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24 October 2007 @ 08:33 pm
1st shift vs. 3rd shift  

Now that I’ve been on first shift for a while now, it occurs to me that perhaps the biggest difference between first and third shift is that when you’re working first shift you can’t pretend your weird work hours is what’s keeping you from having a life…

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Current Mood: sadsad
markiv1111 on October 25th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
Sad? Sad?
I understand this quite well, but wouldn't it seem that, once you realize that other things are keeping you from "having a life," can't you say, do and decide things that will make "having a life" more of a possibility? I don't think you can rule out "having a life" even now, especially if you are starting to get some of the reasons why you don't "have a life." Knock them down one domino at a time, and the life may show up in spite of everything.

Nate B.
doclnghairdoclnghair on October 25th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Having far too strong an urge to hide and hibernate myself, I understand completely. I had to make a concious decision I was not going to just hide under my rock and force myself to go out. On that note, you COULD come out on a Tursday night for Bedlam at Merlin's Rest. Hey it's worth a try!
Jeffgalacticvoyeur on October 26th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Well... you kinda sorta got used to 3rd after a while... um, right? Quite a while, I expect. So now you just have to wait it out a bit again.

Oh, wait, you mean having a life involving going outside your house and hanging around with folks? That's easier said than done. I don't even seem to be able to do that any more! Though I did just join a NE Mpls musicians collective (Area 52) and have been invited to come to the Friday night jams that don't get cooking until 11:30PM or so and go all night...
beccal on November 1st, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
I am about the make the switch from working long overnight shifts then swinging to long day-into-night shifts then swinging back. The idea is to try to convince my body that sleeping on a schedule might be a right fine idea.

Guide me. How long did you do third? How is the switch over going? How long do you think it will take you to get used to it, let alone comfortable? How many weeks should I wait before trying to make a lunch date?
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on November 10th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)

Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question. I've been a little out of it of late.

I was on third shift for, hmmm, 4 years? Something like that. As far as adjusting goes, that's hard for me to answer for a number of reasons. Like I'm not sure how much my chronic depression and associated meds (currently paroxetine and methylphenidate) contribute to and/or mitigate adjustment/non-adjustment issues. Also, my awareness of time, both in a narrow and a larger sense, is none too keen—for example, I can't now tell you off the top of my head when I switched from third to first. A month? Month and a half? Two months? I dunno.

However. it seems like a ballpark answer might be that it takes maybe two or three weeks to feel adjusted and probably somewhat longer than that to really be adjusted. YMMV, of course, as we're all different. I suspect the older one gets, the harder it is to swing the old schedule around.

I'm not quite clear on what kind of change you're talking about. A continually rotating one, or just from one to another? And, since I took so long to get back to you, I guess I can also ask how it's going for you.

beccal on November 21st, 2007 08:16 am (UTC)
Talk about taking a long time to answer.

For a decade, more or less, I have worked as a veterinary E/R doc, rotating days and nights. Right now, I usually work 3 12-14 hour night shifts (Fri, Sat, Sun) followed by 2 12ish hour day shifts (Sat, Sun), then 10 days off, then repeat. The 10 hour or less turn around from Saturday midnight to Sunday morning has been the real kicker.

My body just can't seem to make the adjustment anymore. I used to be able to get sleep any time, on any schedule I wanted. Now I sleep or I don't unpredictably, and unrestfully. I think problems medical and mental, and medication and even menopause are combining to make my body say "Enough!"

I am done, quit, kaput in just over 5 weeks, not that I am counting. I am looking at trying to plan ahead. I want, and think I will benefit from, some normal steady routine. I just wonder how long it will take my body and mind to stop wildly oscillating.

Thanks for what insights you have. I do hope that your lifestyle changes and medication adjustments help you. Recent meds. changes have certainly smoothed things for me. Better living through chemistry, eh?