Midnight workers, worth it ?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Paul Bartlet, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm gonna make a personal post here. But I do need advice.
    I have been working midnights for near 8 years now. For the 1st 5-6 years, I worked three 12 hour shifts (overtime was not something to refuse if you wanted to stay there). Shift starting Sun, ending Wed morning. Adjusting to the sleeping seemed to come ok at the time, but over the years I seem to have lost my friends. Friends mostly call on the weekends to do/go somewhere, after a number of "no's", they call less. I find myself not much in the mood to do things I used to. I feel I have to hog my time to myself, don't know right word to describe it, but it's what I'm doing.
    With slow downs at work, there have been lay offs over the last few years. So now my shift is 4 nights. To daytime workers this may not sound to bad, but it is. The shift falls over 5 days. I come home Friday morning 8am, I can try and stay awake all day for a kinda change over in hopes of a normal weekend, or sleep. I make it some Fridays to 8-9pm, but without sleep, I kinda just live here on computer or in front of TV. What happens most is, I sleep all day, and up all night alone. I'm married with 2 children, and yet I feel alone.
    Anyhow, I have a good job, it has good benefits. I have a chance at a day job that pays ok (not as much), and no benefits. It's so hard to decide whats best. I"m very unhappy for "me", but my job is good for wife and kids (at persent anyhow).
    I would like to hear from any midnight workers on this. I'm 35 and the years go by so quickly on this shift. Is/was it worth it ?.
     
  2. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not a midnight worker, but I remember the evening classes at graduate school, and what horror that was! Never again in my life.

    (To all kids out there: don't think evening classes are the easy way out!)

    It was a very depressing for a few years. Pretty much everybody I knew who kept an unusual schedule was very unhappy.
     
  3. Trevor Harveaux

    Trevor Harveaux Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to to be in the same boat, 12 hour shifts, 7pm to 7 am. I'd get home at 8am eat "supper" and then go to bed. Stay up late playing games on weekends to get back to "normal" time. I ended up quiting and getting a much lower paying job. For me ( wasn't supporting a family at the time) it was worth it. It was really nice to see the sun and freinds.

    How big is the pay difference? Can you ask to transfer to a day shift? I had a friend who was thinking about switching to the night shift until I pointed out that she would really only be making $5-10 extra a day (after taxes), and it would NOT be worth it.
     
  4. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 7, 1999
    Messages:
    2,921
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've been doing nights for the better part of 14 years. I agree that it's tough on your friendships. I just learned to adjust my sleep and see friends when I can.

    I usually work 4 nights a week so me changover morning I sleep for 5 hours get up go to a movie(usually friday). I then either go play tennis, or go watch the boys play baseball.

    MOST of the time I could easily be like you, sit in front of the TV or computer. I find that I like my alone time more on nights.

    Stick with what you got, and try to adjust your sleep pattern to help make a social life possible.

    Brent
     
  5. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having work nights (mainly on the weekends) this summer, I can sympathize with you, and can only imagine what it would be like to do that for years. Frankly, if you're not happy with your schedule I think maybe you should look into changing it, because it sounds like you're missing out on a lot. Maybe try and get rotating shifts, IE, one week nights, one week days, that sort of thing.
     
  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    1
    In college I worked in a factory of a well known company during the summer. Most often I had the graveyard shift. It was all the motvation I needed to get my degree and work a day job in air conditioning.

    Not only were the hours bad, but also the tedium was apparent on the face of everyone who had made it their career.

    My advice is that money comes and money goes, but your family, and your childrens childhood, only comes once. Your children don't care how much money you bring home - as long as you are home.

    You'd be suprized how doing the right thing can be rewarding - and finances tend to take care of themselves.

    Just don't do anything rash! Look before you leap.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Starting Monday I will be working a 10pm to 6am shift 5 days a week for six months. I volunteered because no one else wanted and it pays 15% more.
     
  8. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2001
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did graveyard for a year and hated it. It never did really acclimate to those hours. It seemed like about once every couple of weeks it would catch up to me and I'd crash for like 15 hours. I think it takes a specific personality to stay on that shift for any length of time. Plus I found it impossible to maintain any kind of a personaly life. That was probably the longest I went without sex since I was a teenager in the 80's [​IMG]. In the end the extra 50c an hour just wasn't worth it and I jumped to swimg shift instead. I've found that to be perfect for me!
     
  9. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Coming from a swing (2pm to 10pm) I think the overnight will be better, I'll be off at 6am, home by 6.30. Sleep from say 9-5pm and I still have from 5pm to 9.30 or so to see a movie, go out for dinner, whatever. On this swing I have no time for anything, can't even catch a matinee [​IMG]
    I get about 2.50 an hour additional for it, and I get to go to the Germany office. So I'm not complaining, yet.
     
  10. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been back on midnights for a couple of years. For my bachelorized lifestyle, it's great. The social life is not so hot, but that's more a result of my own choices. I could just as easily blame it on my computer or my HT or the beginning of football season.

    I only have a staff of 2 on my shift, so the fact that one of them is performing way below expectations is a major PITA.

    In my case, I work 7 on, 7 off of 10 hour shifts. It doesn't pay overtime according to my midnight contract, but I get an extra 10 hours pay for each rotation completed without unscheduled absences. The shift premium is $3/hr and I get to miss the traffic and all of the BS politics that go on during the day. I work "less than 24 weeks per year" and make more money than my 40 hr/week colleagues who have the same base houly rate.

    Definitely worth it for me.
     
  11. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    0
    I spent a number of years working shifts. A few on the archaic 8 hour workdays for up to 7 days straight.
    We then wisely went to 12 hour shifts, 4 days on, 4 off.
    We tended to socialize with guys we worked with, and more so with the ones on our own crew at work.
    I never had much problem sleeping, but I was in my 20s back then.
    I can't say for sure what impact shiftwork had, good or bad, on the homefront for those with families. Some I know were happy to get away and back to work for some quality time with the boys. Large numbers of others saw their marriages come to an end....ironically losing spouses to co-workers, and vice versa. That might have more to do with a small town however, and less to do with shiftwork.
    Now I get my full dose of "interaction" at work and prefer "me" time at day's end.
    What you're feeling might be due more to a "midlife" thing than work related. OTOH, it might not be a bad idea to keep an eye out for signs of depression.
     
  12. Devin U

    Devin U Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2002
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    0
    I work 12's at night. It works for me, as Ive always been a night owl, but my wife isnt huge on it. I did a night rotation in school because I figured that working in healthcare, I'd most likely have to work nights at one time in my life, so I wanted to see what it was like. I love it and dont plan on going back. It is hard sometimes, because, unlike many, I dont have my shifts consecutively. The worst for me is having one night off, because it is not usualy time enough for me to readjust. I also love the extra 15% I get. The one thing I really hajte about working nights is Wal-Mart. Wal Mart you say? Well, I do most of the shopping in my family, and Its about the only place open, and I loathe it so, but thats another thread...
     

Share This Page