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The Nocturnal Journal Return…al

December 18, 2012

Some of you may recall that around this time last year I tried to write a series of posts about my brief stint on the midnight shift at work, but they made me go back to being a Normal Personafter just a week, so the project was a bit of a bust. Well not this time.

This time, I’ve been on the third shift for a couple of months, which makes me a 100% certified nocturnal free-range organic human. As such, I thought I’d bring back the ol’ Nocturnal Journals format to offer a few observations about life as a creature of the night.

1. People actually do shop at all hours of the day. We’ll seriously get people wandering around the store looking for who knows what at 3 AM and it baffles me. What could possess a person to wake up, look at their clock, and say to themselves “I need a box of things because of reasons and it absolutely cannot wait“? Then I remember that I’m probably not the only one who routinely stays up and about at these hours and it starts to make a little more sense. Except for that guy who rolled by with nothing but a couple of enemas in his cart at 4 in the morning. That one will never make sense, and something tells me that’s for the best.

2. The floor-cleaning crew has it out for me. I never really thought about how the floors in a 24-hour store manage to stay clean, but now I know: there’s a massive team of guys with crazy machines who take care of it in the wee hours. Also, they are a devious lot with a penchant for chaos. I’ll be out taking inventory while they run the buffer over the floor, and no matter how hard I try to avoid them I always, always wind up barely escaping a severe buffing at least once per shift. They have no discernible pattern, they just go tearing around the department like demoniac bumper cars, turning on a dime and drowning out all other sounds with their whirring. On the plus side, my reflexes have improved since I started working alongside them.

3. Being nocturnal doesn’t really change your life that much. I was honestly expecting this to be a huge paradigm shift for me, but it turns out that if you work while everyone else is asleep and sleep while everyone else is busy working, the parts of your life that intersect with friends and family remain essentially untouched. I’ve actually found myself spending more time hanging out with the people I love since I switched to the nightlife than I did before, which is a nice surprise. Turns out that if something’s important to you, you can always find time to make it happen.

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