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Working the Night Shift

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Flagrant, May 20, 2011.

  1. Flagrant

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    I've recently had a completely odd change of career, from going to be an English Teacher, to working for the Gas companies in Northern Pennsylvania. This change in jobs has also led to a change in lifestyle for me. I now am working 6:00PM to 6:00AM for possibly weeks at a time. Previously in my life I have never gotten to experience the wonders of 3:30AM, and it's weird. The people I interact with are few and far between, and most of them are quiet. It's just a weird time of night; I find myself constantly trying to fight to stay awake, just because my mind thinks I should be sleeping. This happens regardless of the fact I got a full days sleep the day before. The other thing that I noticed is that I love that I don't have to deal with other people. It makes life easier sometimes when you don't have to answer a bunch of random questions for no reason.

    Focus: What job's have you worked the night shift? Did you like it?

    Alt Focus: What weird shit has happened to you while working a night shift? The wee hours of the morning are an odd time to be awake.
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    As any of you know if you see when I bump threads, I work at night a lot. I like it. Few distractions. Never had a "real" job at night though.
     
  3. mya

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    I worked the night shift as a nurse, so basically from around 6:15PM to 7:00AM or so. Now I was always a night person, but there is a difference between being a night person and being an "I am capable of making life and death decisions at 4AM" type of person. I think I did it for about a year and by the end it really sucked. I am not a person who sleeps easily, so sleeping during the day while it is light outside and people are doing things like mowing their lawns and stuff is kind of hard. Some of my co-workers were able to switch back and forth. Not me, I was slowly switching my life to become completely nocturnal, which isn't that great when most people you deal with are not. Kind of sucks when you are still up watching infomercials when your husband gets up to start his day. And when my friends were meeting for lunch at noon, that was a completely unreasonable hour to be meeting. After all, it was the middle of my night. Having less people to deal with was kind of nice, I must say. We had a lot more fun than the day shift people did. I have fond memories of rousing games of "who would you do" while in the room of unconscious patients. We used to tell patient's families that they should talk to them because they may be listening, but I really hope they weren't paying attention during those times.
     
  4. Guy Fawkes

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    A loooooong time ago I worked on the "turnover crew" for a grocery store. Basically a group of 8 or so of us would come in at 9PM and do major product/shelf changes and seasonal setups that would otherwise greatly disrupt the store if attempted during the store hours. We were essentially locked in the store from 9PM until 6AM.

    It was an easy fucking job. Management vastly overestimated the amount of time and labor it took to change a section of shelves from one product to another or rig up X-mas decorations. The night crew manager was a fat sonofabitch that basically loved raiding the bakery and eating pastries all night. We'd bust ass for a couple hours and then just fuck around.

    Favorite pastimes were lobster races, squirt gun fights, rollerblade and skateboard races. It was a great experience.
     
  5. rei

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    My company wanted us to spend six months in stores to "get to know the business", and a week of that was spent on nights, just restocking grocery shelves.

    My biggest observation was everyone who works regular grocery nights is a decent person with one or two big "but..."s

    There was one guy who was very polite, decent to talk to, but if you walked down his aisle he'd assume you were GOING TO STEAL HIS WORK YOU BASTARD.

    Another guy was a guy whos parents sheltered him so badly he had no idea what people.. did or said outside of a highly cloistered oppressive family, so his insults and sentences that weren't part of his at-home parlance never came out quite right. One time he was bickering and his big threat was "I'LL MAKE YOUR DICK HARD"
    ... yeah.
     
  6. lust4life

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    A high school buddy's family owned a bus company that ran commuter lines from Staten Island to Manhattan as well as Atlantic City casino runs. The summer before my freshman year or college, his dad gave me a summer job working the graveyard shift , 10pm to 6am, and all I did was collect the cash from the drivers when they came in, signed their paper and put the cash in the safe. Ttal actual work time: about an hour. Most of the drivers were black, and they would stop at a soul food joint on their way back for takeout, so I got exposed to a totally different cuisine. I also did a lot of reading that summer. Jacked with my social life, but it paid really well for what it was and I didn't spend much, so I had a sizable account balance when I went to college.
     
  7. Rush-O-Matic

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    I worked as a dispatcher for a small ambulance service. My shift was from 4 pm to 7 am. After midnight we were allowed to sleep, but we had to be able to wake up if the phone rang. Most of us that worked there were in high school, so a simple phone ring didn't wake us up. We had an old gymnasium scoreboard buzzer mounted next to the bed. Trying to quickly clear your head at 3:00 am and be focused to answer an emergency call was always a good time.

    That was about 25 years ago. That ambulance service is a pretty big business now, and all the dispatchers are required to be EMT's. And, no sleeping.
     
  8. Harry Coolahan

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    I did a couple night shifts in the ER last spring, it was okay but not something I'd do again.

    As others have said, people bother you with less bullshit. No one comes into the ER at 5 a.m. complaining about a sprained ankle, so in that respect it was nice that the care I was providing was a little more important. Really tired people also seemed to complain less, they just sat around in a stupor waiting for us to finish what we had to do so they could leave.

    My favorite line from a night shift was a guy who came in for alcohol intoxication at around 5 a.m. It was his birthday or something. In the morning I'm finishing my shift and I'm messing around with his IV and he looks at the clock and says, "Wow, that's pathetic... I didn't even make it past 12:30..." I'll always remember how he said that and then his shock when I said, "Actually, it's 6 a.m., you're confusing the minute and hour hands."
     
  9. bewildered

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    When I worked as a student nurse/PCA I worked many night shifts. They were my favorite time of the day because there were no visitors, most patients were asleep, and things were just generally very calm. It was kind of twilight zone-y though because of the massive amount of fluorescent lights in a hospital. The nurses in L&D would dim their lights a little bit and that made it feel more like night. Somehow that was better.
     
  10. Racer-X

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    I worked nights at Home Depot one summer during college. Left to my own devices, I tend toward the nocturnal so I was able to adapt to the schedule pretty easily. It did kill my social life, though.
    The work consisted mostly of carrying heavy boxes up and down ladders to stock the shelves and overhead bays. The best part was not having to deal with customers. As every retail employee knows, the last people you want in the store are customers.

    All the guys I worked with were pretty normal. We worked Sunday to Thursday so every Friday morning when we got off we went to a vacant lot across the street to drink beers and watch people go to work. This is where I was introduced to the clamato and bud light mix. We would also regularly race pallet jacks which was fun until you crashed into a paint display and then it was a huge mess. I also managed to knock over an end-cap full of lightbulbs one time. That was a pretty good noise.
     
  11. Whothehell

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    I have to come into the office at 3AM about once a month to do installations at a time that will mitigate the effect on the customer. There is something very horror movie-esque about being alone in the middle of cubicle farm with only the lights above your desk illuminated, as if to accentuate your isolation.

    This is easily the best time to steal office supplies. Or get killed by a psycho janitor slamming your head into a running photocopier so that each print that comes out plays like a flip book.

    I also used to work at a 24 hr. gas station while I was in school, so I had to pull the weekend graveyard shift every couple of months.

    Yes, really drunk girls will sometimes flash their boobs when you ID them for smokes. Yes, this is an acceptable form of identification. No, locking the door, putting up a sign that says "Gone Drinkin", and hotboxing the carwash with 8 other people is not fun to watch as security footage the next day with your boss.
     
  12. Muley05

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    I worked as a valet at a casino when I was in college. Business school classes were two days a week, either Mon/Wed or Tue/Thu. I made my schedule to where I only had class two days a week, Mon/Wed. I would get out of class around 4:30p and be at work by 6p and work until 5am. I would work that shift again the next day, and the day after that i would work 3p-1a and then get back on a normal sleep schedule.

    I was tired a lot, but the money was fantastic. I worked at the casino for three years and never went home with less than $100 cash in tips when working the overnight shift. Got three hundred dollar tips from big winners. High five!!
     
  13. tempest

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    I've worked nights for the past 5 years and will probably continue to do so for quite some time.

    Nights has a lot going for it. Mostly that visitors are at a minimum, patient's generally sleep, and I don't have to interact too much with ancillary staff. On the flip side, when the shit hits the fan there is less help and the general experience level is pretty low.

    I take my job pretty seriously so I generally maintain my night hours on my days off unless I have a decent stretch off. Shopping at Wal-mart at 3am is an eyeopening experience.

    As for weird shit that I've seen at night, it's mostly just general ICU stories that don't have much to do with the time at all. However, I'm doing travel assignments right now and while leaving my hotel at 2:30am a couple weeks ago ran into 8 cop cars in the parking lot pulling over one guy.
     
  14. Reifer

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    I worked nights for almost all of my time in the military. When you're on an aircraft carrier underway and work the night shift, it is entirely possible to not see daylight for a week or more at a time. It didn't bother me at all though, as I have been a night person my whole life.

    Switching back to a day schedule as a civilian is probably the hardest aspect of the transition I've had to deal with. I find myself crashing hard when other people are doing just fine and then I'm seen as a lazy bastard that can't stay awake.
     
  15. TJMax

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    I just passed the year and a half mark on graves. Prior to that, I had been on days, coming in between 5:00 AM to 7:30, between my current and previous jobs, for well over four years. After many years of being a night owl, I'd finally completely adjusted to being a morning person, but then got pissed off about not getting an acting supervisory position, and put in for a section change. I didn't bitch once, haven't told anyone at work or even in this state that I was mad about anything, and just submitted a transfer request with "any" for the shift; let them do the fuckin' math. I figured I'd get graveyard; I was right.

    I went home "sick" a few times during the first six months, simply because I couldn't stay awake. After that, it was okay. I do simple work: Data entry, answering phones and sometimes making calls. At night, 99% of the calls are internal customers, so there's little contact with the public which is a definite plus... Except it looks like I'm going back to days soon. No more relaxed atmosphere, no more eating at my post, and I have to deal with the idiots who think their personal problems are a police matter, all for less money (no more 6% shift differential). Fun. What do you mean STFU, I get entirely too much of the public's money to do menial work? Stop making sense, dammit.
     
  16. Evildreams

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    I work part-time as a receptionist at a hotel, were I usually work the 12 hour night shift. The hotel is in the middle of an area famous for it's clubs, bars etc, and most guests staying at the hotel are spanish and italian people in their early twenties looking to get drunk and get laid.

    As for the anti-focus, the stuff I see is unbelievable, last week there was a girl wearing only a bed sheet running around in the corridors, whilst being followed by a bunch of Italians in their briefs. This month, in front of the hotel, the manager caught a guy getting his dick sucked by two chicks, the manager had to point out that the guy was standing in front of a cctv camera. Also, the first time I worked the night shift a fat spanish girl and her gay friend asked me if I wanted to have a threesome with them, when I declined they asked the other receptionist.
     
  17. snobes

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    Working in radio I've done every air shift for at least a week or more. I've been doing the overnights for nearly 5 years. I started part time weekends and fill in while working a full time job that I hated. So when a full time for overnights opened up, I knew it was mine to lose. Figured a job I like vs. hate was an easy call. I really like what I do, but have grown to hate the hours. I work from 11:30pm-ish to 5:30a Monday - Friday. It's fucking wrecked my sleep patterns and its messed with my memory.

    My hours where cut down 2 years ago and I've picked up another part time day job about 4-5 days a week. I get about 4-5 hours of am sleep then head to job 2, get 3-4 hours more and head to the station. I'm more awake durring the day then at night. I get dog fucking tired at about 4am. So I always eat a meal, surf the web and TiB and Radius before that. Also leave all the lights on and do a lap around the office if I'm really dragging ass. Which is why I rarely post, putting together a coherent paragraph is like trying to get Shegirl to post her fun bags.