For the past nine years, two months and eight days and some odd minutes with way too many seconds too count. I’ve lived a life of luxury. Well, if you consider staying up all night and working on your feet, knees, hands, and well, whatever else just to get the job done being part of lifestyle some refer to as a luxury. But I on the other call it my life. It’s not one of glory. It’s not one that makes me a boat load of cash. It’s just one that I live to stay afloat in this world.
Too put it bluntly I work nights at a grocery store. It’s not one of those big glamorous jobs where the media chases me down and takes my picture. It’s just a job that gives me money so I can pay my bills. And if I’m lucky can do something fun.
It’s one of those jobs that you have to have when you ended up walking away from college. I guess you could say I dropped out, but really I just walked away. I didn’t really drop anything, as much as I did just walk away.
The job has gotten me to where I am today. Not in a big house, but in an apartment. I have gained a few high end items. I have a phone, a laptop, a couple of couches and some televisions. It’s afforded me to travel some so I can watch some independent wrestling or some baseball. It’s helped me gained to my ever so close to hoarding type collections. Most of which help to fill my apartment and lay dormant and untouched because of the sheer tiredness I constantly feel.
But I power on.
Working the graveyard shift or the 3rd shift as others who are afraid of the grim-some term call it. Is tough. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the weak. I can barely survive it. I don’t know how I do. I’ve seen probably over a hundred people fail at it. Yes, it has to be at least a hundred. To be able to stay up in the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else is asleep is difficult. It’s much easier if you don’t think about it though.
I’ve seen many a men and women attempt it. They make it a few days and bow out. Or they try and survive it and over come it, but only succumb to the inevitable doom it presents. Which is the simple fact that you need sleep. The body will tell you when to sleep. If you think you can win the battle against sleep – you will lose.
People try and cheat it. They take a nap during lunch, but usually they fail at it because I end up having to turn on them and wake them up. And I won’t go lightly into it either, I’ll being to yell and scream to wake them up. But usually I’ll just let them sleep, tell them this job ain’t for you.
Am I special because I can do it? No, anything but. It’s just the shear determination that I know there’s probably nothing I can do that will pay me what I’m making now. So I power on.
I want it to all end. I just want to walk away from it. I don’t want to work the overnight shift anymore. It’s terrible, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. It messes with your head. Especially when you haven’t had enough sleep. And you never have enough sleep.
You could go into the night thinking “Yeah man, I’ll be fine. I had my full eight hours of sleep. I’ll be able to power through this.” But there comes a point in the night where your body is telling you to stop. Just go to bed.
Why does it happen?
Simple. The human body is not a nocturnal beast.
The other day, for those who follow me on Facebook saw, I posted something about paranoia kicking in when you haven’t had enough sleep. And it’s true. For those of you who’ve never worked the overnight shift you don’t quite understand what it is.
Yes, you can stay up all night, or have trouble sleeping one night. But when you work over nights. Damn. It just messes with you. Especially when you try and fill in your days with chores, activities, or whatever else. It’s hard.
There’s just something about working that shift that messes with you.
It’s something I don’t wish on my biggest arch rival. The most hated man I’ve ever had. No one.
It’s the worst.
And words, man, words just can’t justify how terrible it is.
If you work it, you know.
If you work it and disagree, well, you’re just lying to yourself.
But then again, it’s a life of luxury.