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Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 1:38 PM

A buddy of mine is considering an engineering position but is hesitant to snap onto the job offer because it's almost entirely 3rd shift. He hasn't told me exactly what those hours are, but I'm presuming they are something similar to 11pm-7am.

Does anyone here work / has worked that shift and can offer some tips or tricks? The guy has a girlfriend and his biggest concern is that he won't be able to balance his personal life with the late night work schedule.

Any experience that I could forward along would be great

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#1

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 3:14 PM

It's all about choices. You have to decide if the opportunity is worth the change in lifestyle. I did a 3-month stint on a 3rd shift last year to support new product launches, and found that to make the transition smoother, take a cat-nap for a couple of hours before you go in. Then when you get home, sleep for another 4-6 hours. If your significant other works 1st shift, you will be asleep for most of the time when they are away, then you can wake up somewhat refreshed to connect for a couple of hours when they get home. It takes about a week to settle into the routine, but you get used to it.

Remember nothing is forever. Take the opportunity to get in the door, and hopefully soon you can transfer back to a day shift.

3rd shift also is typically quieter and less hectic, and you can land on your feet with a new job with less stress. Enjoy the bright side of it!

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#2

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 3:49 PM

Graveyard shift work (midnight to dawn) is not for everyone. It is unusual to have one team work solely graveyard. Here the operations coordinators work on a rotating basis to maintain 24/7 coverage. This rotation can produce a need for a few individuals that "fill in" holes in the shift cycle. I was "volunteered" to work these fill in shifts for one week every month for five years. The shift week would be 4:30 PM to 12:00 AM one month and 11:30 PM to 8:00 AM another month. On days that I worked until dawn I would try to get my sleep from about 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. More often than not I would instead get a nap before and after work.

As for the idea of having a "normal" social life, forget about it. Having a time shift job will result in a time shift social life. Most people that do shift work do it temporarily. This is one of the few jobs that has a naturally high turn over.

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#3

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 5:40 PM

Commute times are bass-ackwards on the late shift. Usually this means less traffic on the way in and out. That's always a plus in my book.

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#4

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 6:05 PM

Third shift is pretty good. You work while everyone sleeps and you sleep while everyone works, then get together. I enjoyed my time working third shift; it was quiet, no stuffed shirt know-it-alls to bother you; you just focus on your work and the time passes real good.

Second shift is the hard one to get used to, especially since you cannot have a personal life on that one.

Unfortunately when I was working shift work we had to rotate so when you became acclimated to one it was time to change.

Third shift would be very good to get your feet wet on.

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#5

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 6:24 PM

I didn't like third shift because my body (and mind) just doesn't work efficiently during those hours, and because resources (especially experienced help) is usually unavailable during those hours. Also, upper managers kept scheduling required-attendance meetings at their own convenience - during regular hours - which made for some long periods without sleep.

Like others have posted, you can get used to it. The bottom line is: is the oppurtunity (experience and potential career growth, not just salary) worth it?

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#6

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 7:00 PM

Great job for loners....

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Guru

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#7

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 10:31 PM

Here goes, I have worked midnights on an off my hole working life. Longest stint was 12 years. What I say to everyone is "it is not for everyone". You are going to miss out on many things in your personal life due to working or sleeping. Now on the plus side. Not many folks to bother you at night. Top Brass likes to sleep.

How do you make transition to nights is something you will have to work on and find what works best for you. I sleep in the evening. I eat breakfast when I get up. I have supper in the morning after I get off, etc. I find it works better for me. Others I know do it like working day turns.

Good Luck

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#8

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/29/2013 10:32 PM

My Other half works shift work and we find her afternoon shifts (3pm-11pm) are probably the most distruptive from a family point of view. She comes home after Ive gone to bed I get up before she wakes and she is at work before I get home. - To minimize distruption to each other we sleep in seperate rooms when she is on afternoon shift.

The night Shifts (11pm -8am) work out ok as she leaves for work when I go to bed and she gets home and sleeps while Im at work and is up by the time I get home. Weekends are a bugger though as she is asleep while I want to do things during the day.

You have to be a bit creative to make time to -- well you know what I mean

The job would want to be worth it. If I was faced with the choice I wouldnt pick it.

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#9

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 12:11 AM

Great way to wreck a marriage, shift work! I did.

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#10

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 12:12 AM

Dear Mr.Mizuti,

It is very difficult to work in night shift or 3rd shift continuously as it against the nature. The Bio-Logical slock and the system takes care of our body if we do not go against it.

The human body - biological conditions will definitely under go severe strain and face problem later, which may not be possible for curing.

DHAYANANDHAN.S

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#11

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 7:58 AM

Many items have been covered already but if you can handle the 3 rd shift ( mind & body) there are advantages. If you are creative you may be able to apply your thoughts without someone claiming it cannot be done. I have suggested to several very bright persons that seemed to be struggling to take the shift position since there is no one for backup and you have to come up with a solution. In each case they became the best in that department. I did not realize my town had traffic problems until I came off the 11-7 am shift. Yes there are advantages and also disadvantages but working alone or semi alone without the prying eyes of whom ever is a major benefit in my opinion. There is also usually a shift bonus to help with the pain.

I accomplished far more on shift work than I ever did on the steady day routine and if there was spare time I was able to study up on areas that I needed or thought I needed. You may also be able to perform some personal projects that build your skills. All in all not perfect but then again what is?

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#12

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 8:51 AM

I've worked third shift quite a bit in past jobs.

The biggest advantage, in my opinion, is being able to get things done with organizations who are only open M-F, 8-5, without having to take time off.

Hooker

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#13

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 9:11 AM

I agree with the notes, even with the seeming contradictory ones.

One point needs further emphasizing. A normal circadian cycle starts at Sunup and finishes at Sundown for good biological reasons. You do not mess with that lightly. The numbers your clock point at do not matter.

Morning is, when really bright light hits your eyes. Evening is light out. Then your melatonin production cranks up, signalling your body organs, that it is time for rest and recovery. You mess with that, and you pay for it later with illnesses.

To avoid that, an absolutely strict routine is required. Good luck with that!

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#14

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 9:24 AM

I have not worked a third for longer than 6 to 12 months.

It helped to have room darkening shades for sleeping in daylight hours.

Depending on where you live and who is at home the daytime noises can be an issue also - I used earplugs and slept like a baby. My wife had to come wake me after a set number of hours or else I just kept sleeping.

My two cents.

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#15

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 10:25 AM

Working when everyone sleeps is a bonus but it punishes your body. As already stated it is not normal. It is handy because you can choose when to sleep giving you the most flexability of all the shifts. Only your buddy can decide if he can sleep during the day. It is also a bit harder on your health. The grave yard is fine for a year or less. After that you need to to be able to get enough sleep to stay healthy. Chronic poor sleep is linked to all sorts of problems.

It can be hard on a marriage. Your neighbors might get suspicious if they do not know you. When I was new in my neighbourhood and working 3rd the neighbors thought I was a drug dealer until someone saw me come home. I was in a uniform and was probably dirty since I am a hands on guy. I usually spent most of my time in the silicon cutting process. That was the bottle neck of our process so all shifts in that department were fully staffed. Cutting silicon is almost as dirty as engine oil exept the dirt is water based not oil based.

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#16

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/30/2013 4:29 PM

Well Mitz, the truth is, everything bad you've heard about working thrid shift is true. I did it for two years and will never, repeat never do it again. I'll deliver pizza before I take a third shift position again. You have no life, you hardly ever see your family. forget going to school activities or games etc. Your love life will be spotty at best and you will lose touch with your friends. Then there are the health issues that will arise unless you are really physically disposed to being up all night.

Yes, most companies offer some sort of third shift bonus / salary adjustment. In my experience it does not make up for everything you loose.

now for a single guy with no life..... its a pretty good deal.

Does that help?

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#17

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/31/2013 1:56 AM

Way back in ancient history (age 19) I worked 11 pm to 7 am with tuesday and wednesdays off. It did throw a hitch into my social life though. I would be at a function with my girlfriend, and I would have to leave at 10 pm to go get ready for work. I trusted my best friend to get my girl home for me. She decided that she liked him better than I, so I got the shaft. They later got married, but it took about 3 yrs for me to get over her.

I would discuss the scenario extensively with the girlfriend and make sure she understands the problems thoroughly before making the commitment.

My ex girlfriend, and ex best friend are still married 46 years later so I guess it worked out for the best.

Bill

My current gal works graveyard also, but being older, and having been together for 15 years, I think we are more flexible than we were back then... but why can't people get sick only between 8 am and 5 pm?

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#18

Re: Third Shift Problems

05/31/2013 3:22 AM

I worked as an engineering inspector on various types of civil eng. jobs and spent a lot of time on 3rd shift to accommodate traffic, both foot and vehicular. Sleeping during daylight was never a problem. It can be rough on your social life if it lasts too long. I retired about 7 years ago and still maintain a 3rd shift existence because my body became adapted to that. It all boils down to what you are comfortable with.

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