Lessons From the Overnight Shift


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?



One thought on “Lessons From the Overnight Shift

  1. Any time i’ve tried to work overnight, I get loopy by 5 a.m. That’s even with that energy drink that looks like it was packaged in a time capsule – you know the one I’m talking about?

    I was in a 24-hour Wal-mart back in the day when they weren’t so common. I waited in a huge line behind a couple that decided to do all their grocery shopping at a place at 2 a.m. with one open register. I turned to the woman behind me and said “nothing but freaks and strippers at a Wal-mart at 2 a.m.”

    she didn’t miss a beat. “Which are you?” she asked.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s