If you’ve ever been a shift worker- then you’ll understand just how crazy night shift can be. Everyone is tired. You probably haven’t slept well in a few days. Everything is funny. And some of the best conversations in the world happen at 3 a.m.
For the better part of three years- I was on a rotating schedule for days to mids. Every four weeks- like clockwork- it was time to adjust my sleeping patterns. Now- I cannot say I particularly happy to be sleep deprived- but I can say that I learned some very important things while I worked all those shifts. Now I could share what I learned about others (and maybe I will one day)- but today I want to talk about what I learned about me.
1.) Shift work = hilarity at 3 a.m.
Wanna know what happens at an average job at 3 p.m.? People pack to go home. When I was on shift work- that was just when the interesting conversations were starting. And during that time I had a lot of my own beliefs questioned, but I also learned a lot about how I truly felt on things. And while conversations did tend to wind up being outrageous, they were also amazing.
2.) I am much more pleasant to be around when I’ve had 8+ hours of sleep.
I think I speak for anyone who has ever worked nights when I say- sleep doesn’t always happen. People are mowing the lawn. Planes are taking off. There are just daily activities that go on. But through those 3 years I learned that if I could get a solid 8 hours- I was a far better person to be around.
3.) Water is my friend.
Did I drink water before I started shift work? Yes. Put water turned in to my secret ‘stay awake’ aide. No Red Bull or caffeine here- just water 99.9% of the time. And when I needed caffeine- it worked.
4.) I can survive any working condition.
Three years of rotating 12 hour shifts on a squirrelly scheduled proved that I can survive just about any hours people want to through at me. Being in Alaska and still working those hours proved to me that I can handle just about any conditions that may be put in front of me. I may not like them- but I can handle them.
5.) I am solidly a morning person.
Staying up late is not for me. Period. 8 pm is my bed time, thank you very much, and my old lady self enjoys it. I get my best work done in the first 3 or 4 hours of the day and sometimes the rest of the day is just a wash. But I don’t think I would have appreciated my mornings as much without night shift.
So- have you done shift work? Did you learn things about yourself that you weren’t expecting? If so-please share your experiences!