Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Didn't Choose the Vampire Life, the Vampire Life Chose Me

This is an open letter of sorts, particularly to my IT friends. If you can, do yourself a favor and do not work nights.

Currently I work seven twelve-hour shifts in a two week period, 1900 to 0700, that's 7pm to 7am. The long weekends sound good on paper, but they are an illusion. More to the point, nights make your life suck.

I am in my ninth month of doing this, and it is finally breaking me. I don't enjoy any of my normal interests, I don't get excited about anything. My weekend activities have become rote to the point of lunacy. I say all this, not to be a complainer, but to warn you of the dangers.

It may have something to do with my age, as I worked night in my younger days, though it is more likely that it has to do with the responsibility of age? At 19 I had no one nor nothing to care about. Now I have a wife of fifteen years that I seldom see. As of this writing, I have not seen her 32 hours, and will not for another 17 hours, if our paths are lucky enough to cross for ten minutes.

Now, I took this job because of the money, but also because I hated my old job. Don't make the same mistake. If you have any affordable options that will keep you among the day walkers you should take it. If you do have to work nights, do yourself a favor and start looking for another job. Night shift is a trap that only leaving a job will free you from.

Enough of my bitching. I miss you gals and guys, but I just cannot get excited about this blog. If you are a night owl too, feel free to hit me up on Twitter, because if you're like me, your friends are asleep!



Cory said...

I feel for ya man. A buddy of mine in town I used to talk to just about everyday went night-shift six months ago for the money, and three weeks ago he took another job and had to move away because he hated working nights. Once he was put on night shift they said he had to stay nights for a year before they'd consider moving him back to days. So not only did him going night shift wreck our daily chats it resulted in him moving three states away. So as someone who misses his night shift buddy, I second your warning to your readers: stay in the light!

Darius Whiteplume said...

I had an interview with a company that did it the right way. Late mornings in the US, then India takes over, then Germany to fill out 24hrs. Half shifts on weekends (which are always slow) and next to no one on holidays. Sadly, they did not hire me. :-(

As for moving, luckily I am in an area that is heavy in my career field, but that also means there is a glut of people looking.

RNDM said...

I work nights as a pediatric/neonatal flight nurse. Have been nights for years. The trick is to get a rhythm/regular schedule. Don't go to bed when you get off in the AM. Treat nights as you would days. If you came home from a day shift, you wouldn't go right to bed. Walk the dog, workout, watch some TV. You'll get your time in the sun that way. I actually have as much of a tan as my wife who is up in the day. If you are having sleep issues, get some Melatonin. Its over the counter and promotes healthy, dreaming sleep as opposed to sedatives and the like.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I typically do walk the dogs and stay up a bit. Bad part is I have a 90min drive both ways, so a 15hr day. I take Nuvigil to stay awake on shift. It helps, but on my days off I sleep like crazy. I do go back to days on my days off, for sanity's sake. I used to run on my work days before i went in, but that has fallen off a bit, so i try to exercise at work; pushups, taking the stairs etc. Most work days I get to bed at 0930 and wake at 1530, so get about 6hrs of sleep, except when the dogs wake me midday :-D

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