Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Second shift

I just got home from work.

It was relatively early tonight, 11:45PM.

Adjusting to second shift is a bit more difficult than I'd imagined. The first month of my new job (and for the record, I'm thrilled beyond words to even have this job, after being un-or-under-employed for the last 18 months) was surreal.

I was tired all the time that first month, because I was still trying to wake up around my usual time of 6:45-ish, even though I often didn't get home until 1AM or later. And getting in at that hour doesn't automatically mean to you get to sleep at that hour. Usually I have to relax for an hour or more before the caffeine would wear off and I was decompressed to the point I could fall asleep. Usually between 2 and 3AM.

So for a few weeks I felt like an insomniac, sort of like Edward Norton at the beginning of "Fight Club", where he was claimed he was never really awake or never really asleep. It's a weird schedule, which I had to alter using Tylenol PM and cheap scotch so I could sleep well past my wife waking up and going to work.

Which I really miss. We always had coffee in bed before going to work. It was a nice routine and a chance to chat with each other in the morning. Now we only get that maybe twice a week, on her days off. Fortunately, she's very willing to sleep 'til 9:30 or 10AM given the opportunity, so we still get to have our coffee together on those days.

But the reality of working second shift is that your entire life seems to revolve around work. You have your "off-time" during the period between when you wake up and when you go to work. A "normal" schedule would typically give you maybe an hour or two after waking until you get to work, and a nice four or five hour window at night after you get home.

Me, I wake up out of my semi-coma around 9:30-ish, wander downstairs in my robe to pour myself a cup of coffee that my wife made three hours ago, and watch a bit of news and weather. Breakfast is the high point of my morning, occurring around 11AM. Since I'm currently on my annual diet, it includes a healthy meal of oatmeal, fresh fruit, and an egg-white omelet. Then I make my salad for dinner, pack it up with some 100-calorie snacks and a few bottles of water, and go back upstairs and check my email and Twitter. If I have a little time, I make some calls and chat with friends and family.

All too soon it's 1PM, and I have to shower and get ready for work. At 2PM, I'm on the clock and the calls start pouring in. Then I'm on the road for the rest of the day, often (as I said) until midnight or later.

The good thing about this crazy schedule is that I'm not spending a lot of money, although I bought a Dunkin Donuts card, so I can simply go to the drive-thru and get a cup of steaming hot coffee without having to fumble around for money. It's the best thing ever!

Although...I do wish they'd stop serving their coffee in styrofoam cups. If they went to paper, I'd feel a little better about myself. But since their coffee keeps me from veering off the road, I'll live with the guilt for now.

So, here I am, living in a sort of half way "after-hours" world these days. I'm not complaining mind you, but I'm just giving some thoughts about my adjustment to the hours.

Blogging just doesn't feel as important now, because it seems that everything important that goes on in the world already happened well before midnight, and by then everyone has written something about it. I'll just be the guy who gets to the party late and repeats what everyone has already said.

I do have to say that Rick Santorum kicked some serious Deep South butt tonight, and is making a real case for a two-man race from here on in! Romney still has a sizable delegate lead, but with 2/3 of the delegates still to be chosen, it's anyone's race! You know how much I love a good GOP knock-down drag-out fight!

Ah, ya see? I couldn't resist talking politics, even this late at night! Heh heh heh...

It's almost 1AM now. G'night


Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Hey, CT! Two days ago, a superior was talking to me before I opened my eyes in front of my office computer. Can you beat that?

On GOP Politics: I've been pulling for Newt since the beginning. I'm going to miss that old scumbag!

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...


Please see my advice on curbing spam-paranoia as a way of increasing commentaria!

Jonathan Kantrowitz said...

Sorry to hear how disruptive 2nd shift is.

Have you seen this great article on DK?

lakezoarian said...

You wrote: "Blogging just doesn't feel as important now, because it seems that everything important that goes on in the world already happened well before midnight, and by then everyone has written something about it. I'll just be the guy who gets to the party late and repeats what everyone has already said."

Well, guess what. We want to hear it from YOU. From YOUR perspective. That's what makes people keep coming back. You're fun to read. Immediacy is less important than that. And when the conserva-trolls comment it gets even more fun!

You've suggested that I start my own in the past. I've started trying a little, but on my FB page. It's mostly my photography, but there's political stuff there too. I'll email you the URL.

On a diet? You will NOT want to click on my name this time then... ;-)

vagabondblogger said...

I worked graveyard shift several times in my life & that was surreal to me - just never got adjusted. Same with jet lag going back & forth to Cairo. Sounds like you're adjusting to your new schedule fairly well.

Also, all news does not happen when you're at work. I just heard Romney actually got more delegates in Mississippi than Santorum (Haley Barbour's nephew is a super delegate & gave his vote to Romney.)

Hope your work doesn't cut into too much of your posts. I look forward to reading them, even though I haven't commented much this past year.

Tessa Marquis said...

Hah! I agree with lakezoarian!!

Miss ya.

CT Bob said...

Thanks for the nice words everyone! You folks are awesome.

Tonight I got home actual minutes before my shift ended; this has only happened three times since I started working. I'm kind of thinking I'll get to sleep early tonight (before 2AM).

Doc, perhaps it's not best to fall asleep when the boss is talking! Wear sunglasses, or have fake eyes tattooed on your eyelids (actually, that's a pretty good idea!)

Jon, yes I did see that article about DK. It was right on, and a wonderful tribute to a somewhat misunderstood and under-estimated American patriot.

LZ, I'm afraid to click on your link; if it show a cheesecake I'm worried I'll have to bust into the awesome bakery that's coincidentally right around the corner! Thanks for the kudos. I'm always somewhat amazed that anyone reads this stuff.

VB, I do wish you'd comment more; I always look forward to hearing from you, especially with regard to stuff happening in your neck of the...well, not woods exactly...semi-arid landscape, maybe? Anyway thanks!

Tessa, thank you. Lets do drinks sometime soon! How's Friday looking for you and Mike? (yeah, I'm on the "no food, but occasional booze is okey-dokey diet!")

Anonymous said...

This is interesting: