Today is my last weekday morning that is an off day from work.
I first woke up around 5:15 and, recalling that it is an off day, happily drifted back to sleep in the warmth of the bed.
If there is a greater pleasure common to the human experience it would need a 12 step program.
A little before 7Am I awake again and I snuggle up close to my wife. Burrowing my face into the curls of her hair, I take in her scent deeply and slowly.
She turns on the radio in time for
"The World News Roundup". I tickle her back tightly with a light slow touch of my fingertips. Her skin is soft and warm.
Malcolm is standing up in his dog crate, ready to start his day. Teague is burrowed all the way in the back of hers, sooo not a morning dog.
After a bit, I let them out of their crates and give them whole body scratches before I let Teague jump into the bed. I help Malcolm up into bed too. I pull the covers over them and let them snurffle and tussle under the sheets.
I get myself dressed and put on a pot of coffee. I go outside with the dogs. It is cold this morning. Again. The ground has frozen. Again. After chasing the dogs about for a bit, we go inside and find Virginia preparing her lunch for the day. I fill the dog's bowls make them take their pills.
I make myself a bowl of cereal (become someone ate the cinnamon roll that I was saving) and an espresso and settle in to watch the season finale of Shameless on the DVR before Virginia has to go to work.
All this is what I am going to miss most when I return to an eight hour, MON-FRI work schedule starting tomorrow.
For the past year I have been on a twelve hour, seven day a week, rotating shift at work. In a two week period my schedule looked something like this:
|| SUN |
|| work |
|| off |
I am an industrial controls technician. I work in a hand cream tube factory.
It takes a lot of high speed automation to make hand tubes. The next time you look at a tube of goop from the sundries aisle of Walgreens and notice that the flip top is aligned with the artwork, know this my fresh faced friend: that feature is a pain in the ass to repeat a hundred and twenty times a minute. And do you care? Someone corporate twit cares, but as a consumer, I don't.
Last year my company was awarded a large multi-year contract with Bazillion-Dollar-Pharmaceutical-Corporation. One of the stipulations in the contract was that my company invest seventeen million dollars into new equipment and to pass some of the cost savings to BDPcorp. This is how manufacturing works in the majors.
Pervious to that installation of the new machinery, we had to go onto a continuously running 24-7 operation to keep up with the orders.
The twelve hour shifts were usefull in some ways. Last summer, on the weekdays that I had off, I was able to spend ample time in the garden. Last summer was the first year that I was able to really keep the weeds down to a high level of satisfaction. I took lunch to my wife and hung out with her at her shop for her lunch break. I took the dogs for long walks.
But when winter set in, I felt house bound and restless for most of the day. As I wrote in this daylog already, I overindulged in my love for sleeping in, and suffered from insomnia for this indulgence. Having to work for twelve hours after sleeping for less than six hours makes for a looong day!
At the end of these long twelve hour days, when most of the salaried management had gone off to their families and their dinners, I would hang out at the tech desk computer if there were no maintenance calls to attend to.
One evening last summer, I discovered E2, while searching for information about a Bhagavan Das autobiography. I lurked on the sight for some time before joining on to make a record of a service trip that I made working for my previous employer.
Much of my idle time during this time I spent on E2.
All things bend and sway to the almighty
Dollar Yuan. United states labor laws require time-and-a-half overtime pay for any hours over forty total hours worked within a week . Working four shifts, seven days a week means that half of the people make eight hours worth of time and a half each week. For all you bean counters out there, THIS, reduces the bottom line.
And so tomorrow I shall return to an eight hour work shift, five days a week.
I will now be able to live like a normal human being.
I will work from 7AM to 3PM.
I might actually get more weekends off, (but I doubt it.)
I will come home and help my wife cook dinner and sit down to eat with her on a regular basis
After dinner, I will then be able to walk my dogs every evening if the weather is nice or tend to my garden, or rehearse with my band or any thing that I cannot do when I get home at Eight and have to be in bed within an hour.
But now I am going back to a traditional schedule and I am glad for it. I never felt like that I was really here at work and at the same time, I never really felt like I was gaining any real time when I was off. I felt like I was just "holding my place" if that makes any sense.
Tomorrow I start my new schedule. But today I will enjoy one last work week day off! The air is bracingly chilling but the sun is shining!
Postscript: Since writing this daylog, my factory worked M-F for about 15 months and then returned to a 24/7 operation for about two years. Somehow, I stayed on an 8 hour schedule, even though I worked every Sunday in return for Tuesdays off. I actually enjoyed this schedule very much. It was very nice not to have to work not more than three days in a row while still going home at 3PM AND having every Saturday off. The best of both worlds
. Eventually, productivity outstripped sales and we returned to a M-F operation. For the time being.
republished at request July 29, 2014