March 13th, 2010

The long road home

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I’ve been working night shift, man & boy, for 31 years. I believe that it’s not the healthiest option. I recall some 25 or more years ago being told there was some research that working a full shift pattern over an average working life was likely to knock 5 years off your life expectancy. I have no idea if there’s any truth in that or not, knowing my luck it’s increased with inflation by now.

I dont mind nights, I’d probably rather work nights than lates. Lates just blights your home life, at least on nights you can still do stuff in the evening even if you have to leave early.

My last set of nights was awful. I started off having to get up early on the first day of nights. Normally, the night before nights I’d stay up until around 4am. This means I can sleep in longer so that I’m not so tired by the early hours of the first night shift.

Last shift I had workman round which meant I was up at 7, stayed up all day then went to work until the next morning, eventually getting to bed after some 26 hours. That’s a long time without sleep. I wondered how I made it home.

Part of my journey involves a fair few miles up a long & very boring dual carriageway. I often get part-way up the road & realise I have absolutely no recollection of the preceeding 15 – 20 minutes of the journey.

I know there are lots of examples of police officers being killed on accidents on their way home from night shift. I wonder how widespread this problem is amongst other shift workers.

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