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Old Sep 10, 2013, 04:18 AM   #1
jav6454
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The Graveyard Shift

In the line of work, I have learned that so far, everyone will have (for at least once) done a graveyard shift of some sort.

In my case, the manufacturing of automotive PCBs, an SMT line (three in my case) never stop as cars sell day and night. Hence, our work group is divided into two teams (I know... crazy, but oh well) which switch shifts every 2 months.

In essence we get a day shift from 7AM to 7PM and a Graveyard shift from 7PM to 7AM next day. Crazy? You bet. Worth it? After seeing my paycheck every 15 days, hell yeah!

I must say my methods of coping with the graveyard have become more refined as time passes. First comes the gameboy, then the MacRumors browsing (explains my recent posting explosion) and finally a movie. Yes, my night shift is real calm. When you know how the machines work, everything can flow smoothly.

What are your stories in the Graveyard shift and how crazy have they gotten? How do you survive your shift?
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 08:00 AM   #2
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Well I've known people to take the odd nap if work permits. Fortunately I don't do shift work any more. It wasn't working night that bothered me, more I could never work out when to eat.
I used to do 2pm to 10pm which was a nightmare. Get up around 10, have breakfast. Have lunch around 1 which was my hot meal of the day, then take some sandwiches to eat later on at work. Weird.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 08:06 AM   #3
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Used to work nights at a restaurant as a chef. I just had a different sleep pattern to everybody else. Sleep days, work nights. Wasn't bad.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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I worked 8:00 to 4:00 hours as a computer operator. 8:00pm to 4:00am, that is

This was back in the 80s when computer operators worked on mainframes, we still hard card punches/readers and 3480 tape drives. We did everything from print/burst reports to hang tapes at the end of the night. I loved that job, it was great. The downside is that I had no social life. When I wasn't working everyone else was and vice versa.

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Old Sep 10, 2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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I worked midnights for one month (at my present job) when I was bumped off afternoons by another person with seniority. Then I was promoted and went to days and have been there ever since.

But for the brief period on mids, I blacked out all of the windows in my bedroom to keep the sun out and keep it cool so I could sleep.

I don't really count the time in the Marines because we're always on duty and sometime we'd be up all night or part of it and you just slept when you had the chance.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 08:53 AM   #6
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3am to 10am for a whole month then 10 years on a more normal 11Pm-7am. Kind of the same job I have now but in a different building with barely any management there during the day so certainly no one at night. Worked for a cable station so either we were watching the network or dubbing shows and commercials. Worked for the first 4-5 hours and then we all took a one hour nap on our lunch breaks. Weekends were hard as I tried to get back to a normal shift. We worked right outside of the holland tunnel so we would send someone in to NYC for food a lot. Wo-hop: we never close!! I'm glad I'm off of that shift now especially since we loved a new building where all the management is and sleeping, even on your break, is frowned on.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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At my previous job (McDonalds), I worked graveyard shifts for three months straight, then maybe once or twice a month thereafter.

The hours do take a bit of getting used to, for certain. But after a while, going to sleep at 7-8 AM and waking up around 4-5 PM becomes the norm. On the odd occasion you need to be awake around noon-ish, it feels very out of place.

Honestly though, the worst part about it was the kind of people who tend to frequent retail locations at 3 AM. Very... strange bunch.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 12:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SkyBell View Post
At my previous job (McDonalds), I worked graveyard shifts for three months straight, then maybe once or twice a month thereafter.

The hours do take a bit of getting used to, for certain. But after a while, going to sleep at 7-8 AM and waking up around 4-5 PM becomes the norm. On the odd occasion you need to be awake around noon-ish, it feels very out of place.

Honestly though, the worst part about it was the kind of people who tend to frequent retail locations at 3 AM. Very... strange bunch.
I feel really bad for Denny's/Jack & the Box employees after 1am
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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I worked nights for the better part of my career. I was on it for 10 straight years at one point.

It is crazy but heck I actually liked it. The only shift I did not like was 0000-0800 hours. Seeing the sun come up and driving home with it up sucked. I much preferred 2200-0600 hours.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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Wow, nice stories...

I share rhett7660's feeling with the sun. I love seeing it go up in the morning; however, I dread that drive in the morning. Luckily, morning traffic is not an issue for me as I go against traffic, not with it.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 09:38 AM   #11
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I quite liked coming home during sunrise, too, but found it hard to fall asleep with the birds singing their songs outside...glad it happened mostly after clubbing, though.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 10:31 AM   #12
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Worked 11-7 AM shift for 11 years when I first started working. Would come home and have a good breakfast. Then watch a movie, then crash for the afternoon.

Currently work 6-6 AM shift occasionally when we are busy. Normally work weekends 6-6 PM when not busy.

Also work some straight 48 hour shifts on ambulance to keep up my hours to remain an EMT. Those are always busy without any time to ever stop. If it is ever quiet, we are legally allowed to go to sleep.

Been pretty easy over the years to get use to it. But at 53, I must say it is getting a lot harder to do any more. Will most likely stop it at 55 and learn to finally enjoy some straight day work.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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I quite liked coming home during sunrise, too, but found it hard to fall asleep with the birds singing their songs outside...glad it happened mostly after clubbing, though.
Summer was the worse for me. I called Summer the Construction Time because all the Construction Racket.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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I did video editing for the morning show at a mid-market news station about 10 years back. This meant working 1-9am. During part of my life with that schedule I had morning classes so I just stayed up until about 2pm and then went home, ate, and slept until 11pm.

The worst period of working that shift was when I had afternoon/evening classes. I had to break my day into two 4 hour sleep shifts. Looking back years later, friends who had known me awhile said I was a pretty big jerk during that time.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 12:17 PM   #15
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I'm new to graveyard shifts as an EMT. I've always been a "night owl," so I'm able to handle the 4 shifts Thursday - Sunday at 8p - 8a better than I thought I would. Switching back to a normal sleep schedule during the week for university has been easy.

Part-time at my company is hard to get because of financial troubles, but I need the money, so I choose the schedule no one else wanted just so I could be part-time and to also get the "bonuses" (total hourly wage increases if we are called out for x or more calls).

While I do loose my Friday and Saturday nights, I do still have a good social life.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 12:26 PM   #16
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I currently work quite the oddball hours. Im a cab driver and dispatcher for one of the old name cab companies all over the states. I work as a dispatcher 4 days out of the week, Monday & Tuesday on 2nd shift, 3p-11p and Friday & Saturday on a split shift, 4p-630p and then 11p-7a. As far as driving goes, Monday & Tuesday, its 11p-6a, if I work on Wednesdays or Thursdays, its 6p-6a, Friday & Saturday I normally drive in between shifts, and Sunday is normally a little variable, sometimes Ill work it all day, somedays it'll be a split shift from 7a-noon, and then back 6p-6a. Yay crazy work schedules lol.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 04:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by firedept View Post
Worked 11-7 AM shift for 11 years when I first started working. Would come home and have a good breakfast. Then watch a movie, then crash for the afternoon.

Currently work 6-6 AM shift occasionally when we are busy. Normally work weekends 6-6 PM when not busy.

Also work some straight 48 hour shifts on ambulance to keep up my hours to remain an EMT. Those are always busy without any time to ever stop. If it is ever quiet, we are legally allowed to go to sleep.

Been pretty easy over the years to get use to it. But at 53, I must say it is getting a lot harder to do any more. Will most likely stop it at 55 and learn to finally enjoy some straight day work.
This is the truth, I went back to the shift after an eight year break and man was it freaking tough. A lot tougher than I remember...... It has to be the age thing.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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How do any of you that have graveyard shifts balance work and life? How are you able to work all night, sleep during the day, yet have time with children, your wife/husband, and other life activities (school shows etc)
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 09:58 PM   #19
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How do any of you that have graveyard shifts balance work and life? How are you able to work all night, sleep during the day, yet have time with children, your wife/husband, and other life activities (school shows etc)
I'm still single, so, if I go out with friends, it is usually in the weekend... at night. So in a sense, the night shift issue doesn't really bother me.

However, my nightshifts are every other month.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 10:20 PM   #20
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And here goes yet another night in the dispatch office... yay paychecks lol
11-7 shift, here we go
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 10:29 PM   #21
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This is the truth, I went back to the shift after an eight year break and man was it freaking tough. A lot tougher than I remember...... It has to be the age thing.
Any time I do shift work it gets tougher & tougher. Wish I was 20 again. Was not married, had no children and my only responsibility was paying my mortgage. So doing nights was a breeze.

Quote:
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How do any of you that have graveyard shifts balance work and life? How are you able to work all night, sleep during the day, yet have time with children, your wife/husband, and other life activities (school shows etc)
Minimal sleep. I only require 4 hours minimum to function. Wife is stay at home and children are teenagers, so do not see them much as they are always out with friends. But I also do not do shift work on a regular basis. Very irregular for me.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 10:44 PM   #22
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I delivered Pizza from 6pm to 2am when I was 18. It's a different world at night and can be a little unsettling if you're interacting with the public.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 06:48 AM   #23
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Night shifts are the best it's quiet and there are no people it's perfect!
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