Saturday’s 9-hour shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer illustrated the odd but true fact that it’s less exhausting to be busy at work than it is to be non-busy. When schedulers set the day’s schedule a couple of weeks ago, they figured that the garden department would be really busy, given that it was one of the first Saturdays in spring. Customers would be streaming in to buy fertilizer and mulch and grass seed and other spring-like products. There were many employees assigned to the department, including some loaned from other departments for the day.
What no one could predict is that Saturday turned out to be about as non-springlike a day as you could get. It rained heavily all day, with the temperature not much above freezing. While the store itself was reasonably busy, not too many of the customers made their way to the garden department. I could scarcely blame them, as the weather would not put anyone in the mood for gardening or lawn maintenance, and in any event the part of the department that was outdoors was not what you’d call inviting.
I did the best I could to keep busy, but there just wasn’t too much to do. My 3pm to midnight shift, which obviously is quite long in the first place, seemed utterly interminable. An hour would pass yet the clock somehow advanced only ten minutes. Trust me, if there were such a thing as a time-warp superpower, I would have used it.
Sunday was a much better day. After doing a variety of things during the day, I went in at 8pm for a 4-hour shift. It was the complete antithesis of Saturday, as I was busy nonstop for the whole time. For most of the shift I was moving and rearranging products in the greenhouse area, which was nice because even though it wasn’t raining it was still unpleasantly cold.