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Working 4am to 1:30am is too much: One woman's resignation letter

/ Nov 12, 2012 6:41AM / Print / ()

Working 4am to 1:30am is too much: One woman's resignat...

An exhausted DC-based lawyer has said enough is enough on her attempt to juggle motherhood and long hours at law firm Clifford Chance, and handed in a brutally honest resignation memo that outlines her 4am to 1:30am day.  

The unnamed women has seen her resignation letter shared online after Above the Law blogger Elie Mystal obtained it from a friend. In it, she says that after attempting to "juggle work and life", she has realised that sacrifices need to be made, and her sacrifice is bowing out from her job.

Outlining her daily schedule in her letter, she says she begins her day at 4:00am to: "Hear baby screaming, hope I am dreaming, realize I'm not, sleep walk to nursery, give her a pacifier and put her back to sleep."

She writes: "I truly admire all of you that have been able to juggle your career and family and do not envy what a challenge it is trying to do each well."

Her day plays out at an exhausting pace until the 1:30am "finally go to bed". And then "Repeat"

This is her daily schedule, as published on Above the Law

4:00am: Hear baby screaming, hope I am dreaming, realize I'm not, sleep walk to nursery, give her a pacifier and put her back to sleep
4:45am: Finally get back to bed
5:30am: Alarm goes off, hit snooze
6:00am: See the shadow of a small person standing at my bedroom door, realize it is my son who has wet the bed (time to change the sheets)
6:15am: Hear baby screaming, make a bottle, turn on another excruciating episode of Backyardigans, feed baby
7:00am: Find some clean clothes for the kids, get them dressed
7:30am: Realize that I am still in my pajamas and haven't showered, so pull hair back in a ponytail and throw on a suit
8:00am: Pile into the car, drive the kids to daycare
8:15am: TRAFFIC
9:00am: Finally arrive at daycare, baby spits up on suit, get kids to their classrooms, realize I have a conference call in 15 minutes
9:20am: Run into my office, dial-in to conference call 5 minutes late and realize that no one would have known whether or not I was on the call, but take notes anyway
9:30am: get an email that my time is late, Again! Enter my time
10:00am: Team meeting; leave with a 50-item to-do list
11:00am: Attempt to prioritize to-do list and start tasks; start an email delegating a portion of the tasks (then, remember there is no one under me)
2:00pm: Realize I forgot to eat lunch, so go to the 9th floor kitchen to score some leftovers
2:30pm: Get a frantic email from a client needing an answer to a question by COB today
2:45pm: Postpone work on task number 2 of 50 from to-do list and attempt to draft a response to client's question
4:30pm: Send draft response to Senior Associate and Partner for review
5:00pm: Receive conflicting comments from Senior Associate and Partner (one in new version and one in track changes); attempt to reconcile; send redline
5:30pm: Wait for approval to send response to client; realize that I am going to be late picking up the kids from daycare ($5 for each minute late)
5:50pm: Get approval; quickly send response to client
6:00pm: Race to daycare to get the kids (they are the last two there)
6:30pm: TRAFFIC with a side of screaming kids who are starving
7:15pm: Finally arrive home, throw chicken nuggets in the microwave, feed the family
7:45pm: Negotiate with husband over who will do bathtime and bedtime routine; lose
8:00pm: Bath, pajamas, books, bed
9:00pm: Kids are finally asleep, check blackberry and have 25 unread messages
9:15pm: Make a cup of coffee and open laptop; login to Citrix
9:45pm: Citrix finally loads; start task number 2
11:30pm: Wake up and realize I fell asleep at my desk; make more coffee; get through task number 3
1:00am: Jump in the shower (lord knows I won't have time in the morning)
1:30am: Finally go to bed
REPEAT

Does this schedule look familiar to you? Have you felt the need to make sacrifices for the work/life balance? 

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