Gut Rumbles

April 12, 2005

the southern swing

Evidently, from what I have gathered from my comments, some people don't understand what a "Southern Swing" is when you work shifts. Let me explain it to you.

You start on Wednesday, working 3:00 to 11:00 PM. You do that for seven straight days. You get off at 11:00 Tuesday night, and you come back to work on the midnight shift, 11:00 to 7:00 on Thursday night and you do THAT for seven straight days. You get off at 7:00 AM on Thursday, then you show up on Saturday for seven days of 7:00 to 3:00 day shifts. (That's not counting any overtime you have to work during this grind.)

Once you've finished that rotation, which takes a fucking MONTH to do, you're off from 3:00 Friday evening until 3:00 the next Wednesday. LONG WEEKEND!!! Then, you start it all over again.

You do that shit for a while. Try 15 years. See if it doesn't take a toll on you. It damn sure did me.


After working shifts like that, you probably would be too tired for cat hunting.

Posted by: Florida Bill on April 12, 2005 12:47 PM

I think I read somewhere that if you have to change shifts, it's better to do so by staying up later, than getting up earlier: Not quite so hard on mind and body.

Posted by: Justthisguy on April 12, 2005 12:57 PM

Brutal schedule, whether you call it "Southern Swing" or ABCD shifts, you never adjust, after 11 years of that I graduated to a 7-12 schedule, on call 24-7, after 19 years of that I bailed out. The price is the toll it takes on your health and family, it's sobering when you see co-workers your age and younger die on the job. Corporate management needs to live the same lifestyle for a while, a long while.

Posted by: Jack on April 12, 2005 01:06 PM

There is all sorts of data available that backs up the fact that swinging shifts is hazardous to your health and well being and in fact,it even affects your ability to enjoy your out of work life. You are much better off taking a financial cut for a steady shift than one that swings.

Posted by: arathorn on April 12, 2005 01:24 PM

My dad did that while I was growing up so that my mom could stay home with me and my sister. It nearly killed him, but it made him happy b/c that meant my mom was happy. :-)

Posted by: Alli on April 12, 2005 01:45 PM

That is nearly identical to the military shift I described except that it was four days of each shift instead of seven and only three days off (12 and 3). So I may have empathy for you but there aren't any violins playing over here, my dear. :-P

I still loved the job.

Posted by: Juliette on April 12, 2005 02:38 PM

Two words: Fuck That

Posted by: TeaFizz on April 12, 2005 02:40 PM

Acidman - Do you know why they do the Southern Swing? It must benefit the company somehow but I don't know how . . .

Posted by: Chai-rista on April 12, 2005 04:36 PM

What Chai said.

What benefit is there to anyone from working people like that, rather than in fixed shifts?

Posted by: Sigivald on April 12, 2005 04:42 PM

My brother worked that shift for a few years, and hated it. But he was in the minority - the workers in the plant had voted it in so that "nobody gets stuck on graveyard too long".

The company didn't care - they'd have been paying the same money no matter what; this was a plant that need to operate 24/7. But any new guy that proposed changing it got chewed out by the old-timers who like it. (And because folks who *didn't* like the shift tended to bail after a few years, the only old-timers left were those who did.)

Posted by: Javahead on April 12, 2005 05:32 PM

The Southern Swing is rough as a cob.

Only rationale I can think of is that that way, everyone gets to work all three shifts - nobody gets stuck with three-to-'levens all the time. But I'm thinking it'd be easier on people if they rotated shifts once every couple of months instead of every damn week? That has got to be the roughest lifestyle there is.

Anybody who works a straight nine-to-five job outght to be thankful.

Posted by: Elisson on April 12, 2005 05:36 PM

They've done actual studies, and yes, it's extremely bad for people. Less bad if it goes forward in rotation, but still bad.

Posted by: Jay on April 12, 2005 06:06 PM

Try 30 fucking years, Cat

Posted by: catfish on April 12, 2005 07:19 PM

Yes, Cat, YOU DID IT!

Posted by: Bonita on April 12, 2005 07:35 PM

Ouch...not something I'd like to try, thanks.

Posted by: Moogie on April 12, 2005 08:44 PM

Damn, I thought I had it bad. Much respect to anyone that can pull that off.

Posted by: Jason on April 12, 2005 09:45 PM

I've done worse. 08:00-17:00, day job. 18:00-23:00, do show. 24:00-03:00, run own business.

Did that shit for two years. Every. Damn. Day. (except monday, when there was no show)

What they don't tell you when someone suggests grabbing the bull by the horns, is that after you do it tries to kick your ass.

Oh well, no regrets.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on April 12, 2005 11:02 PM

Criminy. No way.

I'd find a way to do anything else if I could. There is just simply no way to have a normal life of any sort outside of work with that kind of schedule.

Posted by: Desert Cat on April 12, 2005 11:38 PM

Glad you clarified what a "Southern Swing" was. I thought it was a kinky sex toy or one of them wife swapping bars.......

Posted by: Maeve on April 13, 2005 01:21 AM

Did that in the Air Force for two years. Three days, three swings and three mids, then three days off. After two years I got a cushy 8-5 admin job and ditched that stuff.

Posted by: rivlax on April 13, 2005 02:20 PM

I worked that shift while on a police department. Never knew when I'd be on or off and even worse, was ill most of the time from one little thing or another. My life before that time was blessed with good health and has been since that time. Seems like there might be some linkage to the shift.

Posted by: Oran Woody on April 14, 2005 11:15 AM

it has got to be better than 7 days a week and two quick come backs two out three weeks

Posted by: bob on May 23, 2005 08:18 PM
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