[Note : sorry for the long title, and sincerest condolences to the family of Mimi and Jarvis Laurilla, your Tatay looks over you fondly and with love! ]
AS ALWAYS, I tip-tap the words almost as they come out of this addled and burned-out brain, with as little filtering as possible, it is a GP-blog after all. To be as candid and as real as it gets is the raison d’etre for filling the blanks in this blog service, as important as recording things for my personal posterity and the therapy it affords Your Loyal Blogger. (By the way, if ever you’re taken by the aesthetics and workings of this blog site, 99% of it is possible thanks to the WordPress creators, admins and staff, woohoohoo; I’m only responsible for the frail content, and everything’s for free, too, perfect for the Pinoy/Asian in those wanting to start their own blogs, it’s never too late! )
But I just want to tell you how tired I was after nearly two weeks of mostly 12-hour shifts, something I hadn’t experienced as far as I can remember five-plus years as a New Zealand worker. Before anything else, it was the first time since forever that there was no down time almost throughout the shift. Now, anyone who’s worked in a job knows that there are busy times and there are down times, no matter where or what you do.
Because there was extra volume coming out of the machines (they’re called dust-collectors) getting rid of the waste product that naturally gets extracted from the raw material, I had to transport the bins containing them to a receiving area some 50 meters away, roughly once every half-hour. Multiply this by the number of hours in the shift, and you get the idea.
But that’s not all. More tests, more checks, more adjustments to the water (an essential part of the substance before it’s transformed into the final usable commodity ), more cleaning, and just about more of everything that we usually do. And over a longer period of time.
In addition, SuperBisor who I actually prefer working with over any other shift boss, was climbing up the corporate ladder and was now attending site meetings and production meetings, for only a few minutes at a time of course. His level of vigilance would not allow the factory to go unmonitored even for a few minutes, so it was up to me to step up and pinch-hit for him, even though he was only meters away from the machinery.
I knew the intensity of the cold, springtime shifts were getting to me, because in usual hectic days, all I would need to stay alert and keep up with the pace was a glass of water to hydrate and grease my tubes. It really does wonders to your system when you drink an extra glass of water whenever and wherever, I thought it was an internet fad, but it’s not.
The water was still helping, but only for a while. A second trick I’m used to doing when my batteries are flat is getting a coffee/sugar rush, which is common sense for anyone at work. Again, the rush was there, but it was a big letdown when it wore off, almost counterproductive.
Working a full revolution of the short hand round the clock (7 am – 7 pm) is OK when you’re a desk jockey, you can pace yourself, do stretches and take reasonable breaks. It’s not quite the same when the factory is four levels, you go up and down the stairs roughly twice an hour, you go around machinery every now and then just to make sure there are no chokes and blockages, you measure 30-ton bins to update production boards, and generally combine the functions and activities of a cleaning person, security watchman, quality assurance person and amateur troubleshooter for the better part of 720 minutes, nearly every second of all those minutes.
I’m definitely not complaining especially since my boss and department head have both reposed a lot of trust and confidence in my modest ability (or lack of same), and particularly since there are so many unemployed here in New Zealand who would probably kill for an opportunity to prove themselves equal to the tasks required in my job.
It’s just that extra production demands on the site, key personnel on leave or unable to report to work, and long hours being unavoidable, all of us on staff were asked to go the extra mile for the company, who had been doing the same for us in terms of better working conditions, more communication with the bigwigs, and more concern in general for grunts like me.
First proof. Now I can tell you how intense it was for a former white-collar worker like me. First,, towards the end of the shift, my myopia was getting more pronounced, almost like I needed new glasses. I don’t know if this was just eyestrain or the general tiredness I was enduring, but as far as I can tell it never happened before. It was both amusing and scary, and I had to wipe my spectacles to see if anything was wrong with them.
Second proof. Second, the last hour of the last day of my workweek, I was beginning to feel like a zombie that you see in shows like Walking Dead. I was getting light-headed, my limbs were turning to lead, and I just wanted to melt away. Of course I couldn’t, because there were still chores to do, and my shift partner and I still had to turn over the site to our night shift counterparts, who actually had it worse : they were doing everything we were doing, except that instead of 7 am to 7 pm, they were doing it 7 pm to 7 am in the dead of night.
Third proof. And lastly, I got so tired nearly every day of the week that if you can believe it, I didn’t think of sex for at least 48 hours! This indisputably was a world’s first and a world’s record for me since puberty, and that my friends was how tired I am.
The pic you see above is a small token of appreciation given by SuperBisor for the long hours I’ve done. A lot of the fatigue, including the first and second proofs was dissolved not just by the treat itself but by the appreciation it symbolized.
Something I can’t ignore, and which I hope won’t be a problem next time we do long hours, is of course, the third proof. Man doesn’t live by bread alone, and all that. 🙂
Thanks for the appreciation SuperBisor, and thanks everyone for reading!
- Evolution of a blog (monahoward.com)
- my last shift with rasputin the racist (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Time change like ‘forced jet lag’ (qctimes.com)
- Ten Top Mobile Website Development Agencies in New Zealand Promoted in… (prweb.com)
- 7 Steps To Extraordinary Personal Productivity (ceo.com)
- Do you work night shifts? (jakentblog.wordpress.com)
- y da pinoy & da new zealand boss r good 4 each other (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Using a Blog Site as a Website (dsjonesstudio.wordpress.com)
- Seven Reasons to Keep Blogging (Even When You Feel Like Quitting) (dailyblogtips.com)
- WordPress (abird4.wordpress.com)