Monday, April 13, 2009

Now I Understand

I don't like to complain much about working midnights. I don't want to seem like I'm looking for pity and, with the unemployment where it is, I don't want to complain about a job. Period.

I'm brining it up for another reason. See, when I was a young boy, my best friend's dad worked midnights a lot. He worked for the local ABC TV station, which was kind of cool since he always had some kind of giveaways from ABC. He had records, Frisbee's, bags; anything you can think of with the ABC logo on it. But, I digress. What I really remember from my younger years was him being cranky. He yelled a lot. He got kind of mad easily. He was just plum cranky. He didn't stay that way though. He certainly isn't now, but the change happened a long time ago. At the time I thought it was due to his mild heart attack he had since doctors always tell you to reduce stress. Now that I am older, and working midnights sometimes, I realize the change happened when he no longer worked the midnight shift.

For those who have never experienced the shift, it is kind of hard to explain. Your body just doesn't like switching around like that. You never feel rested, you are in a fog, you get cranky. Especially if you have a propensity to be a little on the stressed out side. (Yes, I'm talking about me.) That is the biggest reason I hate this shift. I hate being extra cranky. I know I am. I try not to be, I really do, but it is hard. I hate getting irritated by something stupid. I know I'm being stupid, but I seem to have little control. Something happens to that part of the brain when you flip your sleep schedule around. Well, at least it does to me. And my friend's dad. I'm just glad I don't have to work these all the time. I'm sure my family is too.

Sorry guys.

Oh, and Mr. B, I understand now. I really do.


Unfocused Me said...

Sounds pretty miserable. It seems to be pretty regular - do you work the midnight shift one week a month, or is it a couple of days a week? And is there any prospect of aging out of it with additional seniority?

Mike said...

Unfocused: It's usually pretty random. This time around I'm doing two weeks in a row, but that's because I traded into them for my daughter's ice show. As of now I don't have any scheduled through June.

I'll get out of it eventually, but it may take awhile.

Florinda said...

I think the randomness can't possibly help. If you were assigned to the midnight shift long-term, I suspect your body would adjust to it eventually, but it's the on-and-off that complicates things.

I'm sure your family will be just as glad as you are when you don't have to do midnights any more!

Mike said...

Florinda: No, it doesn't help. But, I don't know if I would be better doing it all the time. The people that do aren't all that happy either. I think I need a doctor to write me a note stating I can't work that shift. :)

Dreamybee said...

When I was growing up my dad worked swing shift for several years (2PM-10PM) then switched from that to graveyard (10PM-6AM). I think it was 10-15 years before he finally had enough seniority to go to days, and I don't think he ever really adjusted to the night shifts. Of course, part of that was because he would try to be on a regular day-time schedule on his days off so that he could spend time with us. He also had a 3-hour commute every day. I don't know how he did it.