9/13/22: Notes from the 4am shift
This is one of the most intense weeks of the year at work, and I'm filling in a lot of gaps. I left the building at midnight, napped for about 3 hours, and came right back. I'm here for another 4 hours, then it's back home for another nap, and then I may or may not have to be back before noon. I'm hoping to sleep until 1pm, though, and then I'll have other work to do, and if no one else signs up to fill the night, then I'll be right back here at midnight again. Wednesday I'm here at 10pm, and then another overnight shift. Thursday is much the same, with an overnight shift and back in the afternoon, and then Friday I'm here from 4am to noon, and then home to sleep ALL DAY. I'm considering having my roommates confiscate my car keys so I will probably take the bus, which I find to be a trip when I'm exhausted.
I'm paid extremely little for this, and will probably be completely miserable by the weekend, but the truth is that I love my job. I spend a lot of time complaining about it, because complaining is my primary method of communication. Beyond all the bitching, though, I love the people I get to work with and I think I'm really good at what I do, even if it isn't very glamorous. My hope I guess is that it will lead to a better paying job with better hours.
Most of my current job is logistics- making and keeping track of schedules, collecting information, communication, a lot of record-keeping and recurring tasks. I'm a very thorough person and a total control freak, so this works out for me. I'm not good at a lot of stuff, so...I really like being good at this! I'm on call basically 24-7, and I really do put my heart and soul into it. I want to leave this place better than it was when I got here, and I want the next guy to have an easier job than I did.
At the same time, I hate bootlicky grind culture shit, and I am at an age where sleep deprivation invokes more dread than anything. I just find myself calculating how long it will take my body to recover, and knowing I won't be able to properly care for myself during that period, and feeling anxious about all those articles that say chronic sleep deprivation fucks your brain, and how my chronic insomnia is probably shaving years off my life, etc etc. "It'll just be for a week, then I can chill" feels a lot less comforting than it might have when I was a kid.
I am tired all the time and I need to do a lot of maintenance to keep myself physically functioning. I have increasingly little patience for jobs that don't pay fairly, that ask you to fudge hours or stay late without overtime, that short-staff, that have low turnaround times, that don't protect their workers. But I also work in an industry where all these things are common, and I chose this. I had to go out of my way to get here.
So, idk. You do your best under capitalism, I guess.
For example, I'm writing a rambling journal entry in between staring at three other computer monitors and sipping my second caffeinated drink of the day.
I hope that you, late night web-surfer, are getting more sleep than me.
Song of the day: Working For The Knife - Mitski