January 18, 2008

Goodbye, Healthy Holiday Weekend… Hello, Mindless Hours With My Laptop!

I know a Friday doesn’t seem like a good day to blog about work, but I just got the good word that my three day weekend is no longer. I don’t even get a regular two day weekend. Instead, I get the dubious pleasure of heading into the office tomorrow, taking Sunday off, and then working Monday as well. At least Monday I can work remotely, which means my two day trip to Boston to visit my friend Adam is still on. I’m also trying to negotiate with my manager for a two hour break tomorrow so I can get one last long run in before my half-marathon next weekend. Ideally, I can just go into work at 10, so I can run as soon as it’s light out (a luxury I am not afforded during the week) and then still have time to shower and whatnot. At least I don’t have to dress up much for work since it’ll be a weekend.

So what is it exactly that I do, that necessitates such arduous weekend work? As it says in the little about me section to the right, I work in consulting. No, I’m not one of the Bobs (scroll down and check out quotes 20, 21, 27, and 28) – I don’t just go in and start firing right and left. In fact, I’m just a lowly analyst at the bottom of the totem pole, so most of the time I’m just crunching numbers in Excel or “nudging” graphics around in Powerpoint. Fun fun! If you’d like to learn more, feel free to check out my coworker Nick’s blog, The Desk Orphan. Or for an even more cynical view, check out Getting Drunk in First Class.

It’s really tricky to stay in shape with consulting. There’s even something known as “The Consulting 15,” which you’re supposed to gain in your first year with the firm. I’m about 6 months in so far and have LOST 7 pounds since I started working, which I am thrilled about… but I have a cross-country travel project starting soon and that’s where people really put on the poundage. For our travel projects, we’re on a 3-4-5 schedule, meaning 3 days at home (Friday through Sunday); 4 days at the client site, wherever that may be (Monday through Thursday); and 5 days of work total (Monday through Friday, though this requirement is probably the most lax as many of us work weekends).

I’ve been fortunate to be on a local in-office project for the past three months that wasn’t too demanding. It allowed me to bring my own lunches, keep fruit at my (temporary) desk, and follow several other strategies recommended in articles like “6 Quick Ways to Eat Healthier at Work.” (Some of them are still unattainable, like taking a walk on your lunch hour. I typically eat at my desk while continuing to pump out the Powerpoint decks). But I get home at a very reasonable hour (usually around 8 PM or so) and so have time to cook my own healthy dinner and then go to the gym to work out.

When traveling, however, the hours tend to be a lot longer (8 AM to 10 PM or so), you live in a hotel where all your meals are either room service or take out (both of which are usually none too healthy), and when you finally go home on Thursday evenings, your flight probably won’t get you home until 2 AM Friday. And you still have to be back at the local office bright and early the next morning! Yippee. So basically, you can only really eat healthy and exercise three days a week, but chances are you’re too tired to do so.

I’m excited to finally get to do a travel project, as the perks are great (hotel points, airline miles, you don’t have to pay for your own food, you get to see cool places, etc). However, I really don’t want my health to suffer! I’m happy to have gotten into a great routine of healthy eating and working out – now it’s almost test-time. Can I find ways to adapt the typical traveling routine to my newfound healthy lifestyle? I’ll keep you posted!


2 thoughts on “Goodbye, Healthy Holiday Weekend… Hello, Mindless Hours With My Laptop!”

  1. Yuk. You need to live in the Midwest. I’m home by 5:15 every afternoon. Wake at 7am to work by 8. And that’s a long day. Granted, you have to worry about getting behind a horse and buggy in the fast lane, but we just deal with it.

  2. I hope the injury is healing well. Do you have any races planned soon? Work sucks…thats why I continue to go to school for the rest of my life and continue to TAKE Money instead of MAKE it..hah

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