Monday, September 13, 2010

A Hard Day's Night

Have you ever worked third shift? Did you like it? Think you would like it? Some people love it. Some say that they can make appointments easily during the day. They have all day after all. They have time for family and friends. They can get so much done before they have to get to work. It's another club to belong to also. There is a special place in the heart for fellow third shifters.

I have always hated it. I find that I always end up tired and grumpy. It seems I always end up having to choose between sleep or spending time with my family. Instead of sleeping right away I would stay up too late, or of course get up too early. Then there's the whole losing a day of sleep thing. It's Saturday morning. You have the next two days off. Your family is headed for the beach. Do you skip the beach and sleep or do you suck it up get your trunks on and go? How many times can one do that and make up the lost sleep some other time? Then suddenly it's Monday. You've kinda readjusted, you've slept at night for the past few nights. Oops you have to stay up all night now.

It's not like people can sit around while you are sleeping either. How quiet can one expect your family to be while you sleep? Your neighborhood? Heck, might as well include the rest of the world! How long before you alienate the people around you because you are just too tired all the time? Not trying to be a cry baby. I'm just sayin' is all.

There are two or three reasons to take a night job; during a stagnant economy it is sometimes the easiest way to get a job, there is usually a shift differential for wages, and I love driving home in the mornings in the fall when the leaves are aflame and the angle of the sun is low in the sky positively squeezing every last drop of color out of those leaves. That's when I feel truly lucky to work at night. I think one sees sunrise all together differently when you are up for it and not groggily shuffling off to work.

One weird thing is day light savings on the night shift. In the spring when just about everyone is losing an hour of sleep I actually gain an hour. I don't work a full eight hours and lose an hour of pay. I end up getting it back in the fall when some of you gain an hour of sleep and I lose it.

At an exit interview for a job I was leaving I actually suggested to the general manager that he should do something special for the third shift some time. You know, buy 'em pizza some night just for the heck of it. Show them some how that sacrifice those people make. The extra dollar an hour just doesn't cut it some times.

So be mindful some times. When you're buying that fresh fruit, or your package arrives on time, or you feel safe in your house in the middle of the night; some one has been up all night to make sure it all happens.

All right, enough of my yappin' about nothing.

Until next time, peace.

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