06

I was always like this. I left uni and worked in a restaurant My mother freaked out but I was earning double any of my friends and had lots of time off. In this time I did lots of 'free' work in the one thing I was interested in interiors and now I do that for a living and am not 9-5 in this either I work about 4 months a year. SOme people just aren't suited to it Its not pretentious as some people really are and love the structure and routine

Upwiththelark Wed 04-Jun-14 15:19:06

I could never work in an office, is a pretty daft thing to say. I presume the people who trot this out assume everyone in an office spends all day filing and photocopying and calling each other Miss Jones and Mr Uppity-Smyth and putting on their bowler hats to go out for lunch.

There are LOADS of jobs where you spend at least part of your time in an office - from design, to finance, to creative writing, to data analysis, to legal work to...........

NinjaLeprechaun Wed 04-Jun-14 15:20:26

Am I wrong in thinking that most people actually do not work in a 9 to 5 office type job?
I don't think anybody I know does. But that might say something about me and the people I know, as well.

chrome100 Wed 04-Jun-14 15:21:09

I am not a 9-5 person in the sense that my natural working rythmn doesn't fall into that pattern. If left to my own devices I'd work 6am-12noon with maybe another spurt late afternoon.

However, I used to work shifts and loathed it as I was out of synch with the rest of humanity so 9-5 is by far my preferred choice.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 15:22:27

Yes I agree that saying anything sneerily is rude, but it doesn't make all people who use said phrase sneery.
That's all really.
Nothing to see here. Move along smile
PS good luck careeristbitch. Wait till you're kept on late at a rainy cold scene, you'll be wanting that office job again then ;)
Actually, scratch that, this winter I had to sit outside a murder scene in rain and cold, overnight, for 5 hours. I'd still rather do that than work in an office! I had a bag of sweeties and could fart whenever I wanted lol

Upwiththelark Wed 04-Jun-14 15:22:43

I think I'm probably a 9-11 type person. I tend to get bored after that and want to go home.
Unfortunately my boss doesn't understand about me not being 9-5 sad

PrincessBabyCat Wed 04-Jun-14 15:25:33

I'm not a 9-5 person. I like flexible hours.

However, like anyone if it's a choice between a bigger paycheck and a smaller paycheck, I will go for more money.

Hakluyt Wed 04-Jun-14 15:27:39

"I'm not a 9-5 person" is in the same category as "I'm a free spirit" and "I've nothing in common with school gate mums"

Very rarely said by anyone who isn't a bit of a git. I know someone who talks about "mundanes". Now ^thats" only said by people who are a lot of a git.

Upwiththelark Wed 04-Jun-14 15:32:16

I agee Hakluyt If it's said casually between friends when discussing career options or why you didn't really get on well at your last job or something it's probably okay.

But when it's said as a kind of 'statement' about yourself it really is 'trying to hard to prove you're different.'

Like people who wear daft totally OTT clothes to prove they're 'creative', while truly creative people don't feel the need to rub people's noses in it. They let their work speak for itself.

NigellasDealer Wed 04-Jun-14 15:35:08

to be fair I have not heard anyone say 'I am not a 9 to 5 person' since I was a teenager or maybe early 20s so maybe it goes with that kind of territory

"I had a bag of sweeties and could fart whenever I wanted lol"

You've just ruined any respect I had for our boys and girls in blue grin and I eat sweets and fart when I want to. I just wear a bowler hat when I'm doing it.

SellyMevs Wed 04-Jun-14 17:39:25

There is absolutely nothing pretentious about stating that you are not a 9 - 5 person.

I am the worst sort of 9 - 5 person. I can't do it.

I'm a shift worker. I work 12 hour days and 12 hour nights, still do my full time hours, sometimes more.

Now if she said it in a tone that implied that by not doing 9 - 5, she would opt out of alternative ways of earning a living then yes, YANBU. But 9 - 5 is not the only way to make ends meet and earn a living.

Bunbaker Wed 04-Jun-14 17:44:52

I have never had a 9 to 5 job. Who only works 35 hours a week in a full time job?

I have worked 9 - 5.30 and 8.30 to 5, but usually more in both cases. I now work part time and really enjoy the structured days I have at work (8.30 to 5) as it compliments the relatively unstructured days I have at home.

Melonbreath Wed 04-Jun-14 17:55:00

I'm not an office person. But I did it to pay the bills. I hated it.

Bunbaker Wed 04-Jun-14 18:01:45

I love working in the office, but I love my job and really like the people I work with.

SelectAUserName Wed 04-Jun-14 18:06:37

My experience of people who say this or variants of it aren't usually referring to the literal hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm. They're talking about any job where you have set hours at someone else's behest, and their comment is usually meant to be taken as "I'm such a free spirit, I have to make my rules".

Bunbaker Wed 04-Jun-14 18:17:39

I must be dull and conformist then sad

grocklebox Wed 04-Jun-14 18:21:32

I might say that. But I would mean: I'm too fucking lazy to get out of bed, washed and dressed in time to be somewhere that required all of things by 9am.

Aspiringhuman Wed 04-Jun-14 18:23:07

I've never had a 9-5 job. Right now it sounds appealing.

hotfuzzra Wed 04-Jun-14 19:05:49

Stealth I'm normally stuck in a car with someone so farting is out of the question, although some boys still do - yuck!
Grockle I hate the drudgery of 9-5 hours, the commute, the same walls, the same people. But I still get showered, dressed and to work on time for 6am or 7am...
Select I never thought of it that way (ie working set hours dictated by others), I realise now why I lot of people object to the phrase. I don't work 9-5 but I definitely do as I'm told, when necessary and under pain of disciplinary smile

zeezeek Wed 04-Jun-14 19:24:28

It's the sort of silly pretentious nonsense that we hear from students everyday, tbh. We all just ignore them and smile smugly and wait until we are asked to write their references for boring corporate office jobs, or jobs in the pharma industry. My colleagues in the Arts and Humanities departments get even more laughs as it seems that a fair few deluded students there are convinced they are going to "be discovered" and never end up teaching....hmm...

On another note, I remember my Dad telling me that his father (who was a member of the aristocracy) calling him "terribly provincial" for becoming a History teacher (even worse, in a state school!!), whilst completely ignoring the fact that he had to earn a living because his father had gambled everything away and couldn't afford the repairs on the family estate so it ended up being sold to the dreaded nouveau riche. on a tangent there a bit!

Metalgoddess Wed 04-Jun-14 22:55:50

I work unsociable shifts and personally would never choose to work mon to fri 9-5, of course I would if I had no other option. However many people say to me that they couldn't work nights/earlies etc, "I'm not a morning person" for example. Are they being pretentious too?

BlackeyedSusan Wed 04-Jun-14 23:01:44

I am definitely not a nine to five person, nor pretentious. just a lazy bugger

Upwiththelark Thu 05-Jun-14 10:40:14

I think the pretentiousness comes in when it's an overall dismissal of working in a structured job with set hours. People tend to us 9-5 as a catch all phrase but they often really mean anyone who works set shifts in a structured environment with rules and procedures.
I would say a very large percentage of people find that regime quite frustrating and would like more flexibility in the way they live their lives. But some people do seem to feel that feeling that way makes them special or different or interesting. It doesn't. They're just like an awful lot of people.

Bethany22 Fri 06-Jun-14 20:17:27

I am a full time student and I am not a natural 9-5 person, I don't have a choice because of college. I have profound dyslexia, ADHD, mild Dyspraxia and Asperger's syndrome and cannot imagine working in an office everyday because of this. Everything from being inside all day to the types of lights used and the reading and communication problems I have. However I know that for what I want out of life I will have to endure until I have the ability to choose. I have two years of college then four years of university then hopefully if it all pays of a graduate police job that lasts 3 years and involves three years of practical and theoretical testing in everything from communication to maths and law. I know it will be difficult but if it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing. Communication is a skill and can always be improved and there is help available for the reading and writing part of the exams. It irritates me when other students do and say things like that because its crap if you don't think that you can handle a normal 9-5 day then try to get a job doing night shift or work from home if you cant do that suck it up get a different when you can.

halohalohalo Fri 06-Jun-14 21:01:53

Oh I am SUCH a 9-5 person! Love finishing work at a decent time, popping the shops or going out for tea, couple of hours in the garden, kids in bed then snuggle down with the tv. Had many jobs that were shifts and I could not hack going to work when other people were coming home. I love routine and order.

falulahthecat Fri 06-Jun-14 21:54:25

I am not a 9-5 person. I am an 11ish to 3 person (as in I could get all my work done in that time and have to make work for myself), who has to work in a 9-5.30 job. sad

falulahthecat Fri 06-Jun-14 21:55:38

I kind of thought NOBODY liked working 9-5 every week... it's just such a waste of time (depending on your job, of course :p)

Aibuaddict Fri 06-Jun-14 21:58:22

It's the worst! She'll learn though. She's part of the lost generation that is likely to be lucky to even have the chance to be a nine to five person.

I wonder how many of our forefathers and mothers were saying, ooh I'm not really a working at the mill/in the field/in service kind of person.

Bunbaker Fri 06-Jun-14 22:04:23

Or down t'pit in our area.

Billygoats Fri 06-Jun-14 22:12:44

I am seriously struggling to see how saying your not a 9-5 person is pretentious.

Me and a friend both said this to each other way back in college and both have career paths that are not the typical 9-5 role, varying from day to day. We weren't being pretentious just the paths we chose are not 9-5 typically.

Joysmum Fri 06-Jun-14 22:15:38

I'm a 9-5 rule person, insomuch as I like regular routine.

DH could never thrive like that! He doesn't do routine, couldn't work in one place, couldn't take orders or do the corporate thing.

claig Fri 06-Jun-14 22:17:32


"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"

It was only a student and they are young and can say sneery, stupid stuff. I know I did when I was a student and I cringe about it now. It is no big deal.

mimishimmi Fri 06-Jun-14 22:41:59

I hate it even more when people use that phrase to explain their 7:30am to 7:30pm (or longer) work habit - "I'm just not a nine to fiver - I put in the hard slog unlike you slackers". Half the people doing that will genuinely be working hard (and have no time to make such comments) but the other half are just exhibiting presenteeism thinking it makes them a more effective, valuable employee (whilst they spend a lot of their time twiddling their thumbs or interfering in other people's work).

Hakluyt Fri 06-Jun-14 23:25:13

"DH could never thrive like that! He doesn't do routine, couldn't work in one place, couldn't take orders or do the corporate thing."

Does he have a job?

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