There’s one Monday out of every month that I have to be up at 3:15 am for work. Those are ‘Inventory Mondays’ and they’re a bitch as I get older. I hate to say this, and believe me I knew eventually I would be saying this, as a matter of fact I’ve often thought about when I was younger saying this, but when I was younger, this was easier. As I get older, it seems it’s harder to get up at odd times, I’m becoming more of a creature of habit, or preference if you will. Working in retail, there are first, second and third shifts, though ‘night crew’ (overnight stocking) generally is something you ask to do, not be asked to do. Since you’re going against your body’s normal circadian rhythms, there’s a reason that graveyard workers are paid a little better than their daytime counterparts.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my career working third shift. 12 years stocking shelves for three different companies, as well as another 12 years working in a bakery department for one of them. So, 24 years of working nights, but I can say the bakery work was the most rewarding for me, even though at times it was the hardest. Even now I have residual effects from that work, I have recurring wrist pain that might have something to do with carpal tunnel, since there were years and years of kneading countless rounds of dough for my job. I never bothered to get the surgery, and about 3 years ago I lifted a case of chicken oddly and sprained (my thought) my right wrist and its never been the same since. I wear a brace to bed at night, I’ve had physical therapy and even talked to a surgeon about it. He said that he might be able to do something with it, but there are no guarantees, and since I work in a job with repetitive motion (as well as lifting boxes weighing 40-80 lbs) I could easily re-injure it just by working.
So for the time being, I work during the day, and one day a month I get up at the crack of 3:15 in order to be to work by 5. Call it a necessary evil. I know very well it could be a lot worse, because I’ve been in jobs where it’s been worse. So I’m thankful right now it’s just that one day a month. I’d rather not go back to working 3rd if I can help it. I figure I have about 13 more years of work before I can retire. Best I do it where I don’t have to drive an ungodly amount to get there, and its something that I want to be doing, as opposed to something I have to be doing.