The average person works the “normal work hours” during the day, just as I have most of my adult life, without even realizing there is a better way. Okay, maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me.
When I first went to work where I am now I was working all night - 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Trying to go to sleep after the sun had come up was quite the challenge. I bought room darkening shades - helped a little, not a lot. I tried taking Melatonin - it made me groggy and I would fall asleep, but only for about three hours and then I was back up. Honestly, I slept every other day, when I was too exhausted from lack of sleep the day before to stay awake any longer. Sometimes I was downright cranky from lack of sleep. So I was elated when I learned that I was being moved to a second shift position working 4 p.m. until midnight.
I’ve been on that shift for two years now and I love it. Until the last two days I had completely forgotten how much I dislike alarm clocks and rushing to get ready for work early in the morning. A daytime magistrate had asked me if I could change shifts with him yesterday and today as he needed the two evenings off. While not particularly excited about the early hours, I agreed to the switch.
The screaming alarm in my ear yesterday morning (and this morning) was a really rude awakening. Actually, I don’t have an alarm clock anymore so I had to use the alarm on my smart phone. Anyway, the last thing I wanted to do at 6:30 a.m. was crawl out of my warm bed, get ready to go to work, and get in rush hour traffic (there is no rush hour traffic at 4:00 p.m., at least not heading into town, and for sure none at midnight). Ugh!!! What was I thinking?
My mind kept telling me I had to get up, but my body was refusing to cooperate. The one positive thing was my pot of coffee waiting for me. In fact, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee may very well be the only reason I got up and made it to work these two mornings. By the way, isn’t the time delay feature on coffee makers the greatest thing ever? Being able to set my coffee maker at night and wake up to the smell of coffee in the morning is heavenly. Oops, sorry about that; I got off track thinking about my morning brew!
So, back to what I was saying. I also learned that the processes the day shift deals with tend to be somewhat different from what we deal with on evening shift. There is a steady flow of traffic during the day making it hard to even find time to eat lunch (I didn’t today). I found myself letting criminal process papers stack up on my desk only stopping occasionally to prepare court shucks and make sure all the paperwork was in the proper place. There was also a steady flow of people on the public side wanting to press charges (we see some in the evenings, but a much lower volume). I know those who work the day shift love it, but I’m just happy that on Friday I’ll be back to my sweet second shift hours.
Yes, we deal with some very colorful characters in the evening, but I’d rather put up with the cussing and door kicking from someone who’s had a few too many to drink than work those daytime hours every day. For me, it’s a good trade off.
I'm off work the next two days and then back to work all weekend. Now, I’m going to crawl into my warm bed early, pull the covers over my head, sleep as late as I want tomorrow morning and wake up to the smell of coffee - when I'm ready. Oh my, I love second shift!
Good night my friends. Hope you all have a restful night and a great day tomorrow!