Let's face it, some of us are not early birds and we probably never will be. We'd rather stay in bed until noon and go to work in the afternoon. However, the shift can't be too late so we can get in our much needed "chill time", as I like to call it, in before we go to bed at some ungodly hour. Because we aren't early birds but something far worse: night owls.
I am among those people who considers themselves as a night owl meaning that I would rather get my sleep in and work sometime during the afternoon. However, I have worked the opening shift and it has changed the way that I think about mornings in general. I have a greater appreciation for those who work mornings and what it takes to be an early bird.
Getting up when it's still dark outside and when most of the town is still asleep is a different feeling and though it can leave me feeling sleepy at times, I get used to it as the day goes on. When I worked my first opening shift, I had to be there at 5 AM, I was somewhat unprepared: it was a whole new beast that I had yet to tame.
Now that I have been working mornings for a while, I feel that I have learned more and I feel prepared to talk about it here. Here are 11 things they don't tell you about working the opening shift.
1. The People Are Really Nice
I was expecting people to be really mean and grouchy in the morning. I had the mindset that it's the early morning and no one wants to be up. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that people are pretty nice in the morning. They aren't mad if something isn't ready or you mess up on your speech because they understand that it's early and everyone is still waking up.
2. No One Wants To Talk When Setting Up
Though everyone is really nice, when we only have a half hour to get everything set up, no one really talks. We understand that we have to get our stations or areas set up so past the usual pleasantries no one speaks to each other. Half the time we probably don't even feel like talking or there's nothing we can think of that early in the morning.
3. Most Of The Regulars Come In The Morning
The regulars who come into my work are truly the best and it's always nice to hear how they're doing. Most of them come in in the morning as well so I get to see them often. Sometimes I don't even know their name, but I know them well enough to get their order ready before they even say a word.
4. The Fatigue Doesn't Hit Until After The Shift
As the adrenaline and coffee keep you alive most of the day, you don't fully realize how tired you actually are until the end of your shift. At the end, your muscles finally relax and your brain shifts out of hyper drive giving you a sense of calm.
5. Getting To Bed Early Is VERY Important
If you're thinking about staying up until 1 AM before you have to wake up at 4 AM for your shift, don't do it. It is a terrible idea and you should get to bed early because you'll thank yourself in the morning
6. Getting Your Things Ready Is Also Important
You don't want to be running around your house a half an hour before you leave searching for that one thing that you need right now. Getting your stuff ready the night before can get rid of unwanted stress and make your life a little bit easier.
7. You'll Go Through More Caffeine Than Necessary
At the beginning of the shift, you'll drink coffee and when that doesn't kick in you'll drink more and more until you realize later that it was a bad idea.
8. You Have A LOT Of Time To Get Stuff Done
People don't start filtering into the establishment, or in mass amounts, until about 7 AM where I work. In that time I can get everything that I have to do done. This is especially true on weekends.
9. It Is Imperative To Get There On Time
Opening shifts mean that there is usually only one person setting up. If someone is not there on time then it kind of screws over the person who is late and everyone else working that day. So be there on time!
10. It's OK To Feel Tired
You're going to be tired, there's no way to avoid it. Just make sure that it doesn't effect your mood to much lest you turn everyone's mood sour.
11. It Can Really Be On And Off
Mornings, at times, seem like the greatest shifts in the world and other times it's the worst decision of your life. Just make sure this doesn't show to the customer though!