December 1st, 2009

bundled up, walkabout, snow

LJ Idol Season 6 - Week 6 - Sunrise

Since 2003, I've worked at night. Oh, for the first few weeks, I trained during the day. The idea was that I could be available for any school-based activities for the boys, drive them home from school in the afternoons, cook dinner, and help with homework, before leaving for work. When I first started working, there were three or four of us on the night shift. It started at 5:30, and that got me home at a late, but reasonable hour.

As time wore on, our numbers on the night shift wore down. Eventually, I was the only one working night shift, and I could choose my hours. The first consistent change was deciding not to come in before 6:30, so I could wait for the contra-flow lanes to change back before I drove against the normal flow. More and more often, I gathered things to do in the evenings, and I simply came in later on those nights. It got to be pretty common for me to start work at 9 or 10, and not get home until after 1 or 2.

When I first started working, my husband and I were pretty distant from each other. His only concerns about my hours related to whether I was getting enough sleep, was it healthy for me, etc. We didn't really talk about how much time apart this was creating; I think we had just come to a point where we didn't try to spend time together. I also missed out on family time. I've gotten used to the idea of seeing movies months later on the satellite than my family watched them in the theatre.

My hours at work have not merely varied in time of day, but also in quantity. There have been times where I had enough work to fill as many hours as I would give, four days a week. Lately, I've had weeks on end with no call to come in to work at all.

Last year, Flar and I really started working on putting our marriage back on track. We attended a marriage class together. We've had hard times, and lately, we've been getting closer again. Somewhere along the way, Flar asked me to find a day job. The weeks I didn't work, he was seeing what it would be like to spend time together in the evenings, to go to bed at the same time as each other. We were discovering how important the Just Together Not Doing Anything Special time was to us.

So I started my job search. I asked at my current job if there might be daytime hours available - the answer at the time was no. I wrote up a resume and started putting it out to job sites. Since then, I'm still working on-call at night. Things are changing, and I might be able to get regular daytime hours at this job. I've interviewed with three staffing agencies, and I went to a job fair at ACS. ACS told me to return after Christmas vacation, since we're traveling for 10 days this year. One of the staffing agencies has a client who's interested in me, so I might have another interview coming up next week. In the meantime, overnight - my work schedule this week went from "we won't need you this week" to "can you work during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday?"

It looks like it won't be long before I'm greeting an old acquaintance on a regular basis: the sunrise.


This entry was written for inclusion in The Real LJ Idol writing competition on Live Journal, Topic 6: Sunrise.