10am is the absolute worst possible time of day for a weekday.
10am is a time of day that should go unnoticed. 10am is celophane time. 10am is white noise. 10am is traffic steady flowing. 10am is sunshine in San Diego. 10am is when there isn’t really any when then.
Except when it’s not.
Because sometimes instead of being another typical tick, 10am heralds itself as a tocsin tock– a flashing strobe of yellow alarm light, the quickened pace of videogame background music, a spasming muscle in your back– a time you only realize is then when everything’s already wrong.
On the 9-to-5 tip, 10am is a dragging morning on a day you should have called in sick. 10am can’t believe you’ve only been here 90 minutes– ugh, this day sucks– the Western System of Capitalism is clearly a wretched failure. Seriously, only 91– 92– 93– minutes and you’re ready to shove paperclips in your eyeballs and staple your fingers to the floor. 10am hasn’t even been here long enough to afford that latte and croissant but, guh, the thought of seven more hours of Kubemate Keven’s neck zits pulsing in and out of your field of vision every time he checks the calendar– Christ, Keven, get some Eucerin or something! It’s only 10am and you are already dead inside.
But it’s not just the payscale, 10am is drudgery for everyone. Maybe you’re an active Good Morning America type? Maybe you’re a mover, a shaker, a go-getter; maybe for you, 10am is How the fuck is it not time for lunch yet? Fuck yeah, you are rocking the shit out of today. 10am already had two pots of coffee and runs on goddamn tigerblood and FUCK THEM, You know why, mister? ‘Cause they drove a Hyundai to get here today, and you drove an $80,000 BMW. Rise with the sun, get on point, stay on top, go!, crush! kill! You have already shat three days’ work out of your ass and you deserve a fucking lunch already and christ you need a goddamn steak. You pretend you don’t see the burnout coming but how the fuck is it only 10am?
I’m so glad I’m not in sales (or whatever kind of job it is that tigerblood people do; I honestly don’t really know). My heros have always been teachers, servers, makers, and night-shifters and I’ll probably never understand the desk-and-cubicle world of water coolers and clip-on-ties. I was raised at the knee of a Noon-to-2am coal miner, I shacked up with a 4p-1a coffee-jerk, and now toil any-given-10-hours-on-any-given-day in my ivory tower. I know desk work, but my collar has never been white.
So for those of us with a darker ring around our necks, 10am is almost always Oh Fuck. 10am overslept, took too long at breakfast, missed the free clinic’s walk-in hours, should have showered last night, should have already fed the dogs, should have done a morning yoga set, and even though it’s only 10am you are never going to get it all done before you have to get to work. You have failed. You are a disappointment to your 11-year old self. It’s only 10am and you are already defeated.
Then again, it’s probably not yet 10am somewhere… somewhen.
Shit. It’s already 10:45?