A few weeks ago, I made mention of the machine. At the time, I said it had been dormant, and was rusty. Now I’d like to clarify- the machine is dead.
I will not make any attempts to revive it.
During school, the projects were everything. I put off sleep, socializing, exercise, nutrition…everything. All so I could finish the damn projects. The longest amount of time I went without sleep was 36 straight hours. My body is no longer capable, nor am I willing, to recreate that feat.
Also, why should I?
As a salaried employee, I won’t get paid any additional money for working above and beyond 40 hours. Nor can I put forth a behemoth effort, then take a week off. There is no longer the threat of “grades,” which used to have a ridiculously important place in my life. Thinking back, trying to maintain the machine is one of the factors that caused me to check myself into the hospital for severe depression in the semester before my thesis. That fact alone makes it unworthy of revival.
But wait…there’s more. In school, the projects required me to think, create, build models, draw hand sketches and create colored renderings. At work, the projects force me to spend hours working on repetitive wall sections, calling out wall types, and drawing miles and miles of 2’x 2’ ceiling grids- all while sitting in the same chair, in front of the same computer, in the same cubicle. My brain can only sustain itself on menial tasks for so long before it starts shutting down.
The studio environment bred camaraderie; all of my friends spent as much time as I did in studio. Now, I need to get away from people in the office- I need a break (Hack n’ Snort, I’m looking at you). Also, I start to miss my husband, my cat, my couch. I have heard too many architects talk about how their wives nearly left them because of the amount of hours they spent at the office. No thanks.
I suppose that one reward of working 60 hours per week would be the acknowledgement of my "go-getter attitude," resulting in my moving quickly up the corporate ladder. Then I could be expected to work even longer hours, with even more pressure and responsibility! Yeah, sign me up for that.
I am so sick of the unspoken pressure to work 50+ hours every week. I hate it that Project Managers make promises to clients that undercut the schedule, in part causing the aforementioned pressure. Most of all, I hate the fact that I work- hard- for 40-45 hours per week, yet I still feel like I’m a slacker.