November 16th, 2011

Sleepy bo-bo’s

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

When I joined the job we used to work a four week/seven-day shift pattern. In other words we worked for seven days on lates, then two days off, seven earlies, three days off and seven nights, two days off.

We worked 8 hour shifts. I did this for many years. we got one weekend every 4 weeks but the beauty was that we finished work at 2pm on the Thursday and weren’t back until 10pm on the Monday.

Now we work a pattern of 5 week/3 & 4 day pattern. We work longer hours but we only work three or four days at a time. We get two weekends off every five but they are much shorter. Our short weekend starts at 4pm on the Friday and ends at 10pm on the Monday, while our long weekend starts at 7am on Friday straight after night shift then back at midday on Monday. It means we lose most of the Friday off because we have to sleep after nights. It completely mucks up your sleep pattern for your weekend.

The consequence is that I spend my entire life tired. They used to reckon doing the 7 day shift pattern for 25 years took 5 years off the average life expectancy, God knows what the current pattern does, but I can’t see it is much of an improvement.

The rest days after weekend nights are even worse; you finish at 7am Monday morning and go to bed, get up Monday afternoon and spend the rest of the day knackered because you had to get up early so you could sleep Monday night, then you spend Tuesday knackered trying to recover before going to work at 8am on the Wednesday for a day in the lecture room listening to pointless powerpoint shows while people with monotonous voices read what’s on the screen.

No wonder half the people fall asleep during training days, as I did this week. (not for the first time!)

Now they’re talking about changing our shift pattern again. I can’t wait.

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  1. Whinger says:

    Try 7 on 2 off reverse pattern. That is, start on Days, do 7, finish at 7am on your last day and that is your first ‘rest’ day sleeping. Then one day ‘off’ then straight into another 7, with your first day starting at 7 am!

    Which Sadist devised this pattern,

    There is at least 2 forces down south doing this!

    November 17th, 2011 at 07:30

  2. alpha tango says:

    Ouch! Do you get to provide an input into the new proposed pattern, via the federation/ or union for police staff?

    5 week pattern in a force just south of metro city, I’msure they still use it for response, which the control room followed. Starting friday 7 n/t, 5 r/d, 1 trg, 4 l/t/, finish midnight on Sunday 2r/d, 3 e/t, 2 r/d, 3 l/t, 2 r/d, 4 e/t finish 1600, 2r/d then back on nights starting 2200, so it’s like 3 days off.

    Will admit 7 nites were hard work, especially in winter, not much daylight in the 7

    @whinger- quite possibly someone who (works) mon to fri 8 till 4

    November 17th, 2011 at 09:23

  3. Hibbo says:

    “we finished work at 2pm on the Thursday and weren’t back until 10pm on the Monday.”

    That must’ve been some bender!

    I’ve worked some daft shift patterns, and it used to do my head in that your sleeping off nights day was seen as a “day off” by the dayshift only pricks.

    November 17th, 2011 at 17:22

  4. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I don`t work shifts but what you said about PowerPoint is spot on. How many times have I sat through a PowerPoint presentation only for the person presenting to just read aloud off the screen what I can read for myself in half the time.

    It has to be the most frequent ‘how to do a presentation’ cock-up you`ll ever see.

    On a related issue my so-called management team come to site once a week and lock themselves in a meeting room with a warm PowerPoint projector for the whole day. The meeting room is immediately off the main office where ‘their’ staff are working, yet week after week they come and go after 8 hours of slides but never once come and talk to any of ‘their’ staff. Seriously. Wnakers.

    November 17th, 2011 at 20:39

  5. R/T says:

    We did the “Ottawa”-ish 5 week system for a while. I’ve never had a prob with 7 nights but I know a few did. Now do the 2x2x2 which I like. 4 RD’s every 10 is fine. And if you take 1 day A/L you’re 5 on and 5 off for a bit which is nice! Only did the 7x7x7 for 2 years but hated it with a vengeance!

    November 18th, 2011 at 08:52

  6. martin says:

    can you work a 2 10 shidft then the day after a 7 2 shift

    July 25th, 2012 at 14:12

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