Image courtesy of Myriam M. J. Rondeau. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.
I managed to graduate college without ever having pulled an all-nighter. This was accomplished with lists, advanced planning, and a fundamental dislike of being up very late, because I am a Little Bit Boring.
Then, I switched shifts at work from my previous, beloved evening shift to an 8pm-6am gig. It has benefits–I work fewer days a week, and I receive extra money to compensate for being a nocturnal wee beasty–but living an entire life of all-nighters has exposed me to some unexpected situations.
The first unusual thing which I noticed (and which, thankfully, has gotten better with time) was that when I oversleep, I wake up at night. This is fine if my only plans for that day are work, but on one memorable occasion I managed to sleep through my alarm and a 4pm hair appointment. By the time I woke up, it was 5:30. In addition to feeling terrible (I had missed two calls from my stylist), I realized halfway through my slurred apology call that I was pretty sure that when I kept explaining that I had overslept, my stylist thought I was covering for some sort of substance problem.
Lesson learned: it turns out that “oversleeping” until the early evening is a great way to convince people that you’re a heroin addict.
When it does come to my actual substance consumption, things are a little tricky, as well. I used to love work happy hours, because they were one of the few ways for me to get to know coworkers as a non-smoker who is, by and large, painfully shy.
However, now that my shift ends at 6 in the morning, it turns out that there’s nowhere to go for a beer with workbros. And, again, trying to find a place that will sell you a beer at 7 in the morning is a great way to convince people that you have a Problem.
The solution to that particular problem, for those curious, involved a gas station, drinking a beer on someone’s roof, and having So Much Fun that I managed to stay awake for 24 hours straight, sleep for three hours, and then went to fulfill my volunteer shift at Ye Olde Improv Theatre. Which was fine, in the “once a year” sort of way that makes you realize that you are 22 and have maybe another three years of being able to do that kind of thing before your body explodes in protest.
My cat, it turns out, was deeply irritated by this solution. He seemed to think that I had died. My cat possibly does not possess fully-formed object permanence.
Beyond the cat’s premature prediction of my death, though, things are going better than I had expected. The main thing that I miss is the ability to take improv classes (wah), and to play trivia.
Perhaps I could meet the other night-shift workers in town, and start brunch trivia? Replace beer with mimosas and burgers with omelettes, and we could have ourselves a perfectly lovely Thursday morning.