a new lifestyle – graveyard


matthewcarden.com

Someone once told me that working third shift shortens your life by some kind of a percentage I didn’t bother to remember. Any studies or figures that say such and such would shorten your life, like smoking, not exercising, or robbing banks, I always take with a grain of salt because there are too many variables… like getting hit by a bus or eaten by a Cloverfield monster. Has Hollywood taught us nothing about the frailty of life?

I wondered why they called third shift the “graveyard shift” …but I just assumed back in olden times, that’s when gravediggers would be working. It was one of those professions daytime folks would be revolted to see in the light of day. I then wondered why it wasn’t nicknamed the prostitution shift. But with further musing, I came to the conclusion that even back then, the oldest profession was probably worked day and night. Plus, I’d think more people would rather identify with gravediggers vs hookers.

Anyway, it’s holiday time in America. Which means most citizens are out trying to get the best deals for “necessary” items in their local stores at obscene hours, known as Black Friday… which starts earlier every year. I don’t want to get into that right now. But I gave up what felt like my free time to take a seasonal overnight part time job at a toy store. “It’d be cool to work at a toy store,” I said to myself. And for the most part, it is. I really don’t have a huge issue going back into retail as long as I’m not returning to a super chain that starts with W and ends with T.

But what I forgot about working overnights is how my lifestyle changed with it. I’ve always been a night person, but working third shift makes you an exclusively night person. I love a good sunrise just as much as the next romantic, but it’s not as appreciated when I’m on my way home to bed, tired, sore and missing the rest of daylight hours.

The biggest absence that I’m feeling is losing touch with my family and friends. At least at the other store I worked at, it was open 24/7, so friends could visit if they really wanted. I could also leave on my breaks. At this toy store, I can’t even go to my car. Times for communication, let alone hanging out, are limited. I made it work before, but it was a bit of a struggle. And I often sacrificed sleep just to maintain something of a social life. And prepping for the biggest shopping day of the year really drains a person out. So if you do manage to have time to spend with loved ones, you’re too tired to enjoy it.

But I don’t want to sound like I’m ungrateful. I’m happy to be earning a regular paycheck again. And while I go home aching, I like the physical labor. I also like interacting with other people. I missed those things when I had my work-from-home office job.

I miss that office job too, lately. Mostly the paycheck.

I told my mother about these concerns, and she told me that more than likely the Lord is probably showing me something that’ll make sense later. An appreciation thing, perhaps? Luke 16:10 comes to mind as I ponder her insights.

Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot, and whoever is dishonest with a little is dishonest with a lot.

While I may grumble about missing out on what might fall under “luxuries”, I’m thankful to be working and you can rest assured, I give my 105% best 95% of the time I’m there. I’m also very thankful for Mom, Dad, Middiree, Damon, my church fam, Barry, Chris, Kathy, Dominica, Michelle, Magdalena, Felicia, Greg, Keisha, Jenni, Ariel, Shakera, my Lost Dial crew Mike and Wendy and several others (I apologize if I didn’t name you, I couldn’t possibly name everyone because I know I’ll leave someone out). Thank you and I thank God for you. I’m not thrilled to be working into Thanksgiving and then again later on Thanksgiving, but I have to do what I have to do. And I know there’s something better out there for me. Soon. I can’t keep doing this for long though, because I’ll surely end up in a graveyard.

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Posted in life update, the mart

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