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Shift work and social life

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Joined: 05 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Shift work and social life Reply with quote

Well it's a kind of culture... ...shut up! - this is my thread, it came forth from the cauldron of bubbling thoughts that is my head so to me it makes sense...

I don't work in logical ways a lot of the time Razz


I work your usual 9-5 ( actually it's 8:30-5 with flexi time ) Monday to Friday. This is good because it never changes, I always know what i'm working, this allows me to plan ahead and make arrangements with people or make plans for re-occuring events etc.
I know that even next year, if someone says to me, 'there is a all day carnival next month and did I want to go?', I can say if it's on a weekend yes, if not I need to book holiday so will need some notice.

Now contrast this with shift work. You get handed a rota that week, and from then on you work that rota, next week it might be different, it might not. The week after that, you may be working nights.

Working nights is bad because that's pretty much when everything else happens.

In fact, when I was born, my mum stopped working to look after me and dad went onto night shift work ( better pay ) to support us.

Why are nights better paid? - because this is called 'working unsociable hours'. If the hours prevent you from having a social life, ie you're living just to work and you're working for 'the man' you have no real life to speak of, you are in effect a robot. Doing a job that requires the company to spend money on your upkeep ( your wage )

When I was much older and mum had gone back to work, she worked nights because it was better pay ( dad moved back onto days by then )

Again, if I worked shift work, and someone said next month 'do you want to...' - my reply would be, hang on a minute tell me in a month's time when I know what i'm working.

This pretty much ruins any plans I make with friends and in effect harms me wanting to do, well 'my thing' as I can't really plan future events with people.

Coupled with people wanting to swap shifts 'i'll do your Thursday if you do my Friday' stands to only throw a spanner in the works even more.

So, i'm looking if we have any shift workers on here, and how do they find the 'extra pay' compares to not really having a life.

Or am I just a 9-5 junkie who doesn't know what he's talking about?
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Location: East Yorkshire, England

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do enjoy the standard 9-5 mon-fri work as (ok technically, I work 8 til 4:30) , like you say, you can plan things better. Paul works shifts and I can never remember from day to day what's he's working. But he's always worked shifts ever since I've known him so it's normal, I guess.

I actually live a very predictable life. Home for 5pm. Weds evening, I have Pilates. Thursday evening, I have bely dancing, Friday is pub night. The other evenings I plan social stuff like going to the cinema or movie & pizza in with friends. And the rest of the time is spent geeking on the computer.

But I guess if you're dream job is working shifts, then I guess you have to put up with it. E.g. nursing, emergency services, a lot of productions and technical jobs etc all will involve shift work. Or if there are a shortage of jobs, like during these pressing economic times, you've gotta take any job you can get.

When my brother and I were little, my parents did the opposite to yours. Dad worked your standard 9-5 and my mum did weekends and nights, so that why my dad could look after us when mum was working and visa versa.

My collegue and I were discussing this. She wouldn't mind working shifts as it would always be different each week and wouldn't have the dudgry of 9-5.

It depends what kinda social life you have, if you like TV andhave Sky Plus, you'll be fine. If you play on computer games, you'll be fine. If you go to organised/timed events, you're probably not fine.
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Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Northern Idaho

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I can boggle your mind a bit here. For 30 years I worked rotating shifts, being that Air Traffic was a 24 hour a day business.

Here was my weekly schedule for the last 12 years of my career :

My days off were Thursdays and Fridays.
Saturday - 4pm til midnight
Sunday - 1pm till 9 pm
Monday- 6:30 am til 2:30 pm
Tuesday- 5:30 am til 1:30 pm.
Then come back at 10:30 pm Tuesday night and work the graveyard shift til 6:30 am on Wednesday morning.

Yes Minty, We had shift differentials that were paid for Evenings and Weekends-- 15 percent of base pay.

Overtime was 1.5 times hourly rate and Holidays were double time.

The money was good but the crazy rotation never made sense to me.

The union advanced the idea of working on a 3 week rotation for years,
as in 3 weeks of evenings, 3 weeks of mid day shifts, 3 weeks of mornings etc., but it never was accepted by the good ole govt.

But yet, they expected you to be alert at all times. Right.
Come about 3:30 am on that graveyard shift believe me, you were feeling anything but alert. Good thing the traffic was typically very slow.

To sum it all up, I didn't have any circadian patterns for all that time.

After I retired, I finally discovered that I am a "morning person "

I like going go sleep around 11 pm or so and bouncing back up at
6-8 the next morning. Well, maybe i don't " bounce " up but that is usually when I wake and head for the coffee pot.

And through it all my wife, Sabra, hung in there and we managed to raise 4 kids. I only think she would have rebelled if I had stayed on beyond my minimum retirement age.

Practice makes adequate.
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