Sunday, January 2, 2011

Working the Night Shift

As I mentioned last post, I've started working a new job and the pros so far have been pretty endless. First and foremost, it took me away from my old job, where I felt they were overlooking my skills and still saw me as the temp they had hired four years previous, not the guy who had learned a lot about the business, only to be shuffled around. The money is better, the benefits are fabulous and I have much less hassle to put up with.

The one thing that a person might find somewhat unappealing about the position is that it is overnight. I don't actually mind it very much, but as a person who has spent the last eight or nine years at jobs that start at between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., it was a bit of an adjustment.

There's a lot of work to get done, and I wear my Ipod, so for the most part my mind is kept off of the hour. Much like a day job, though, there is a wall you hit at a certain point in the shift that you just have to push through. Combine that with the darkness and things can get iffy. Many times I've seen things move out of the corner of my eye that I thought was an animal or person, but were probably just things blowing in the wind. One time, I yelled out to what I thought was a co-worker, but turned out to just be a garbage bin with a tree behind it (easy to see how I could mistake this).
Spot The Difference

Sleeping is another issue. If you sleep right when you get home, you are up by 3 or 4 in the afternoon and have a loooot of time before work. Staying up for the morning and sleeping in the afternoon can mess up your eating schedule and make you miss out on family or friend-oriented activities such as dinner, games night or your favourite prime-time television. Then there is the matter of what your body does. I sleep with a sleep mask and earplugs and my body naturally wants to be up during the day anyways. I will fall asleep around 10 or 11 and be up by 3 or 4. This may change as I spend more time in the schedule, but from what my co-workers tell me, that might not be the case. The best results I've found is to accept the 5-ish hours of sleep during the day, then go for a nap some time around 8 or 8:30. This nap has a duel effect of being a refresher and to trick the body into that "getting out of bed and going to work" feeling.

At first, I thought I'd stay up all night on my weekends, keeping the schedule intact. However, before I even got to the first weekend, I changed my mind. I realized how lonely it would be to be up by myself (and the pets) all night long, just reading or watching tv, only to go to bed by myself when my family wakes up. Weekends are supposed to be the time you spend seeing the most of your family and friends, not sleeping while they are awake.

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