05 April 2014

The Joys of Shift Work

Shift work SUCKS. I work in healthcare, so I work many shifts. I usually work day shift, which is nice because I have an afternoon and can spend the day with Cecilia. I've worked swing shifts, and those are never fun, either. Your whole day gets eaten up by work. And I've worked night shift (or NOC as we call it in Oregon). That really throws a hiccup into your life, disturbing your sleeping patterns and your health. I've battled my way through all these different shifts, and I've got to say that even though my job is physically demanding. there is real joy in punching the time clock.

Hector made me get my first job. He made me go to school. He helped me pick a career. It's not a dream career, but I feel good about what I do. Sometimes, it isn't a lot of fun, but that is why it's called work, but it can also be A LOT of fun.

There are a few joyful things about punching in at 10:30 at night (or 6:30 in the morning or 2:30 in the afternoon):
  • You get to work with awesome people you don't see a lot. I love working different shifts because you get to know ALL of your coworkers, not just the ones you work with on the day to day.
  • There is a change of pace. When you work the night shift, it's like you work in a whole new building. There is NO management, there are NO overhead pages, and there are fewer coworkers- meaning you can actually do your job without running into people. When you work day shift, everything goes quickly and you are on-the-go non-stop. 
  • When you work a shift, you know how long you're going to be at work. Your schedule doesn't change without prior notification. I could know my days off a year from now, because of my rotation. I can pick up extra shifts when people call in, but I know when my days off are going to be. 
  • The time clock that we use at our job doesn't let you clock back in until you've had your entire break. There's no clocking in early. You get all of your time. 
When I move to TJ in June, I'm hoping to find a CNA job on the US side. I would love to continue to work in this line of work, even if my body is breaking. I love being an aide, I love helping people. And I love different shifts, even if it doesn't seem like I do when I'm clocking out at 6:30 in the morning. If I didn't love them, I wouldn't work them. 

What do you love about your job? Do you have to work shifts or do you have a 9-5? What are some other benefits of both work schedules? What are the downsides? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

At the time of this posting, I am working a double-shift. I haven't worked one of these in several months... I might need your encouragement!

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