living with a person on a non-schedule

Skip to first unread message


Aug 27, 1983, 6:43:18 PM8/27/83
I have a question to any of you who may be in the following living

You and someone else (roommate/posslq/spouse) reside together. One of you
lives on a "normal" schedule (perhaps not necessarily diurnal, but at least
regular, regulated by the clock). The other works "hacker's hours", i.e.
with minimal regularity of schedule. How in the world do you work out
residing together when one person may be (or want to be) awake at the same
time the other person needs to crash out? How do you manage to respect each
other's needs for sleep, food, clean laundry, etc. when so much of the time
is spent trying to keep quiet so as not to disturb the other person? I ask
because I (the "hacker's hours" person) have recently acquired a roommate
(the diurnal person), and it is driving me up the wall to have him around,
to a great measure because of our difference in schedules. I've a good mind
to request that he move out. But if any of you knows some less drastic
measure for establishing peace in this situation, please share it with me
QUICKLY. Thanks....

-- Jeff Sargent/pur-ee!pucc-h:aeq


Aug 30, 1983, 2:51:18 AM8/30/83
I have had "hacker's hours" for the past several years. My roommates
haven't had a hard time sleeping (as I was always on the computer while
they were sleeping). As for me, I found it best to stay up until I really
was tired (it usually takes me around an hour to fall asleep unless I am
dead tires), and only then go to bed. I tried to get to bed before my
roommate got up, or while he was out (once asleep. . .). Also, having
a loft makes a world of difference. If there is a light under your
loft, your roommate can use that while you are sleeping. Also, the best
way to get around it is to have a roommate which accepts your wierd
schedule and stays somewhat quiet (or even out of the room) while you
are doing that unnatural thing called sleeping.

-Paul R Borman
St. Olaf College

Rick Lindsley

Sep 6, 1983, 1:53:33 AM9/6/83
Having gone through college and 2 roommates as a self-confessed
hacker, I may be able to offer some advice.

On sleeping:
Be considerate of each other. This seems obvious, but tension
grows to amazing proportions when the hacker noisily stumbles in
at 2 in the morning and the steady worker sings Oh What a Beautiful
Morning at 6:30 in the shower. Don't be afraid to communicate with
each other; but not at the precise moment that it happens. Rather
than "Hey you jerk, knock off the singing", try (later that day)
"Say, John, you've got a great voice, but it sounds a lot better
at, say, noon. Ok?" The important thing is not to start blowing up
about fairly trivial matters.

On meeting each other:
Depending on how you have decided to obtain food and such, you may
need to communicate with your roommate on things like groceries.
If you are on different schedules, this is notoriously difficult.
The hacker, who is the one with the flexible schedule, should
accomodate the regular person on this. "Say, hows about this
Saturday we set aside 1:00 for a hike to the store?" The regular
person cannot alter his hours; the hacker usually can.
If it turns out that your only need to communicate is for
rent and things of similar importance, all that may be necessary
is to buy a pad of pressure sensitive note pads and leave lots
of notes to each other. This can be extremely effective, but I
still think it helps to actually see your roommate once in a

On parties (or social events)
It is likely, due to your difference in schedules, that each of
you will want to schedule fun things to do at times that seem
vastly inappropriate to the other party. Use common sense and
courtesy. My basic rule was "If it costs me sleep, can I make
it up?" Example: a group of the guys coming over to watch the
kickoff at noon might be considered offensive to a hacker who
rolled in at 3. If it is a Saturday, though, I would say to
myself, "Self, it will undoubtedly be noisy, but it *is*
Saturday, you can catch up on sleep later".

Golden Rule:
"Does It Affect My Roommate, Knowing The Odd Hours He Keeps?"

The important thing is to discuss these issues before they become
problems; i.e, before the lease is signed. Habits are hard to break,
especially when they are not yours.

Hope this long winded article helps someone,
Rick Lindsley

Mike Ziuchkovski

Sep 6, 1983, 2:00:19 AM9/6/83
When my wife and I first got married, I was in the Coast Gaurd. I worked
days, duty every 3rd day, one of the two non-duty days on call(near a phone).
My wife worked evenings. She was at work before I got off work and I was
asleep when she got home. Great fun!!!!

Four years after I got out of the service, I went back to school. While in
school I worked 20 hr per week, carried 16-18 hrs, bought a house, and had
another kid. All this time my wife did not work outside of the home. This
was 5 years ago.

Now I work full time and teach three classes at University of Portland
two labs and grad-undergrad class. My wife is into campfire (2 clubs)
and does ceramics one night a week. She also is the district campfire
club cooradinator. When do we see each other?

Right now see is upstairs sewing pajamas for our son. and I am writing
this. We have been married for 12 1/2 years.

What does this tell you about schedules?

Mike Ziuchkovski (still married and liking it)

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages