Hi, I’m an Owl. Not a real one but that’s a name with which my mom used to call me before. I always used to sleep in the morning after the sun rises and was awake the whole night. This used to happen every day… After which I was used to it. But my parents used to scold me for this. I never woke up on time for my primary school and missed the classes almost 50% of the time.

When I was in my higher secondary where the classes used to start at 6 AM. I felt like – why is the timing soooo bad. I used to hate school logic and obviously I was not good in studies. This was one of the reasons for me not being able to concentrate on studies. However, with the fear of getting beaten up by my father – I used to pass my exams somehow.

The only thing which I had learned from my school was how to speak in English. Being from a Hindi medium school (where English was a second language) – I was always the first one to give speeches and lectures on any topic which has to be delivered in English.

After clearing Higher secondary – I somehow managed to clear 1st year of my college examinations with the help of my tuition teacher. That was the last time when I was able to actually clear an examination. Because after a year in college my family’s financial conditions were not going good so I thought to join an organization/company. You can call it a job in the call center. I cleared all the rounds with confidence as I was good in English.

We have night shifts and rotational offs. Two weeks off in a week will be available to me. During that time I agreed to everything because of the necessity of money.

Moreover, I always liked to be awake at night.

Now it has been more than 2 years. No social life. My friends are not happy with me – somewhere or the other – because I don’t get time to meet them even on national holidays. Because an international call center will never give you an off on Indian holidays. I can’t explain this to them.

All about night shifts 2

Secondly, you will not be in touch with your family members as well. Because when you sleep – they work. And when they work – you sleep. The only person with whom you’ll be in touch with is your mom – if she is a homemaker. If she works outside as a teacher or in any other field then you might not even meet her. You have to wake up yourself, get ready, pack your tiffin, feed yourself, make sure you lock the door properly and the most important thing I cannot lose my door key anywhere, anytime.

And in case if you work away from home like in a different city then it’s tougher. Because to handle yourself alone is the toughest job ever.

Coming back to night shift and rotational offs. Can anyone please let me know what am I supposed to do in my week offs?

Because doing a night shift your body will automatically tell you what is my time to sleep and when do I have to wake up irrespective of whether it is a sun out in the sky or if it is a moon.

So if I wake up daily around 4 pm – on a week off I will prefer to sleep an hour more. So I wake up at 5 pm. When I wake up – I see no one at my house. Just me!!! All alone in a 3 BHK (Bathroom, Hall, Kitchen). Mom and dad both are out for their respective jobs. My elder brother lives in Mumbai. So the only being I can speak to is my dog- my Sheru. At that point in time the child hidden in me will come out and I will start to speak with him randomly. He will just sit there and listen to me as if he understands everything. Its winter season, you have a live cricket match on TV – so I skip my bath and will turn on the TV. Already an innings is over. So I will be able to watch only half of the match left. Okay. No problem. I’m used to this as well.

I brushed my teeth, made a tea for myself and relaxing on my sofa in my hall, watching the cricket match with my sheru beside. What else can I ask for!!! Amazing. Isn’t it?

It’s 9 pm now. Mother is back home. Father will be home by 10. The match is over. India won the match by 9 wickets. Its time to speak with my mom. She says how her day had been at work. While cooking the dinner she also explains how all the politics are going on in her office and how she is just trying hard to be promoted for 3 years now.

It’s 10:30 now. Food is prepared. Father is back home with an ice cream cube in his hand. He knew that I had off today so we’ll have ice cream after the dinner and enjoy.

We spoke about our lifestyle and had our dinner, followed by the ice cream. And everyone went to sleep around 1 am.

Nice? Right.

You forgot – I do the night shift and this was my first proper meal of the day. I will eat two times more. So that means I have to somehow manage with Maggi (Instant noodles) and bread butter so that I can spend my night healthy without hunger.

Now the time is 1:30 am. Scrolling through Facebook feed and reacting on memes – I was tired. Because this is the same thing which I do every week off, every week, months on months and its been 2 years now.

Turned on Prime – just to find there’s nothing new in there. I have watched almost everything available there and the same as Netflix. Turned on my music and then tried just to relax… nothing else. Just simply lying on my bed, with sheru beside.

All about night shifts 3

It’s 2:30 am now. I’m feeling hungry once more. Prepared a Maggi for me. While preparing I just need to make sure that I don’t make much noise otherwise my parents will be disturbed. I don’t want that to happen because they will again go back to work tomorrow morning when I’ll be sleeping. Oh sorry, this morning. It has already passed 12 and the date has changed. This is also one of the problems with night shifts. In our mind – the date never changes unless you are awake from sleep.

Its 3:00 AM now. I have no clue what else I need to do at this very moment. The next three hours will be super boring. I don’t have anything to do. Tried to play some online games. Starting from PUBG MOBILE  to CALL OF DUTY, from CLASH ROYALE to CANDY CRUSH. Everything just felt the same because I have been doing all these things every week off for 2 years now.

All my school and college friends are already not very happy with me. I can’t text them right now. Even if I do – the reply which I will get will be a few hours later when they wake up in the morning. My colleagues who work with me. Most of them are drunk and out. I don’t drink as well so that’s a disadvantage. Otherwise, I would also know what does it actually feel like when a drunk person says “I’M OUT BRO” or I’M HIGH BRO”

What do they really mean? Are they playing a cricket match – where they got out by a bowler?

Let it be. I will not make fun of myself here.

It’s just that I don’t drink and don’t want to.

It’s 5 am now and I’m again hungry and I’m not in a mood to have bread butter at this moment. The sun is rising out and sleep is coming slowly. I need to have something and then sleep. Let me check in the fridge once.

All about night shifts 4

Oh! I can see the same ice cream which I had after dinner. It’s still there. I took that out and had enough of it so that I don’t feel hungry once again.

I slept at 6:00 AM and woke up at 3:30 PM, got ready, prepared food for myself and quickly left home for my office which starts at 5 pm and is at an hour’s distance from my home.

I finished my work in the office and came back home from the office cab at 5:30 AM. I see people already out for a morning walk wearing a jogger, sport shoe and a casual t-shirt whereas I am coming back home in proper Formals with an I card on my neck and half sleepy because it has been a restless day at the office. Everyone looking at me like an alien just visited a different globe. Let it be. I went back home, entered my building, opened the gate with the extra key which I have and after eating the dinner which was kept for me by my mom. I slept around 6:30 am.

That’s how night shift people work. It’s not at all easy to get used to so many things. You have to sacrifice your social life and social gatherings totally. You will get leaves if you have some pre-plans for going out of the city. But make sure that you are fit enough, keep yourself healthy, don’t be demotivated. Just keep on doing your work till the time you are okay to move on with something else.

By the way, my mom still calls me an owl. Take care and goodbye.

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