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So, most of you probably know this, but while what Sheryl Crow would call “the good people of the world” are asleep there is a group of nocturnal creatures who are just beginning their work days. These are the people who load, unload, and drive the trucks, stock shelves, clean the floors, etc. They are the dark army of the night, and I have now joined them.

A couple weeks ago my bosses asked me if I wanted to take over the overnight produce stocker job, it would mean that I would get full-time hours and benefits (I’m currently part-time, I usually get 32 hours a week.) and a 50¢/hour raise. I asked them if I could think about it, had a family conference, and the next day I told them that I would take the job.

Last night at 10pm I started my first night on third shift. I will work 10pm – 7am five nights/mornings a week. I’ll be off on Tue/Wed and Wed/Thu because statistically those are our slowest nights.

I am not alone, 3.2% of the full-time working population work the night shift and those numbers are no doubt higher when you consider that companies like WalMart keep many associates at part-time. There are many problems associated with night shift work: Higher rates of sleep apnea, use of caffeine and other stimulants, less exercise. I already have sleep apnea, drink too much caffeine, and don’t get any exercise so my life shouldn’t change at all.

Seriously, though, I know it’s going to be a major adjustment. My plan is to talk to the other associates who work this shift about how they handle it, figure out when the best time to sleep is for me, and stick to a routine. It’s really my only chance to remain at a job that I actually like, where they like me, and yet get more money and get ahead. It’s a no stress job that I don’t take home with me, unlike the social work jobs I’ve had, and working in the wee hours I’ll miss most of the drama with managers and other employees.

Like I said, I started last night. My department manager Rhubarb came in to show me the things that she would like to see get done every night. We had a good time, got a lot done, then I came home and got a pretty good bit of sleep. I think it’s goinf ti worl out finK, AKNH r3onmnvvm, dl.x 3wlkmndlmcd

PS. I know you’re all breathlessly waiting for Part 2 of the jail thing. I’m working on it, honest.

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