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Summer Fridays are a tradition unique to New York City, I believe, but maybe some of you in DC and Chicago have the same experience. Some PR firms (or publishing houses, or tech companies, or marketing and ad firms, or doctors’ offices, or almost anything) take half days on the Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Some offices close on Summer Fridays at noon, some at three in the afternoon; some offices make up the lost time during the rest of the week, some are more lax.
The point is, Summer Fridays are a chance for you to use your precious downtime to enjoy the beautiful weather and cultural delights the city has to offer in the summertime. Here is how Summer Fridays usually go down:
1. Late April: murmurings abound in the office. Will we get Summer Fridays this year? What time will we be let out early, if at all? Will our spouse/significant other/friends also have Summer Fridays? What if we don’t get Summer Fridays? Will there be revolt?
2. Mid-May: The top brass announce, with a benevolence befitting their status, that the office will, in fact, have Summer Fridays this year. Office monkeys rejoice and are glad. One doesn’t like to exaggerate, but there’s a sense in the office atmosphere that all creatures great and small are feeling rather chuffed.
3. Late May: Those who have been gifted with Summer Fridays begin to smugly lord it over their friends and industry colleagues who will not have Summer Fridays. Taunts turn some flacks into quivering lumps of jelly swearing to better their career by finding a position at a firm that always participates in the Summer Fridays tradition.
4. Early June: Summer Fridayites begin planning elaborate semi-long weekend jaunts to take advantage of their added hours of freedom. These plans range from visiting museums to cooking classes to trips to Coney Island to volunteering at a local orphanage. The Fridayites look over their To Do lists and feel a sense of deep fulfillment.
5. First Summer Friday of the Year: No one wants to leave early and look like a slacker. It’s a game of productivity chicken that no one will give in to until the nighttime security guard kicks everyone out of the building.
6. Second Summer Friday of the Year: No one leaves the office until 7:30 p.m. because there’s just too much dang work to leave for the weekend, due to everyone day-dreaming about what they could do with Summer Fridays.
7. The Remaining Summer Fridays of the Year: Everyone leaves the office early as they’re supposed to but, exhausted from working so hard during the rest of the week, they go straight home and nap until dinnertime.
8. The Week After Labor Day Weekend: Everyone marvels at how quickly the summer went by. They fold their white pants and put them away in the back of the closet with a sigh and think, “Next year maybe we’ll have time to go to the MoMA.”
Have a great summer, everyone.
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