Gut Rumbles

July 23, 2005

not sleepy

I took a long nap this afternoon. That's one of the benefits of being a man of leisure nowdays, but I slept too long. I'm ready to work a midnight shift now.

How many of you people ever worked the "graveyard shift?" Mine ran from 11:00 at night until 7:00 in the morning, and it was my favorite shift to work. I always liked the plant at night, when all the bosses were home in bed and the place (at least my area) was my own oyster. I almost never became sleepy on the job.

I had four shift mechanics and a crew of 12 operators to supervise. Life was good. Without all the meddlers sticking their fingers in my oyster, I could run the show MY way and make pigment. I also liked climbing to the top of the baghouses and looking at the stars on a clear night.

Working shift is NOT conducive to a good family life. My daughter barely saw me in those days-- I was always at work or asleep when she was awake, and I pulled a LOT of overtime, too. Plus, I've read that doing shiftwork takes about five years off your life.

The truth is, I wouldn't have stayed married to my first wife for five years if I HAD NOT been working shifts. I stayed away from her so much that I could tolerate her. When I got my straight-day job, that marriage didn't last much longer.

Anyway, this post is for anyone pulling midnight shifts. I am a fellow vampire.


Try 1830 till 0630 for the past 4 months...

Posted by: Yogimus on July 23, 2005 01:03 AM

I did THAT, too. Wanna know the REAL nut-buster? Work 3:00 AM to 3:00 PM for a while.

Posted by: Acidman on July 23, 2005 01:10 AM

cheers, fellow vampire.

I'm up late, but it aint working. actualy somewhat slacking tonight, the bar can close itself for all i care...

Posted by: Heath on July 23, 2005 01:14 AM


yea the 3 to 3-s suck... there ain't nothin good on the teevee, and you feel like the days all roll into one

Posted by: Yogimus on July 23, 2005 01:16 AM

Midnights LOVED 'em. Fifteen teams scattered all over the city (300 sq miles), only bothered me if they really had a problem. No boss above me, left mine notes and files, wouldn't see him for weeks at a time. Home by 0800, kids off to school, no wife, slept til 1600 then to the kids sports. Had to stay sober. Great seven years. The rest of the world thinks you're crazy and leaves you alone.

Sgt A

Posted by: Al from Chgo on July 23, 2005 01:32 AM


Been there, done that, got the t-shirt! So to speak of course. I know what you mean, really. Sorry to hear you missed so much time at home and that's a double edgeed sword to say the least. I've tried everything within my power to spend more time at home lately with my wife and children (6 yrs and 9 months).

I'm trying to prevent what happened to you, (i.e "My daughter barely saw me in those days-- I was always at work or asleep when she was awake").

I missed my father because my parents weren't together while I was growing up. My children deserve better than that. They deserve a "family" environment. They deserve all I have to give.

They deserve "ME" as much as I deserve them, if that makes any sense.

Posted by: Leuthen on July 23, 2005 02:30 AM

Always liked graveyard, worked it (in security). I've always been a night person, still prefer it to days. Dogs don't seem to care, they're happy to have you there no matter when you walk in the door.

Posted by: Aquila on July 23, 2005 02:34 AM

Work midnights stocking shelves at Walmart. Its nice. Just me, whatever song is stuck in my head and the aisles. I'm off tonight though. :-)

The worst is the swing crap my dad is on this week. Days, 3-11s, midnights. Alternating. For the next 10 days. Its not going to be fun 'round here. *sigh*

Posted by: Alli on July 23, 2005 03:02 AM

7pm to 7am. IT stuff, onsite support for some high-value stuff.

What sucks the most is I fight the fringes of rush-hour traffic each way. You'd think working nights would mean less traffic, but the traffic is much less when I cover day shifts.

Posted by: Greg on July 23, 2005 04:51 AM

Fighting the power: One coffee at a time.

Posted by: Yogimus on July 23, 2005 05:23 AM

Currently doing the graveyard. 10-6:30. at six days a week. Of course was a time there I was doing 56 hours a week. Overtime was great but you get wore out after a month or two.

Posted by: rayh on July 23, 2005 07:39 AM

"Been there...and still doing it..." 11:00 pm to 7:00 am, just me and a bunch of computers.
No bosses, no bull shit, and unfortunately not enough sleep before I go to work sometimes.
Been doing it for going on 10 years now. First
couple years it was a rotating shift: suck city!
The big boss was/is a 'yankee' which ought to explain things. Fortunately his boss is a black 'lady' and she listened to us and put a stop to the rotating. Right now I'm retirement eligible but am gon'na try and stick around a few more years and save some dough. However, I've let 'upper' management know through the grapevine. That if they take me away from my "Midnight Madness" spot.
I'm walking and after 29 years it will be time

Posted by: Capt. Harley on July 23, 2005 09:17 AM

Then there was the guy that worked nights who came home, cleaned up and went to church, and dozed off during the sermon. Just as the preacher was getting reved up and pounded on the lectern shouting "They Nailed Jesus To The Cross!" he woke up and replied "The Day shift did it!"

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich on July 23, 2005 09:26 AM

"They deserve "ME" as much as I deserve them, if that makes any sense."

God bless him....he "gets it".

Posted by: Suz on July 23, 2005 09:51 AM

I have been working night shift for the past 5 years, and I love it. I have been supervising the same shift for the past 2, and since then, I love it even better. I work for a major circuit board manufacturer in the northeast, and supervise a crew of 10, no engineering support, no quality support, no management around, and I couldn't be happier.

My crew is top notch and dedicated, not to mention some of the most experienced folks in the shop. Some of them know more than our upstart process engineers. We get it done, and done right, with often more productivity than the other shifts.

Another upside is the weekends. I love being awake at night during the summer, when it's quiet and cool. I love grilling some meat and drinking beer while listening to the west coast baseball game on AM radio.

Posted by: Anthony L. on July 23, 2005 09:53 AM

Just got home from an OT shift. Been doing 12-8 on the railroad going on 26 years now. Still got a boss, who is a jerk, but no BHMM's (Big High Mucky Mucks). Much more autonomy, you can get a government job done every now and then, I get to watch the sunrise whenever I want, etc. Our shop is right on the river, the tracks run right next to the levee and there is a family of red foxes who come for a visit from time to time, Some of the guys leave food for them and they come around when they want a change of menu from mice and pigeons, I guess. They are still wary, but not afraid. I've had them within 10-12 feet of me, just stop and check me out for a minute. Like an idiot I just stand there and grin at 'em. Midnights don't make for much of a family life unless your partner is on board and works to make time, take time, etc. Mine didn't but, she sure liked for me to work OT. The OT money is all mine now 'cause she and her brats are gone, just me and midnights and whatever I please now. Knew there was more to why I seem to like Acidman than met the eye (or keyboard, as the case may be).

Posted by: Jim on July 23, 2005 10:02 AM

Been doing rotating 12 hour shifts for the last 15 years. I like nighshifts the best ,if everything goes just right I only see management 5 days out of the whole month, that is worth everyone thinking I am crazy for working this schedule.

Posted by: G-MAN on July 23, 2005 10:13 AM

'Way back when, I worked a rotating eight-hour shift. Graveyards were my favorite. The first one was usually hell, but then I got my internal clock reset and the rest were joy. I had a good boss and the run of a whole plant as the only electrician. If it broke, I fixed it, the boss was happy, the operators were happy, and live was good

I spent many hours sipping coffee, shooting the breeze, and stirring shit up to keep things from being boring, but when the pager went off to go fix something, I was a ball of fire, so the boss never complained about the down times.

I liked it...

Posted by: mostly cajun on July 23, 2005 10:35 AM

I did a 24:00-08:00 shift for about a year a while ago, though it ended up being more like 23:00-11:00, including the overtime and 75 mile one way commute.

Not fun, but overall it sucks about as much as my current 08:00-02:00 "shift". Holding a day job and working for yourself at the same time more or less sucks.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on July 23, 2005 12:46 PM

Best job I ever had: midnight-0600 dj at a top 40 radio station in 1981. Just me, the counrty dj across the way, and an engineer, alone in the building. Only real bad part was, disco wasn't dead yet ....ugh! And yes, the program director WOULD be listening at 4AM to make sure I followed station format.

Posted by: Stu on July 23, 2005 01:31 PM

I've worked graveyard shifts, 12 on 12 off,ususally six to six, one place we were shorthanded and had three crews, one that worked a straight seven day 10 hours day and two crews who worked a 16 on 32 off to cover the swing and grave yard shifts. Didn't like any of them. Of course I was never too crazy about work of any kind.

Posted by: GUYK on July 23, 2005 05:04 PM

Yeah, sometimes graveyard is good, sometimes not. I work 1am to 9am and I do like to be able to find all the stores open and not crowded. Let the other people have the stores in the pm, I'll take the early hours. Unfortunately my job is "flexible," meaning I "get" to work weekends and holidays. Oh, and management doesn't.

Posted by: Scott G on July 23, 2005 06:19 PM

Many times, originally 11 to 7, when I do it now 1 to 9 am.

When my kids were small- before school age- worked out decently, after that not. And I can never sleep well during the day.

Posted by: Mark on July 23, 2005 07:29 PM

Worked better than 20 years on the graveyard shift, we kept having kids and a Deputy's pay isn't enough that Momma gets to stay home. So she worked one shift and I another. I'd come home and go to bed, get up when the kids got home from school. The boss got home just about time for me to head out to strap that cruiser onto my ass.
Graveyard shift is great, the first few hours there's lots of action, then things quiet down.
Rural area graveyard shift is even better, it takes about a week to learn who is out and about for legitimate reasons, the rest of those out are what made it real easy to make enough good arrests to where the LT would just shake his head and moan when we totaled a cruiser racin'.
Those damned ol' GPS units in the cruisers sure took a lot of the fun out of it, though.
Far as I'm concerned heaven would be about 1973, before they took all the bohemous out of the motors and I still had young knees to chase the assholes with but enough experience that when it came to it, they got hurt instead of me. Not a bad eternity.

Posted by: Peter on July 23, 2005 10:06 PM

I've got a REAL nut buster for you.
Try being the parent of a disabled child that can function on TWO hours of sleep!
Remember those sleepless nights when you child was a new born? Try having that for 7 years fucking straight. THEN come talk to me.
I've got the corner market on no sleep/sleepless nights...........

Posted by: Maeve on July 24, 2005 01:13 AM

I work in a NOC (network operations centre) from 22:30 - 07:00 Mon-Thurs most weeks.

Like I've read from a lot of people in the above posts, a lot of people think I'm crazy for wanting this shift.

Screw them. It's either this or having phones, customers, & co-workers drive you nuts during normal biz hrs.

Plus seeing the boss only once a month for crew meetings is nice too.

I'm single -- unmarried. Never want either. So this shift works probably the best for me from anyone in my workgroup. Plus I love the independence.

The quieter periods allow to me work on my part-time business that I'm building anyway (after all my duties are handled, of course). It will probably take 1-3 yrs to get it to the point where it's going decently. But after that, goodbye corporate world for the rest of my life....

Posted by: DSC on July 26, 2005 04:57 AM
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