I thought maybe in your expertise you could answer a question that has bugged me for years. I hear the phrase “nine to five job” or “working nine to five” all the time. I see it on the internet and hear it in movies and on TV. Dolly Pardon even wrote a song about it. But I have never in my life known anyone to work those hours. Everyone with a standard Monday through Friday job works eight to five, not nine to five. (Or sometimes, for those with a half-hour lunch, it’s 8:30 to 5:00 or 8:00 to 4:30.) Salaried or non-salaried, government or private, I honestly have never met a soul that worked a 35-hour week doing 9:00 to 5:00. So, how come I’m hearing about it all the time? Is the phrase a hold-over from some time in the past? (Maybe we used to work fewer hours decades ago?) Is it a regional thing? (I’ve only ever lived in Oklahoma and Oregon—perhaps all the east coasters are slacking off?) I have tried to search the internet for an answer, but to no avail. In fact, usually an internet search of the meaning of the phrase talks about it being the “standard” or “typical” or “traditional” shift in the US. Um, really? How can that be typical or standard if no one works those hours? Further muddying the issue is that many sources (even Wikipedia) call this shift the usual “40 hour week”. So, are these elusive nine-to-fivers skipping lunch? I’m so confused!
I know this isn’t quite along the lines of your normal topic, but it is does seem like an HR question and I thought that since I found it interesting maybe other readers would also.
All my expertise in this area centers around the fact that I did, once, have a 9 to 5 job. It was a 37.5 hours work week with 30 minutes for lunch. Yeah! Then corporate decided this was bad and bumped all the sites up to 40 hours a week (with no raise for the exempt employees), but (get this) kept the corporate offices at 37.5 hours a week.
I think this is largely a NYC metro thing, but I could be wrong. My readers, collectively, know everything, so I throw it out to you.