Forget working 9 to 5 if you do F&I

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently revealed she leaves work at 5:30 p.m. every day.

Now that is a perfectly reasonable hour to head home, in my opinion.

But Sandberg admitted in news reports that she struggled to be comfortable with how others might perceive her departure time.

There seems to be a popular misperception that quitting work before 8 p.m. is lazy.

But Sandberg wants to be home to have dinner with her family by 6.

Good. Work-life balance leads to a healthier and more productive worker. Sadly, many finance and insurance managers probably won't get to live the Sandberg lifestyle.

It's typical for F&I managers to work 10-plus-hour days at least a couple of times a week, especially if their store is open late.

And F&I managers often tell me they work at least one weekend day. Their days off frequently are scattered somewhere in the middle of the week.

Those blessed with regular 9-to-5 hours often come in early or stay late to accommodate a customer's schedule.

And in this industry, the odd hours are what has come to be expected of F&I managers.

For example, one F&I manager said on a Facebook page that there is a Toyota dealership looking to hire an F&I manager to work 12-plus-hour days, six days a week with shorter hours on Sunday. That job likely will remain unfilled for a while, he speculates.

Many F&I folks -- and other dealership employees -- don't mind their schedules, though, because they love their jobs.

But a few have said the work weeks can be long and unpredictable.

And sometimes, it means missing a family dinner.

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