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No one really does anything in the first and last hours of work. I searched far and wide and couldn’t find the term for this, so I coined it myself, “Work Twilight.”
Work twilight refers to that time when everyone is shuffling in, making coffee or, during this time of the year, some sort of pumpkin spiced bullshit, and is checking their email, fantasy team, Reddit, the news, etc. A time to attune oneself, to usher in the morning or to do as one pleases before everyone has made their way into the office.
There is an unspoken rule about this. It is faux paus to interrupt someone’s work twilight. Ever notice that all meetings begin around 10 a.m. at the earliest? I firmly believe that we as employees need this time to acclimate to the work environment. Fresh out of bed, it allows you time to relax and ease into the workday. Humans aren’t meant to sit in office chairs in tiny cubicles, staring at a screen, slowly developing carpal tunnel and burning out our retinas. Without this time, I feel many people would be going postal.
Work twilight is important for everyone. How else would I jump on the best free agent or make a critical lineup change for my fantasy team to give Shibby another beat down? It’s bad enough he started Bradford twice instead of Brady. Much like recess is a special time for Ms. Lippy, work twilight allows us to dig a little deeper, do some research and lay down the biggest beatings possible for fantasy football.
At first, when I had this grand realization, I thought I may be the only one. I have wonderful bosses that take a “get your work done however you see fit” laissez faire attitude. I do what I have to do and they don’t ask questions because they are too busy putting out fires to worry about my rank and file ass. After conferring with several friends, people in other departments and various internet friends, they too have varying times of workplace twilight. Of course, there is a wide spectrum, but this low-grade field work has led me to believe I am not alone.
I have a feeling work twilight has been around for a while. The caricature of those in business suits reading the paper while smoking a pipe were probably our forefathers enjoying a good work twilight. In essence, it is one’s patriotic duty, an American way, to partake in work twilight.
This phenomenon isn’t just for the morning. You know when the clock hits 3 p.m. and there’s a task you could probably get done? Nah. Why do today what you can do tomorrow? Unless it is pressing, the difference between getting work done at the end of the day when everyone else is on their afternoon work twilight and the next day is inconsequential, although this is a double edged sword and sometimes bites me in the ass, especially if done on a Friday. I usually play Loverboy’s “Everybody’s Working For The Weekend” as a ceremony to usher in every weekend during my Friday work twilight.
While the workplace twilight is pretty great, sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and work early. There are a few times where another person’s emergency became mine, I have to close out of Reddit and get some work for a Baby Boomer done ASAP. This goes along with not abusing the work twilight and it surely sucks, but in the end, it feels a lot better, knowing you can enjoy the next one even more. The image of one cleaning their hands, muttering “all in a day’s work” comes to mind.
One must not abuse work twilight. Taking too long to get breakfast or coffee or blatantly not doing work could lead to some trouble. This unspoken norm at work is a giant elephant in the room. Everyone is in on it, but don’t be the person to spoil this treasure by taking advantage of it. You will be universally hated by everyone in the office, and I don’t think there is any way to come back from such a crime against humanity. Do yourself a favor and at least kind of look like you’re working or planning on working. In today’s day and age, image is everything. .
Image via Shutterstock