Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s attempts to undermine the NHS have done little more than cement his name in the Dictionary of Modern Rhyming Slang. That said, I’m a little bit in love with the #iminworkjeremy hashtag that healthcare workers have been using to show that they do, in fact, work weekends; as well as early mornings, nights and any other time their patients need them. I’m sure anyone who’s ever had reason to need an x-ray, MRI, operation or ,y’know, any number of emergency procedures, will attest to the fact that hospitals are a 24/7 deal.
Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, pharmacists, surgeons, midwives, cleaning staff, community healthcare workers and paramedics aren’t the only ones at work over the weekend. As anyone who works in retail, hospitality, call centres, entertainment or leisure industries know, Saturdays and Sundays are not a time to rest. While your 9-5-ers indulge in weekend relaxation, the rest of us are hard at work. It’s not all bad, though, there are some bonuses to working weekends.
No Sunday night dread
You might miss out on all the TGIF celebrations, but at least you don’t have to fret about Monday mornings, either.
You can play on a school-night
While your friends have an early night Sunday through Thursday, your days off are during the week so you can stay up late on a weeknight with no regrets. And, because you’re off midweek…
Cheap days and nights out
Restaurants, cinemas and pubs tend to offer special discounts during the week. You’re in the perfect position to take advantage of all those lovely weekday offers.
Crowd-free days off
Have you been to the supermarket on a Saturday recently? It’s packed. So’s the town centre, the out of town retail parks and malls. With your midweek day off, you can hit the shops in peace, grab a coffee without queuing for days and get a parking space near the entrance to the supermarket.
No rush hour traffic
While you commute to work, the rest of the world is sleeping off their hangovers, having brunch or Watching Saturday Kitchen. You’ll have clear roads, your own seat on the bus and a pretty stress-free journey to work.
Sleeping while everyone else commutes
There’s nothing sweeter than rolling over in bed of a morning, knowing that half of the city are squashed up against each other’s armpits in a cramped train. The knowledge that your neighbours are sitting in gridlocked traffic during rush hour while you’re drinking tea in your pyjamas makes all those early Sunday mornings seem worthwhile.
A valid excuse for skipping crap nights out
Ok, most of the time it sucks to have to turn down a night out, but now and again it works in your favour. Tedious family gatherings, parties you really don’t want to attend and pub trips you simply can’t afford until pay day are off the table. Everybody wishes they had a legitimate reason for avoiding that wedding reception where you won’t know anybody and you don’t even like the groom, well, you do!
Free (or cheap) childcare
Nurseries and childminders don’t operate at the weekend so you’re not sending your wee ones to £50-a-day childcare. Family, friends and your partner will be the main source of weekend childcare and, if they do charge, they’re a whole lot cheaper than a nursery.
It doesn’t happen everywhere, but some companies still pay time-and-a-half on a Sunday. If your workplace offers it, do it! You’d be slumped on the sofa in front of the Hollyoaks omnibus if you were at home, after all. You might as well make some extra cash.
So, yes, working weekends can be rough, but next time you drag yourself out of bed on Saturday morning, just think of these reasons to smile.
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