The Night Shift
Wednesday June 7, 2023
When someone described what I’d be doing on the night shift, I was kind of hype. It seemed almost too good to be true, since I’ve always been a night owl plus the pay is fat. Basically the only rule is “don’t fall asleep.” For the most part I have handled it pretty well, and I will admit that I have never made this much money for such little work in my entire life. Still, I’ll be switching over to the day shift later this month.
The most important thing is staying busy. There is not much to do here at night so usually when I’m “busy” it’s when I’m doing something on my laptop. When I started this shift I was determined to learn how to draw. With this much free time I figured I could learn a ton in a relatively short time. I certainly am better at drawing than I used to be, but I ultimately regret picking drawing as the thing to work on. My choices were limited, but I wish I learned C++ or how to use Godot. I ended up not studying enough and instead I’d mindlessly draw video game characters. I used to finish a drawing a night but my progress slowed down as time went on. Partially because the drawings got more complex but also because I was getting burned out a lot faster. I started equating my lack of skill to my self worth. Every drawing sucks huge dick. At the very least, drawing keeps me awake. This is the only drawing I’ll post:
It’s me on the job. It’s clearly unfinished, but that actually makes it a good representation of my art experience as a whole. I do like where it was going so maybe one day I’ll finish it.
If I’m not drawing I’ll usually fuck around with this website, handwrite random thoughts, or ravage my dopamine receptors with YouTube videos or video games. I usually avoid playing video games while at work because it always feels shitty for some reason. My most recent Minecraft phase was an exception because that game is crack and I am a disgusting pig who loves crack. YouTube is brutal and it has had a pretty strong grip on me since I started the night shift. Literally anything at all is more productive than watching YouTube videos but some nights I’m just too tired to do anything and my skin is vibrating because I’m 4 cups of coffee deep. Speaking of coffee…
Humans are simply not supposed to be nocturnal. I never drank coffee before starting this shift, and it was insane how fast I became dependant on it. One or two cups a night, sometimes another at the end of my shift depending on what the rest of my day looks like. I still catch myself nodding off from time to time but that just means I need to get up and do something. Sometimes I stare directly into the ceiling lights. Sometimes I start to see things, and the lights look like a windows to blue skies. Those nights are rough.
I never get enough sleep. Falling asleep while the sun is up just doesn’t feel right. Even when I’m dead tired at work, I usually feel pretty awake once I’m home. Blackout curtains would help, but curtains won’t stop my ASSHOLE NEIGHBOR from blasting his SHITTY ARMENIAN TALK RADIO BULLSHIT across the street. If I actually want to be productive, I drink more coffee when I get home and stay up to run errands or whatever. If I go to sleep right away and wake up at like 4PM wearing boxers, there is no way I’m doing anything.
I have had some really bad times at work, like near breakdowns. Sometimes this office feels like a prison cell. There is nobody to talk to and nothing to do. What made me want to switch to the day shift is when I realized that I live the life of a total loser, I’m just getting paid for it. Most nights are spent doing stupid shit on my computer, and most days are spent asleep. I have developed some pretty bad habits, and the bad habits I already had have gotten much worse. Even though this is insanely easy money, I think forcing myself into an environment where I can be a human being is better for my brain in the long run.
HAVING AN ANXIETY ATTACK
All that being said, if you need to work the night shift to “put your dues in”, do it. You’ll be fine.