Hump Day

First off, for those of you who are concerned about my welfare, I survived this year's April Fool's Day unscathed, and I don't have Sars. I'm responding well to the Zithromax, thank you very much.

Al drove me to work this morning, and as we pulled around the circular driveway in front of my office building, I heard the woman who was giving this morning's Pentagon briefing read an excerpt from this article, which I'd found linked from Cynthia Chew's website over a week ago. Talk about yesterday's news...

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As I was unpacking my laptops this morning and preparing to get ready to work (or rather, blog), I was thinking about Wednesdays. For some reason, I've always thought of Wednesdays as different from every other day of the week—though for reasons that have evolved over time. When I was a kid in elementary school, Wednesdays were "short days": school let out around 1pm instead of around 3pm. For years (even well into high school, when the short day rotated along with 7th period), I pictured my week as looking like this:

days of the week graph, with Wednesday being a shorter column than the others

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, Wednesday became taller—taller, in fact, than the other days of the week. (I know it was after I'd ceased to hear Wednesday referred to as "hump day," as it it is often referred to in Boston.) So though I never think of Wednesday as "hump day," when I look at my post-childhood mental picture of the week, I can see where the term comes from:

days of the week graph, with Wednesday being a slightly taller column than the others

Funny that in this adult mental picture the days of the week have also become gray, but that's another story.

What I was thinking about this morning was how Wednesday has once again altered my mental picture of the week. For about a year now, Wednesday has been Work at Home Day. (It used to be Thursday, but it was moved to Wednesday not, as you might imagine, for alliterative reasons, but rather to make sure that all the engineers were in the building on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the product marketing and management teams were also here.) I happen to be in the office today, as I am most Wednesdays. I got in the habit of not working at home on Wednesdays because [a] when I had my house in Truckee, it made more sense for me to work at home on Fridays or Mondays, and [b] with everyone else working at home, the office is really quiet. The quiet is probably what has most influenced my current mental picture of the week:

days of the week graph, with Wednesday being lighter color than the others

Wednesday has become this slightly ethereal day in the middle of the week, one that always manages to take me by surprise. Every week I walk into the office on Wednesday, hear the hum of florescent lights, muted traffic sounds through the heavy glass windows, and curiously, no clicking keyboards, and wonder, "where is everybody?" Sometimes I catch on right away, and other times it takes me a couple hours, until people don't return from the meetings that I assumed they were attending.

It could be that I work in the office on Work at Home Wednesdays not because of my house in Truckee (which I sold) or because of the quiet, but because I'm unable to distinguish Wednesday from any other weekday. I go in to work because that's what I did yesterday, and that's what I'll do tomorrow. Maybe Wednesdays aren't so special after all...

Posted by Lori in random at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2003