Hello Darkness My Old Friend

When you live the Night Shift Life, darkness really is your friend.  Its either darkness or nothing.  Most of your friends work a traditional pattern, meaning working during the day and sleeping at night.  Even second shift gets home in time to sleep a few hours and then get up later in the day before work in the afternoon.  So there some semblance of a social life.  Night shift has no such luxury.  You’re there to essentially make sure that the building doesn’t go up in flames and to do all the catch up work that the previous two shifts could not accomplish.

This of course leads to an awful amount of resentment between the shifts.  Being a person that has experienced all three shifts, I can break them down easily here with an Expectation VS Reality segment.  For first shift, the expectation is that all 14 people come in to very little work, so that we can plan parties and hang out talking.  I do acknowledge that day shift has the nurses and the manager there to keep them occupied with project work and all kinds of aggravation.  But then, that’s why you have so many people to share the workload.  The reality is that sometimes third shift just can’t get whatever work was left over done.  For numbers it’s a simple equation.  14 people on days, 14 people on second, and 7 on third.  So third shift is supposed to work super hard to get everything done so that first shift can come in and hang out, talking to each other about their day and their lives.  Second shift comes in, and first shift has everything caught up within their ability.  Of course, that doesn’t account for the pile of work left to be completed in the back, work that has to be processed and put out for second shift to accomplish.  Throw in several newer employees and take out the retiring/out sick ones, and it doesn’t work out too well.  Still, they do have the numbers to get most of it done.  Reality on second shift is that their leader is booged down by demands from the manager.  Our manager means well, but is often very inept at determining best course of action pertaining to what we do in our day to day activities.  We get the work done, so kindly leave us alone.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  And there are a few second shifters that get to do whatever they want, shunning the so called rules of attempting to get work done.  Third shift comes in, and sometimes it looks great.  Sometimes there’s a bit of work to do.  and sometimes it looks like a frathouse after Cinco de Mayo.  There is stuffed piled, stacked, strewn and thrown everywhere.  Nobody knows where anything is, there are three people missing, and the new guy just puked on his shoes.  Reality is that third shift comes in, regardless of what lies ahead of us, and immediately begins to work.  The process repeats itself every day.  And yes, first shift thinks that third didn’t do anything all night.  Second shift thinks that First didn’t do enough. And third just comes in and does the best that we can.

It seems that the best we can do is not good enough here lately.  There was an incident where a member of the first shift crew came in complaining about how third shift is lazy and never does any work.  How we are essentially paid to sleep at night and contribute nothing to getting the workload done every day.  Not just complaining, but berating the staff that are actually doing the work.  Then the conversation turned to me as the third shift leader, saying that I am a sorry excuse for a leader and that everyone would benefit greatly if I were to leave and they received some other person to lead them.  All of this was brought to the manager’s attention, and the employee received….absolutely nothing.  A slap on the wrist.  A wink, wink don’t do that again, but if you do, we will do absolutely nothing about it.  I just have to laugh, considering the source of all the negativity.  It’s an employee with a history of disciplinary problems and constant complaining.  I have been in the same position for going on twenty years.  I’d like to think I might be somewhat proficient at what I do.  Yet all it takes is this one pissed off degenerate to make management and everyone else question whether or not I am good at my job.  Apparently there’s no such thing as loyalty anymore.  If anyone wants to come and hang out on the “sleep shift” for a week, I will gladly take your place on days.  Come in an see exactly how overworked and underappreciated you are on the shit shift.  The Garbage Man shift.  You’re supposed to get everything done for two whole shifts with a complement of 28 people, and you have seven.  My math is a little fuzzy, but I’m just not sure if that equation balances correctly.  Then to be told, amid this so called investigation, that my shift is actually four people overstaffed.  For the record, there are five stations that have to be manned during all shifts of our job.  So if we take seven and subtract four, that leaves three.  So which two station don’t get covered?  And then those first shift employees that relieve on those stations, will they come in and berate third shift staff as well?  Might as well, since there’s no consequences for being a flaming cunt in our workplace.  Just come in and talk to whoever you want however you want, and we’ll take care of you.  Because you’re day shift, and that means you’re special.  The rules don’t apply to you.

That leads me into announcing my candidacy for other jobs.  ANY other jobs.  I have put in a transfer where I currently work, far from that department.  That way I don’t have to carry someone’s piss bucket and shit shovel any more.  Someone else can do all of their own project work, or send one of their precious lackeys to complete the project.  I will also entertain any reasonable offer for employment.  No night shift, and no position within my current department.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if the building burned to the ground…with everyone in it.  If my transfer doesn’t work, and I feel that my manager will make sure of that, then I will find a suitable replacement job.  If I have to work on the back of a garbage truck or bag groceries at Harris Teeter, so be it.  By 2020 I will not be in my current position.  You heard it here first.  And if anyone has any leads on a job, hit me up.  I’m not really good with much of anything, but I am a quick learner and I can fetch and tote items.  And I don’t mind you taking the lead and listening to you, especially if its something I have no idea how to do.  Just don’t listen to day shift, cause they’ll tell you I’m incompetent.

I know I keep teasing about a story.  The truth is that most of my ideas for stories have long since departed.  I chalk that up to a mix of procrastination, writer’s block, and plain old depression.  You get told time and time again that you are never good enough, and will never be good enough, even at something you’ve done for two decades.  Tends to have a negative effect on your outlook.  This too shall pass.  I will get rid of all of this and jettison the extra weight of a shitty job.  Once that happens, hopefully the skies will be the limit.

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