Last night was my first taste of an overnight shift. I pulled an eight hour shift and two hours of overtime, getting me home around 6am this morning.
Aside from learning that a college campus before finals week is EXTREMELY uneventful (thankfully) I took away some other things too. These lessons and observations are not work-related so much as general, things that aren’t necessarily apparent in the daylight.
- I get three hours of energy from a 5-hour energy drink. I had one in my locker for a few days, and when I found out that I’d be getting home at 6am, I tried to time my usage of it to encompass the tail end of the shift, as well as the drive home. I fell short, and need to adjust properly. Either that or simply up my coffee intake appropriately.
- If it is 5:40am and I am third in line behind you at a gas station after a 10 hour shift, still half an hour from my bed…and you’re buying lotto tickets, I will hate you like no other human has ever hated before. All I wanted was a bottle of orange juice and a soggy breakfast sandwich so I could survive the rest of my trip and get to my pillow, and this guy is standing there with a line of other bleary travelers behind him. “Gimme a #3, a Lucky 7, and two #8s.” Situational awareness fella, situational awareness. I’m not the only person who thinks this either. The guy immediately behind you turned and looked at me with a wry little smile. I shook my head and tried to smile back, but ended up snarling I think. You were the enemy, and everyone hated you.
- While I don’t usually have a problem picking up hitch hikers, even I won’t get the guy on the darkened side of the road before 6am in the rain. Even being armed, I wasn’t taking chances. The guy was trying to escape something, and I wasn’t about to become a skin hat for him. No thanks. My sense of compassion is as dead as I would have been in that set of circumstances.
Days of night are very interesting. The dynamic of humanity shifts, and nobody is the same person they are when they’re soaking up vitamin d.
As I write this now, the sun is already sinking low in the sky. Today is ending, but my day is getting ready to start. I’ve had a glorious four hours of daylight today, and it was nice, but I’m starting to get used to the world being inky black outside of a soft halo of streetlight or hum of florescence.
Who knows what lessons tonight shall bring?