I recently started working what I can only describe as my first "big girl" job. I work as a patient care technician in a hospital, and since I'm in school full time and this hospital runs on 12-hour shifts, I drew the short straw, and I work the night shift. That means that I work 7p.m.-7:30 a.m., and then I go through a full morning of classes and then I finally get to sleep. But healthcare isn't the only profession where people have to be there all the time, and we all have the same 10 thoughts throughout the night.
1. "This isn't so ba- WHY DID YOU TURN THE LIGHTS OFF???"
I don't care if you have an empty room -- the second you turn the lights off, it gets creepy as all hell. Especially in a hospital, where all you can see at the end of long hallways is what looks like human beings, and sometimes even scarier, they are human beings who are about to start yelling bloody murder. Also, since usually overnight shifts have less staff, have you ever gone somewhere, in the dark, completely alone, IN THE DARK? No thanks. Buddy system forever.
2. "What was that? Is that a ghost? A demon? An axe murderer? Well, time to fight for my life."
Alternatively, if you're like me, your first thought is "Oh, a ghost/ ax murderer? Well, I guess I lived a good life." Every single sound is creepy and sounds like the end of the world, and the sound of the air turning on which mimics the sound of a human groan? Get me tf out. I have been known to walk around the hallways and into patient rooms with my flashlight because I am not trying to get killed today.
3. "What do you mean, it's only 11?"
But I've been here for at least 11 hours, right?? My shift is almost over??? What do you mean my shift just started???
4. The sound you make when your computer system goes down for "scheduled maintenance"
HOW. AM. I. SUPPOSED. TO. GET. ANYTHING. DONE?????? This is usually followed by near-constant refreshing of the system hoping that you can just sit down for 30 minutes to do your charting so you can continue to chip away at your long af to do list. But no, that would be too easy.
5. "Heh, 3 a.m. You know what they say about 3 a.m. Witching hour."
Okay, so maybe witching hour doesn't involve a real witch, but witching hour is REAL in hospitals and nursing homes. And every time you joke about it, guaranteed the next hour will be hell on earth for you. Whether it be with creepy noises, or the phone ringing and the other person hanging up when you pick up (happened to me twice when I joked about the witching hour ... no thanks!), definitely leave your Ouija board at home. I definitely don't speak from experience on that one.....
6. "I bet you would feel a lot better if you went to sleep, Mrs. X!"
I know that you don't feel good, but there's only so much I can do before you just need to go to bed. Lord knows I wish I was home in bed, but unfortunately, I'm here, and I can assure you that once you lay down for a little bit, you'll feel better.
7. "Oh my God, stop talking. I wish I was alone."
We all have that one coworker who feels the need to fill the silence with waaaay too much oversharing, usually about their sex life (I prefer to know nothing) or their pets (if you don't have them in your purse, it's just going to make me sad). I always try and keep it short and sweet with "uh huh" and "really?" but at some point, I just wanna scream in their face to shut up for two seconds so I can hear myself think.
8. "Wait no, I take it back. Come back, I'm bored."
You think you want to be alone in the creepy silence, but the second your annoying coworker leaves, you are DESPERATE for the sound of their voice to distract you from (a) how many hours you have left until bedtime, (b) how much work you have to do, and (c) whether or not that figure at the end of the hall is just a piece of furniture or a ghost.
9. "Why do I wanna eat everything in sight? Ooh, that looks good though."
Night shift does weird things to your digestive system and you are hungry all. the. time. I have never walked by a bowl of candy without having at least two, something that I don't do during the daytime. I also seem to think that anytime I'm not actively working, I need to be eating. I gained the freshman 15 just in working the night shift, and it never seems to get better.
10. "Oh, my shift's over? I'm out, enjoy the crazies."
I've given you report, you know what you need to do this shift, and on that note ...... I am out! But seriously, you couldn't pay me enough to stay for another hour after my shift is over. I am so emotionally drained, but more than that, I'm freaking tired!! Get this girl OUT!!
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