Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Settling Into The Day Shift

I’m loving my new job. It’s just that simple. Each day I work I learn more about my job and how best to do it. I like the sense of challenge and/or accomplishment I’m feeling almost all the time now. We’re only a c ouple weeks in, but so far, so good.

Being awake during the day all the time now means being asleep at night all the time now. It’s really an adjustment for me. I’m naturally more of a night person to begin with. If you consider that I’ve been on night shift for the last 18 months and was unemployed for 12 months before that, you can see how I’ve had a lot of time to embrace my natural state.

Then suddenly, I’ve got to be in bed by 9 at the latest. It’s laughable to think that’s still my goal bedtime. I don’t think I’ve accomplished it more than once. If I work two days in a row, I’m not even home until after 8:30 PM, and that’s not even enough time to brush my teeth and pick out my clothes for the next day. But of course, I’m usually not home. There’s always a family gathering, or the husband has a gig, or there’s an episode of a favorite show that I simply have to watch on a specific night (while I retouch my nails). And once I’ve fulfilled my duties as a well-groomed daughter/wife/TV junkie, I can go to bed in peace knowing 1-3 less hours of sleep won’t be that bad.

And that is why I’ve downed at least 20 cups of coffee since I got the promotion. I love the way coffee tastes, but I’ve never been a coffee drinker out of necessity. You will do some strange things in the name of being good at your job. For instance, while shopping at Target, for a baby shower gift on my lunch break, I downed a caramel brulee latte in less than five minutes. I didn’t even let it cool down. I was just so tired, I needed to mainline the caffeine and get back on top. I wonder if this is how habits start. I haven’t had any coffee since that day earlier this week. But then again, I haven’t been that tired either. How long before a need turns into a want?

Nobody can make something as simple as a cup of coffee dramatic like I can, huh?

I really do have a good reason for needing all the coffee though. Her name is Jazz, and she’s an asshole.

The adorable cat that lives in my house, making all new visitors fall in love with her is a jerk to the tallest degree. Both cats are, really, but the baby is even worse. Our cats have learned how to wake the husband and I up when they want to. It usually involes sitting on your back/chest/side. That way, their weight slowly crushes your ribcage and you have to wake up from the lack of comfort and reduction in oxygen. They also will reach from a distance that’s just far enough away for their arm length and scratch us. Not a mean or sharp scratch, just an insistent scratching like you’d do if you had an itch on your nose that won’t go away.

Five straight minutes of either of those things, and trust me, you are awake. Belle, our older cat usually reserves her jerkiness for the husband. If she wants to be by me while I’m asleep, that usually just means snuggling up next to me and making judgy eyes at the husband or Jazz when they dare disturb us. Oh but Jazz, as I said, is an asshole.

She’s on my old night schedule. I understand that a couple weeks is not enough time for a young cat to act like she has sense. But it is too much to ask to leave me alone if it’s clear I’m sleep and not getting up? If it’s daytime and she wakes me and I don’t want to be bothered, she finds something else to do with her time. But if it’s night, namely 12:30 AM, it’s a no holds barred wake-your-ass-up-and-play-with-me fest. My first three days at work involed being awake at 12:30 AM on the dot with a cat sitting on my chest pawing my face.

The next week, she would sit next to me and get a claw stuck in my hair. When I batted her away and rolled to the other side, she walk around and start messing with my nose, arm, shoulder, or whatever she could reach that wasn’t covered by blanket. It was horrible. I was in deep sleep at this point. Each night she woke me, I was surprised to find I’d only been sleep for a short time. Then I got to try and go back to sleep, but of course my sleep was never as good the second go round.

It hasn’t gotten any better yet, but I’m expecting it will eventually. Jazz is the more stubborn of the two cats, but she likes love too much to keep doing things that get her kicked out of the bed.

Why don’t I just close the door? Yes, I heard you asking all the way through your e-mail or Google reader or however you read this blog. I can’t do that, it isn’t an option. The cats have free reign of the house. This means if a door is closed, they try relentlessly to open it. And while a cat scratching my arm for 2 minutes is bad, a cat scratching at a closed bedroom door for 20 minutes every hour on the hour is far worse.

So for now I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping the cats adjust to my new day schedule. Because otherwise I’ll end up hooked on coffee, shaking and jittery waiting on my next caffeine hit. And I’m pretty sure that will affect my job performance. I don’t want that because I like my job.

2 responses

  1. silverneurotic

    I could handle a job working during the day…as long as I could get up 6-7 in the morning, anything earlier than that, and I would not like it.

    November 18, 2012 at 18:55

    • It’s not easy getting used to it. The fact that I have an annoying cat who like to purr loudly directly into my face the second my alarm goes off helps.

      November 26, 2012 at 23:50