Coming home late from work

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  • #592874

    jobless
    Member

    Hi. I was just wondering: Is it normal for a professional (i.e. accountant, lawyer, etc.) to leave work at 1 AM?!? If yes, how do the wives deal with that?

    #1120347

    yobwej
    Participant

    I live in E”Y and work for an American company–I come home between 12 and 1 almost every night. But I am home in the mornings and early afternoon.

    My wife accepts it because I pay the bills on time and she doesn;t have to go out and get a job.

    #1120348

    artchill
    Participant

    No, it’s not normal besides for the night before opening and closing

    #1120349

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Yes.

    #1120350

    Sacrilege
    Member

    Depends when. An accountant before a deadline (April 15) yes, I’d say its normal. A lawyer if trying to make partner in a big firm where billable hours are everything…. definitely normal.

    #1120351

    aries2756
    Participant

    When you chase the almighty dollar, and you work in these two industries the answer is yes. Its called billable hours and meeting deadlines. Most especially when you are young and new and expected to “pay your dues”.

    How does a wife cope? Did you want to marry a lawyer? Well, if you wanted to marry a professional so that you are financially secure it doesn’t just come with the big bucks it comes with patience, understanding and support for the husband that has to work his tail off to earn the big bucks. So don’t fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself and understand that you both have to deal with this. He is not playing games he is working, and working hard whether it is meetings with the bosses, dinner meetings with clients, or research on the cases. He is on the clock and he is going to be doing this until he moves up in the company and there are other newbies that have to pay their dues. And of course that goes the same if it is the wife who is the professional in such a position.

    So just hang in there and be as supportive as you can be and don’t just sit at home feeling resentful. Find things that you enjoy, get together with your friends and family and with other wives in the same position once or twice a week, use the time to catch up on your reading or take up a hobby that you always wanted to do, sign up for a class, etc.

    For accountants it gets worse starting January still Tax season is over, so be prepared.

    #1120352

    LBK
    Participant

    It’s not a matter of “chasing the almighty dollar”. It’s called putting bread on the table, which is not exactly an easy feat these days.

    As far as being an accountant goes, it’s not necessarily January through April anymore, as it all depends on what industry you work in and whether you do tax, audit or consulting. Some auditors can be busy all summer on 401(k) plan and healthcare audits. Tax people can be just as busy in September and October as they are in March and April.

    #1120353

    arc
    Participant

    Im not a “professional” but have to travel for work occasionaly. when Im home I get home early enough to do homework with my kids but if I travel its the same as a guy not getting home until late (1AM is an exaggeration).

    as an above poster said its not about chasing almighty dollar its about attempting to pay my bills.

    #1120354

    good.jew
    Member

    Yes, I do it for 2 and half months a year (and yes, I am an auditor)

    #1120355

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Coming home late from work”

    “Coming home late” is a relative term.

    #1120356

    jobless
    Member

    No, I did not want to marry a professional necessarily. I married someone who was learning and had a plan for parnassah for when the need would arise. My husband’s plan happened to have been accounting. My husband is an auditor so it’s not just the April tax season. He has various busy seasons throughout the year. And no, I never needed the “big bucks” and still don’t. And yes, I do work part-time. I was just wondering if he is staying late because he really needs to (in order to keep his job) or because he is an over-achiever and/or thinks he needs to work more in order to earn more (which we don’t necessarily need). I guess right now it’s hard cuz I have no friends where we live so I can’t do as aries suggested. It’s not like I’m bored; I have 3 kids under the age of 3 and I’m working and have to prepare for work. It’s the feeling of loneliness on those nights, needing to go out sometimes (and not being able to), and wondering if it’s all necessary…

    #1120357

    Poster
    Member

    jobless, did u ever speak openly to your husband about the way you feel; exactly as you just explained it here?

    #1120358

    WIY
    Member

    Jobless

    Yeah as Poster said, talk to your husband. He needs to know how you feel.

    #1120359

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Spoke to a friend of mine in accounting & he is expected to do 200 hours billable overtime every year.

    As everyone else said, communicate with your spouse.

    #1120360

    smartcookie
    Member

    It’s ok if it’s not on a daily basis.

    #1120361

    apushatayid
    Participant

    200 hours OT a YEAR? I have a cousin who is trying to keep up with his colleagues who are putting in 80 hour WEEKS.

    #1120362

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    apushatayid:

    Law or accounting?

    #1120363

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    GAW, in past positions in my company, I was putting in a good 80 hours a week (so 40 hours OT). That was lucky because I was off on Shabbos.

    Pre-children. I doubt I could do it now. Although, the money would be nice. It would make yeshiva tuition more affordable.

    #1120364

    squeak
    Participant

    200 hours billable is probably a lot more than 200 hours total. Otherwise, I’d agree that 200 hours OT is not much – only 10% more than a 9-5 job.

    #1120365

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Accounting.

    #1120366

    ZachKessin
    Member

    I’m a computer programmer, Normally I leave the office at about 7:30 and get home around 9:10 (Depending on the bus) however there have been times I have had to stay later. I think its only been past midnight 3 or 4 times in the 3 years I have been at my company, but 9:00 or 9:30 is not that strange.

    Its called having a job and sometimes you have to work extra to hit a deadline or fix something. I do make sure to call my wife when I am going to be home late.

    #1120367

    aries2756
    Participant

    Jobless, a person’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. Think of all the kollel couples and the men that go back for night seder every night and for late maariv. That is their job and it is hard on those couples as well but they make it work for them. So try to make it work with some form of hobby or chessed work. Anything that would make you feel good about yourself.

    If you live in a new place and have not made friends yet, go to shiurim or a book club or somethng like that where you can meet new friends. Or use the time to keep in touch with your old friends, exchange photos, arrange your photo albums, get the humdrum stuff out of the way so you can spend quality time with him when he is at home.

    Competition in the work place is fierce so there is no such thing as “does he really have to”, if he doesn’t someone else will and if they feel he is not pulling his own weight or someone else is doing a better job than he is then they will realize he is dispensable. Wouldn’t you rather see him gain footing and you NOT have to work part-time just raise your own family without relying on outsiders?

    Sit down and have an honest conversation with him. Discuss how you can support him in what he needs to do and how he can support you in your feelings and in your needs. Make the time you do have together special and important to both of you. Don’t waste it feeling resentful and hurt.

    #1120368

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    apushatayid:

    I’m shocked, unless he is working for a top 3 firm. I just don’t see it with my friends in accounting positions, even the ones in NYC (where I would think they need to put in more time).

    Lawyers are a different ballgame.

    #1120369

    aries2756
    Participant

    GAW, if you want to make partner some day, you work and work and work. That’s how it goes. My cousins who are now both partners were never ever home. Yup, accountants both of them.

    #1120370

    jobless
    Member

    Thanks everyone for your advice and information. Of course, my husband knows how I feel. Baruch Hashem, we communicate. He says he has deadlines to meet and I totally believe him. Just wondering why when he’s at the office till 1, he’s one of the only ones there… In other words, if it’s necessary to keep his job, I hear that. But why are half the other employees getting away with it? Yes, I know if you want to make partner, you work and work and are never home. That’s the problem; I want him to be home. I don’t need him to make partner and he’s planning to leave that firm in the next coupla years anyhow.

    And I’ve tried to get out and do stuff, shiurim, etc. No time for that. And how to get out when there’s noone to babysit?!?

    BTW, someone in Kollel is different – at least he’s home sometime in between… I would have no problem if he came home and went out again to learn! I would love that!

    #1120371

    good.jew
    Member

    You also have to keep im mind that when you are one of the few frum people in a large accounting firm, you start off behind everybody. Between shabbos, leaving early on friday, davening learning (maybe even helping your spouse a little) you really have to work hard to keep up with everyone else. I am in that position and it is hard.

    #1120372

    WIY
    Member

    jobless

    Again, you need to ask him why he feels the need to stay so late. Maybe hes a workaholic, maybe he gets paid overtime, maybe your expenses are greater than you think and he is being responsible and making sure that you live comfortably. Theres no sure thing in this economy. But please, you should talk to him, nicely of course but ask him whats going on.

    #1120373

    esss
    Member

    I feel for you! I have the same story. My husband is also an accountant and I also work part time. And no – not so that we can live luxuriously- so that we can live a normal lifestyle. My husband doesn’t have the regular tax busy season. His busy season is about 7-8 months out of the year in which he gets home between 11-1. The other few months its between 7-10. The frustrating part is that he doesn’t even get paid for overtime. If he did it wouldn’t bother me AS much. Anyway, it is hard- the evenings are very lonely and boring. Not that I don’t have work to keep me busy- I have young children, I prepare for work, and I have housework to do… it’s just not the same when you’re home alone all night with no one to talk to. The only thing you have to keep thinking is that this is just temporary and hopefully soon he’ll move up and make more money and not have to put in as crazy hours as he is now.

    #1120374

    esss
    Member

    and btw, I feel just as bad for him. He gets home EXHAUSTED… has to wake up early for shachris, make time to learn… barely gets to see his kids… it’s hard! but can’t complain- bH he has a job! there are a lot of people unfortunately who would love to be in his position.

    #1120375

    charliehall
    Participant

    I often work all kinds of crazy hours. Thank G-d for Shabat!

    #1120376

    LBK
    Participant

    In general, accountants whose main seasons are standard tax seasons are probably expected to bill 1400-1500 hours a year, with 800-1000 coming between January and April. They can be averaging 70-80 hours a week during busy season, but the rest of the year of the year, there is plenty of non-billable time to keep busy with as well (training, conferences, miscellaneous administrative projects etc.)

    #1120377

    jobless
    Member

    Just checking in… It’s 1 AM and my husband still has no idea when he is leaving work!!! Am I supposed to worry about him driving home at this hour?!?

    Thanks for posting, esss! It’s nice to hear from someone who can really empathize; It sounds like we’re in similar situations. Of course, we’re waiting for the day when the crazy hours will end (yeah, I feel bad for my husband too!)…

    2 random questions:

    1 – Any ideas on how to ease the loneliness?

    2 – When does your husband have time to learn? It bothers me a lot that my husband doesn’t have time to learn but I don’t know what I can expect of him when he’s working so late and coming home exhausted…

    #1120378

    WIY
    Member

    jobless

    The next time you get the chance, say Shabbos, have a real serious heart to heart with him. Explain that you are lonely and tell him that you dont want him working such late hours. Try to work something out where he cuts back on the hours. Maybe theres even stuff you can help him with so he can come home earlier who knows?

    You are his wife you have every right to his companionship.

    There are guys that get caught in destructive patterns be it work related or time wasting or other things. You need to find out whats really going on and the only way to do that is have a serious long talk about it. Ask the questions that need to be asked. Feel out his answers. See if he is being evasive. There must be some reason why he is out so late and you have to get to the bottom of it. Is he a workaholic? Find out. Does he maybe push off his work to the last minute? Find out. Maybe he isnt so productive at work and thats why he has to stay extra to finish up. Whatever it is speak to him about it in a nice sensitive way, non confrontational and try to get to the bottom of it. Being at work until after 1 on a regular basis is not so normal unless the guy is extremely driven and is going for something (partner) but if thats what he wants and its important to him, dont expect him to throw his plans out the window.

    #1120379

    jobless
    Member

    2:12 AM and still hasn’t left yet…

    #1120380

    jobless
    Member

    so all those of you who are accountants and work these crazy hours: have you ever come home at FOUR AM?!? cuz that’s where we’re heading right now. IS THIS NORMAL?!? Is there something wrong with me that I think there’s something wrong with this picture?!?

    #1120381

    WIY
    Member

    Jobless

    You sure he’s at work? I don’t want to scare you chas vshalom but you should check up on him. Why don’t you call the place (not his cell) and see if someone picks up call until someone does. At lleast establish that he’s at work and not elsewhere. If he answers and asks why you called the office and not his cell say you weren’t sure if he was in the car yet and didn’t want to call his cell while he’s driving so late at night…

    #1120382

    Sacrilege
    Member

    Jobless

    I dont mean to be insensitive.

    I really do not think this is the forum to be sharing your Shalom Bayis issues. If you have reason to be suspicious of your husbands whereabouts confront him, and if you cant communicate openly maybe its time to see a marriage counselor.

    #1120383

    good.jew
    Member

    I come home after 1AM plenty of times during tax season.

    #1120384

    Poster
    Member

    Sacrilege, this actually is a great forum for sharing shalom bayis concerns or any concern for that matter. No one knows who you are so there is no one to be ashamed of and many pple here have great advice and wonderful listening skills. So if jobless feels good venting and sharing then by all means go ahead…

    #1120385

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    I really don’t know all the details involved so I can’t comment on your particular situation.

    When I was younger there were times that my father had to work late- some times very late. He would come home for supper, help us with homework, tell us a good night story and go back to work. When we got up in the morning he was already in shul to learn and daven. He would eat breakfast with us and go to work.

    Does your husband have the option of coming home for an hour or two and then returning? It could make a world of a difference.

    Where I work, the company allows remote access from basically any computer connected to the Internet. Does your husbands employer have that option?

    I really feel for you, I look forward to getting home at a decent hour to see my wife and kids.

    Hopefully something can be worked out.

    Good Luck!

    #1120386

    Sacrilege
    Member

    Poster

    I’m going to disagree. I think it is a lack of respect to her husband (we arent even going to mention self respect). I think the CR is a great place for an exchange of ideas, not EXTREMELY personal issues that can breach on tznius. The relations between husband and wife are very personal and should be dealt with at home or in a private setting. I feel for you Jobless, I do, but this is a private matter that I think you need to work out with YOUR husband not with the rest of us.

    #1120388

    squeak
    Participant

    What boggles my mind is why people here are planting suspicion into this aishes chayil’s head. I really don’t know any proper way to express my reaction to you, you home wreckers. You are responsible for creating a serious problem that probably does not exist.

    #1120389

    seeallsides
    Participant

    Although i agree that this is a serious and personal issue and the CR might not be the place to discuss it, i think that as long as you take the advice liberally, it can ease your anxiety by hearing other people’s take on it. I do think you should be secure that you know where he is. I think it helps to catch up on the ‘normal time together’ on Shabbos, as, even though, your case sounds very extreme, many people do work late hours/two jobs/night seders – – more like 11:30-12:00 though , then 1:00 AM. As far as the loneliness, I know it’s not a solution, but tapes,shiurim on chazak phoneline, phone friends, reading, projects you can do – all help to make the time more bearable.

    #1120391

    apushatayid
    Participant

    GAW. It IS a top 3 (although back when there were the big 6, his firm was a tier down, although they would have made it into the “big 10”, now with all the mergers it is a top 3).

    #1120392

    jobless
    Member

    ok. calm down everybody! I do NOT have shalom bayis issues. My husband is wonderful… really! And no, this is not every night. He usually comes home between 7 and 9, but now it’s busy season in his office so he’s coming home later. I just wanted to find out if other people have the same experience or if he is being taken advantage of because he is a hard worker. And if it’s normal to worry about your husband driving home that late at night. (And yes, I was up the whole time talking to him on his way home so that he shouldn’t fall asleep – a nice normal everyday conversation – no tension or anything…) And I know he was at work (I hear him talking to colleagues in the background about work-related matters…)

    Again: the point of this thread was to find out:

    A – If this is a normal situation or if my husband is overworking and/or being taken advantage of. (Actually, I think he is being taken advantage of because everybody likes the way he works, but he’s scared that if he complains, he’ll be fired.)

    B – How wives deal with being lonely at night

    NOT to solicit shalom bayis help (which is not needed in the first place). I’m sorry if I gave that impression.

    And Sacrilege – I agree this is not the place for discussing shalom bayis issues. I would be embarrassed to do so.

    Seeallsides: Thanks for your advice. I already do all those things…

    #1120393

    Sacrilege
    Member

    Jobless

    I’m glad to hear there are no problems.

    Maybe the frantic time stamping was throwing me off…

    #1120394

    jobless
    Member

    By the way, to see this in a humorous light (which by the way is usually my type – I hate being in a bad mood so I always try to see the positive/funny aspect in every situation): When my husband came home at 4, we sat down to supper! No joke!!!!

    #1120395

    esss
    Member

    wow jobless, i give you a lot of credit that u wait up for him when he gets home at that hour- especially being that u have a baby and have to go to work the next day! anyway, i find that it helps to talk on the phone. also, just curious- u said u don’t really have friends where you live- thats really hard! where do u live? do u live near family at least?

    #1120396

    WIY
    Member

    Jobless

    Your husband doesn’t have to complain but there are ways to voice issues to superiors. Coming home at 4 is not normal. He’s not Warren Buffet. He needs to find a way to explain to his boss that he has to scale back a bit and maybe others should pitch in more. He won’t be fired if he’s as good as you say he is and as dedicated as you say he is. Companies don’t fire people who are willing to come home 4 am!

    #1120397

    rescue37
    Participant

    I got married at the end of December right before bus season. Tthe long hours started the week I went back to work and when I came home around 11:00 my wife asked is everything ok and why am I home so early. Her best friend would come home regularly after 12 so it was what she was expecting.

    jobless,

    there is no normal and you can’t compare to what everyobe else does in accounting. responsibilities take different roles. At this point in my career my staff is staying very late at the appropriate times, whereas I will stay later then them when the job is wrapping up. It also sometimes works to a person detriment if they are a good worker since they get piled up high with work while the marginal staff can find themselves with very little to do.

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