The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

October 11, 2006



But there's something really cool and different about working at night.

And I'm revisiting that experience this week, although it's not a night shift, just an evening shift for a week. It's 3 to 11 p.m., not overnight, but enough to make the body feel odd and throw sleep patterns out of whack and causing eating habits to be rearranged.

I've worked overnights before as a young 20-something, driving truck for a while and then working in a frozen food warehouse for a big Canadian grocery store chain, loading and unloading pallets of ice cream and other goods and carting them around on pallet trucks and forklifts.

Playing cards on breaks that were longer than they should have been, laughing at each other dressed up in snowmobile suits and throwing this and that at each other; against the rules, racing those neat little pallet trucks up and down the aisles.

A bunch of years later, on a 7 p.m.-3 a.m. shift as a night editor with a national wire service, laughing at jokes and telling stories among the three or four other people there, working hard but playing hard too.

There's something about working nights that's special. Everyone else on the planet is pressing their TV remotes or brushing their teeth to get ready for bed, or is already in bed or blogging or something, and you're with this small group of people working.

It's a special camaraderie. The world, for the most part, has stopped its hustle and bustle 9-to-5 existence. But you're there, keeping things humming, all the big bosses gone home to the suburbs, and you're having fun.

Of course, it's not the best situation to be in if you're single and want to be dating and part of the crowd. If your thing is being part of the social scene, hey...while you're workin', everyone's partyin'.

Or if you have young kids and you can't be there to help them with their homework or to sit down to eat supper with them or read them a book before they go to bed. If your significant other works days, you can wave quality goodnight time goodbye.

But it's still, for a short time, a neat thing to do. And some would say it's the only thing to do.

Would you mind being a Night Owl on the job? Have you tried it and if so, did you like it and get the same thing out of it that I'm talking about? Or does the whole notion of it just turn you off? And do you have an appreciation for people that do this, night in, night out?