I’ll admit, I didn’t even know it was a thing until this morning. (Thank you CBS Sunday Morning for alerting me to this celebratory day!)
I love that we have national days for pretty much everything, and especially this one now. I know some third shifters (Hi, Dave, and my new buddies at the NYC Command Center!) and I am a third shifter, too. I don’t think I’ve ever had a job that had a day of its own.
Yes, I’ve got a paying gig and I’ve been on the night shift for a week after two weeks of day training – and it’s been working freakishly well for me so far. I start at 9 at night and spend the evening making sure the fire department goes to buildings that may or may not be on fire, and letting security guards know that someone is (probably not) breaking into their office buildings, among other things. (I’ve already made fast friends with the guys working one group of buildings in NYC.)
I’m off at 5:30 and home a bit after 6. I feed the cats and let the AwesomeDog out and I’m crashed out by around 6:30. I get up around 12:30 after some solid sleep and have basically a whole damn day to run errands, get things done around the house and then have some down time before going to the office. (It is its own sad situation that I am more productive at home with a job than without one, but that is a post for another day.)
No, this job wasn’t what I anticipated when I started job searching, but sometimes it’s about the job you can actually get, and I’ve gotta eat. I’m working with nice people and the job itself doesn’t make me want to hurl myself out a window, so it’s all good. It’s temp to perm, so there is always the possibility that in 90 days we’ll all be looking at each other going, “We have all made a terrible mistake.” But if that is the case, we can all walk away, no harm, no foul.
I’m not gonna lie, there are definitely some perks to the third shift, at least for me. (I know the night shift is pure hell for some folks and I am grateful that is not the case for me so far.)
– I already had a messed up sleep schedule, so staying awake for ~3 more hours isn’t the worst thing, considering that I can sleep til 12:30 with zero guilt.
– I am chipper as hell at work because I am fully awake when I arrive and I haven’t had to fight traffic.
– The commute. Just under 30 minutes. On a *good* day in rush hour, it would be ~55 minutes, minimum. (I would not like working there on an 8 to 5 schedule.)
– It’s customer service, which seems to be my jam. (Yay?) And being good at customer service at 2 in the morning seems to perhaps be a not so common thing as I would have imagined. (Yup, I given how much of a snarky bitch I am IRL, I am still somewhat astounded at the fact that I am good at it. But I was good at it some 30ish years ago at the answering service in high school, and some skills apparently stick.)
– All my “free” time is on one side of the workday rather than split between morning and evening. When it’s split, you’re bleary eyed in the morning and just trying to wake up and in the evening, you’re fucking tired from the day and moving like molasses through the “gotta do before bed” list.
So, even though it’s working awesomely for me, it’s definitely hard for other people. (And I have heard way too many reports on how third shift work will shorten my lifespan. Hey, media, stuff it on that front, will ya? People have bills to pay.)
So, if you know third shifters – be kind. Get them some baked goods at a reasonable hour on Wednesday. If you can’t do that – don’t mock them for their perceived “slacker” schedule, or act like they’re some kind of degernate who can’t hold down a “day job” – they still have a job like anyone else, it just doesn’t adhere to everyone else’s schedule.
And for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t call or text before noon and expect them to answer. It’s not that they don’t want to talk to you, it’s just that they have their phone on silent so they can get some sleep – just like you.