Sunlit Water

May 31, 2009

Working Sundays

Filed under: Personal — by teofilo @ 6:50 pm

National parks, like other tourist destinations, must by their very nature be open on weekends.  Since weekends are when most people have time off during which they can do things like visit a national park, there needs to be someone there to help them out when they arrive.  Indeed, the need for staff is higher on weekends than on weekdays because of the higher volume of visitorship.

Ironically, however, the rather restrictive and traditional nature of government employment tends to point in the other direction.  The five-day, Monday-through-Friday work week is still considered the standard, even here, so there are always a lot more people around on the weekdays.  These tend to especially be the higher-ranking supervisory people, the ones who have the ability to set their own schedules.  They generally want their weekends off, and they get them.

It is therefore the lower-ranking people like me who end up working weekends.  I actually don’t mind at all.  There’s nothing in particular about being off on Saturday and Sunday that matters to me, so as long as I get my two days off a week I don’t care which days they are.  I also like having fewer (really no) supervisors around, and the increased visitorship makes things more interesting than they can get on the slower weekdays.  The combination of few visitors and lots of staff around tends to drive me crazy.

On Saturdays this works out well enough, with a lot of visitors but very few employees.  It can still get a bit stressful, though, especially now that visitorship is really starting to pick up.

It’s Sundays that I really like.  For one thing, I get a pay differential for working on Sundays, even though I always do.  Though as a non-Christian who generally takes a hard-line stance on the First Amendment I’m not thrilled with the implications of this, I do like the extra money.  I also like that Sundays are when things begin to quiet down to weekday levels but there still aren’t that many employees around, so it’s nice and quiet all around.  (Fridays, on the other hand, are particularly awful.)

I don’t have any particular point here.  This is just something that struck me today as I was reflecting on the fact that it was a much easier day at work than yesterday had been.


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