Up until the end of last week I’d been working a pretty typical day schedule at the new job. 7am to 3pm. I’d be home by 4 or so, and have the evening to wind down. That was for the purpose of getting me acclimated to the place, the job, and the people. Now that I sort of have my feet wet, I’ve been swapped, to 7pm to 3am.
The shifts themselves aren’t so bad. I like working at night. The trouble is that hour-long drive home at the end of it. The first two times I did it, I realized quickly this would be trouble. I didn’t fall asleep behind the wheel or anything, but my focus was nil. All it would take is one deer, one wet/icy road, one….ANYTHING out of the ordinary, and I could have been in trouble.
So, I found a little gas station that is mercifully open all night, and have started to experiment with exactly how much coffee I need to drink in order to stay awake long enough to get home and go to bed.
I’ve become a living science experiment. How much coffee? When is the latest I can drink it so that I get home, but am not kept awake for any longer than I need to get changed and fall into bed?
I’ve literally reached a point in my professional life where I am RELYING on coffee to get me home after work. I’ve taken to looking with disdain at people who utter things like “I can’t function without my morning coffee.” or “I’d die without it!” …mostly because those statements are truth for me.
I’m sure after I spend some time on this shift, I’ll get used to it and won’t have to worry about falling asleep while I drive home, but right now its still VERY new and VERY difficult to get into.
However, this job is worth any challenge that I’m faced with…..even if it means working 2 hours of OT and hanging out until 5am tonight instead of 3.
….my experimental data is going to be all messed up tomorrow. The good news is that I’ll probably sleep until noon for the first time since I was in college.
Stay tuned to find out how this new schedule, new job, and new set of challenges are effecting the wife, kids, and my own self. Because the changes cannot be denied, and the results are very, very real.