How about picking up the phone at the first ring - at 2 am in the morning? Even though it isn't an interesting proposition, there are moments of time when you need to do it.
A zombie me has done this the very thing on an occasional night or so, for the last many years. Courtesy - work. And there have been nights when such early early morning calls have been frequent. These are the moments when you realize the value of sleep.
|On the Phone in the Night|
Although I sympathized with myself for this situation, my heart went out to my friends and colleagues who made that call. They are the real heroes. I was just a spoke in the wheel.
Whilst I lost a couple of hours of precious sleep, I admire them for doing The Graveyard Shift.
What exactly is The Graveyard Shift? Well, it's the work which you do in the night - usually after 11 P.M. It is a.k.a. the Night Shift.
|I am Working Late through the Night|
Think about the watchman who works in the night shift. The nights are dark, lonely and cold. The empty roads are stalked by howling dogs. Yet, he goes about his work, doing the rounds and providing security to the people as they enjoy their sleep peacefully.
|Unable to Carpe Diem|
And as you get the few hours of sleep before the long day at work tomorrow (sorry, it's today), she manages you to give the wake up call at quarter to seven in the morning. You wonder, did she sleep at all though the night?
How about the pilots and their team? Usually, they have to do the graveyard shift. Flying a super jumbo is a difficult task in itself. How about getting the jumbo to lift off in the middle of the night, making a roaring sound as the world sleeps?
|The Dreaded Night Shift|
Have a thought for the people who have to clock hours through the night, day in day out, as part of their job. The human mind is designed to sleep through the night. Yet, these people are supremely alert in the work.
The business process outsourcing industry has made the world glocal. As a result, you have people in India responding to phone calls from America. When America is awake, India is asleep. Yet these people keep the American engines chugging, sacrificing their precious sleep, all in the name of a job, to earn a living.
|The Graveyard Shift|
And just yesterday, I slept off on my computer at 3 in the morning. No, I was not working, but talking to a friend. Incidentally, she told me that she was full of energy - even though the clock read 3. :-).
Recently, a friend of mine asked a doctor as to what she was doing awake at 1 in the night. She indicated that a call from the hospital was the reason, and she had to stay awake for another call which was expected soon. She said that it was common. Hats off to her, for putting her duty ahead of herself.
It's not only about staying awake here. Some of the work done during the graveyard shift have an added important responsibility of taking decisions. And taking decisions is difficult to say the least, since such decisions would influence subsequent actions. And it can be as serious as a matter of life and death.
Who is your best friend on such night shifts? Well, it is a cup of coffee. Or a friend or colleague with whom you can talk to through the night. Or sleep herself.
|Coffee - Best Friend in the Night Shift|
If I have recollect a few places where I would have caught a nap while working in the night, I can come up with an interesting collection. For some nights, it has been a 4 ft shelf. Om other nights, three lined up chairs have been my bed. Sometimes, even two chairs.
|Sleeping in Office|
The examples I have quoted would not be enough glorify the people who burn their midnight candles for the benefit of the few. As the world takes a nap, they are full of energy, doing their tasks.
Robert Frost's lines would echo their sentiments in the best manner.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And for anyone who has worked through the night, the advertisement would reflect your thoughts and feelings.
P.S. After every dark night, there is a sunrise. Maybe it is this thoughts which pulls the people through the Graveyard Shift.
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