Time well spent?

Tonight I got off work on time for the second day in a row, which is unusual for me when I'm not part of a 24-hour rotation. I have something to be grateful for!

While working the 3pm-12am shift I've come to realize, or maybe even expect, that I will work at least a half-hour if not a whole hour of overtime. Most of the time the overtime is to compensate for time lost fixing a break in the paper or perhaps repairing the machine. Occasionally I stay overtime to finish one last palate or one final paper roll. Hence, I do not mind overtime so much.

Overtime also nets me more cash, since I get a bonus on top of the extra 1.5x I make for working after 8pm. And, it goes without saying that, as a college student, I need the cash.

I suppose I should be thankful, though, that I only have to work, at the most, two hours overtime. With NLL being a small Japanese company, overtime is pretty much expected for office workers. Most of my co-workers work 4+ hours of overtime a day, and a select few often are still hunched over their desks well past 11pm, the light from their office the sole source of light in the long-darkened hallway.

I have much admiration for these people who spend most of their adult lives at the office, yet I can't help but wonder, 'What do they do for fun?' I know of a handful that enjoy bicycling and during the summer months often make a two hour ride to work. Others play instruments or spend time with their families. But how much of that time is quality time. I mean, sure, work is important, but do I really want to follow in their paths and be so dedicated to my work that I spend most suppers during the week cradling a cup-of-noodles?