I am starting this Blog at probably the worst time, late on a Friday afternoon with work still to do and thoughts of the weekend floating into my head.
This Blog is supposed to talk about life in Shanghai and my study of Chinese. I hope to alternate languages in my entries. i.e. One entry in English and one in Chinese. My Chinese writing level is not that great so we'll see how we do. (Also with the Chinese entries I will have an English introduction to say what it is about.)
So the exhaustion of Shanghai is just some observations of life in Shanghai. Before when I came and rode the subway I noticed how most people looked really tired. Some were able to sleep standing up between stops. The reason is the expectation in Shanghai in most jobs to work very hard. When I say hard I mean long as in come in early and leave an hour after you're supposed to leave the company. Since I am in my 3-month probation period, I have to do this and the 9 -10 hour days get tiring. But this is not just about new hires, my friend Andrew, the software engineer, regularly has to stay until 9 pm at night. He says it is also because he has to deal with time differences and US conference calls at 8 pm at night and Indians who need help at 6:30 pm at night.
The salaries are higher here than in Nanjing but man does coming home at 8;30 really mess with going out to do things at night.
I came to this job from a nanjing teaching job, (also challenging) where I was teaching 8 am to 12pm and then preparing lessons from 1-3:30 in the afternoon, so was very flexible and was basically a 30 hour job. 20 hours of standing on your feet, keeping attention and dealing with unruly students was difficult in its own way but having afternoon and evening flexibility was great and meant I did quite a lot of things in the evenings during the week.(Like play ultimate frisbee).
Teaching though has its own limitations and apart from starting your own school you get to a point where you are earning your maximum salary.
So welcome to Shanghai the city of sleepy subway riders and jammed jobs. It is what it is.
Even with these long hours, I am excited about my job which I will tell you about in my next post.