Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Early Shift/Artsy

     There's this about working the stupid-early* shift: normally-busy city streets are nearly deserted:
      Nice as that is -- at least until you have a flat tire in a tough neighborhood -- I prefer days.  It's not always an option, and so in I go, to help resolve the myriad tiny disasters of the Skunk-Workings at full steam and hope to successfully overcome that whatever larger troubles may loom.  Help is only a telephone call away -- and will have had even less sleep than oneself.  Even that has a shiny tinfoil lining: most of us have gotten better about writing down our arcane knowledge and filing it on various shared databases and document servers: the early awakening you save may be your own!

     Too, the early mornings are a chance to play at art, like the images in this post.  They're all snapshot with my smartphone under circumstances where it's struggling to keep up, occasionally when there's no chance at all of fumbling with any control but the simulated shutter release and there's something like a 5:1 ratio between taking photos and getting usable results.  It's a form of cheating but I'm happy enough to get some image instead of nothing at all.

     And, eventually, the sun rises.
* Not just a turn of phrase.  Sleep deprivation and sleep-cycle upset will leave you cognitively impaired to some degree.  It's possible to adapt to it, especially if you start early, something the world's militaries know in depth and detail.  As do their trainees.  Me, well, I'm what you call a civilian.  Especially as regards sleep.


RandyGC said...

Adapting to changing Shifts also gets harder as you age. I spent a year in Korea on a "3-1-3-1-3-3" shift (3 swings, 24 hours off, 3 mids, 24 off, 3 days, 72 off, rinse, lather,repeat)

In my 20's. not an issue.

In my late 40's when my boss wanted me to rotate from mids to days on less than 24 hours notice for special (read pet) projects at regular intervals, I finally had to start saying no.

These days it's all I can do to keep up with my regular schedule. And since cutting caffeine out of my diet, I think it would be almost impossible to go back to the Korean shift.

Old NFO said...

Yep, those early am calls suck... On MANY levels

Anonymous said...

I almost never had changing shifts. I would work a regular shift, and then get called back in later to do something. Though most (not all) of the stuff I needed could be done from home....) And then you get work a regular shift tomorrow (or is that today?).