A key part of any respectable orientation process includes gaining familiarity with every shift, although my duties were assigned to the daylight hours, a sample of the ‘graveyard shift’ was inevitable. I was given an extra day off in between to say goodbye to the land of the living and attempt to prepare my body and mind for pulling an all-nighter. For some, this is their natural state, they are apparently born with a reverse circadian rhythm and a hatred of day dwellers. Much like the psych unit, the midnight shift was a great hiding place for those trying to fly under the radar of administration. This was by no means my first night shift, I had dealt with their kind before…. truthfully, I was looking forward to a Gloria free night.
If you work during the daylight hours, and you ask someone who works at night what it’s like….They will tell you that it is torture beyond your comprehension. They will compare it to a sweatshop, describing crushing workloads and treacherous conditions, the likes of which you have never seen. So stay away in other words….whatever you do don’t come see for yourself. (Because they would have a lot of explaining to do when you woke them up from their nap) Some people have worked the night shift so long they actually believe their own hype, but it’s the only shift where you will see people come in to work with their personal laptop bags and a book, which speaks for itself. Things do happen on the night shift, but in general, there is ‘down time’ that you will never see working during the day, but don’t tell them that. In that down time they have the luxury of being able to sort through the charts and point out any little thing that was done wrong during the day, and can make your life a living hell.
When things do go wrong at night, they tend to go very wrong. The fact that there is a minimal administrative presence is a double-edged sword. Yes, there is no one to interrupt your Facebook time, but there is also no one to make the big decisions, if something happens and you have to make a tough call….it better be the right one because its all on you.
Kelsey David Burnham – Slow Code