Night shifts. Whoo boy. I just finished two back to back ones, 7 PM to 7 AM. It’s the first time I’ve had to burn the midnight oil and work through the night, and it was quite an experience.
I found it very difficult to ensure that I was sleeping and rested enough before starting night shifts. I pretty much felt that my life sucked for a day and a half as I tried to force my body into an abnormal sleeping pattern.
Actually getting to work and doing my job wasn’t so bad. It was weird the first night when I stepped out at 11:30 at night for a break, along with my vampire coworkers. Around 4 in the morning is when I really started to feel tired, and I thought I was going to die around 5:30. But I made it home safely and had little trouble sleeping into the afternoon. The second night went better than the first, and I found switching back to normal hours far, far easier than switching to nights.
The first night, from the perspective of forecasting, was brutal. By midnight, we knew what was happening. We had our fronts, our systems, our weather associated with it. We were progging it nicely, everything was working fantastically. All-star forecaster right here. Then I went for supper.
When I came back a half hour later, everything across the entire Prairies had changed. My cold front in Saskatchewan disappeared, something popped up in northern Alberta, my weather in Manitoba disappeared. It was almost unbelivable. From then on we were playing catch up all night.
The next night went substantially better.
So here I am, back on a day schedule, two night shifts under my belt. It was fun, and I know I’ll be doing it many, many times in my career. It’s an interesting experience, for sure, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to get used to it.