Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Doing A Double

I worked a double shift this week--sixteen hours, to be specific. It seems like a long time, and it was. And I certainly felt the effects of it afterward. But the truth is (and any number of One Lifers, and soap folk in general, can back me up on this), I have worked sixteen hour (and longer) shifts before. In the ABC days before budget cuts, I called the long days "Double Louie's," because I would see the night security guard both when I arrived in the early morning and when I left late at night. On the production of the online soaps in Connecticut, the days making the first few episodes simply melted into each other, punctuated only by union-mandated schedule adjustments. In my line of work, sixteen hours may be a lot, but sixteen hour days also happen to happen a lot.

Perhaps I never thought too much about the number of hours way back when (though I must have enjoyed the boost to my paycheck). Now, I find myself with lots of thoughts...

If you work sixteen hours and travel a half hour or more on either end of that time, pretty much the only way to get your recommended daily amount of sleep is to sleep for every minute of the rest of your day.

If you work sixteen hours (and you don't actually sleep the rest of your day), you are left with scant little time to split among the needs of your family members, the needs of your health, and the needs of your household.

On the other hand, if you work sixteen hours (and whether you sleep or not), your household, both organizationally and financially, may be better, as you don't even have time to clutter anything or spend any of the money you are making.

And if you work sixteen hours, you might as well be working sixteen hours (and sleeping the rest), because you won't be of much use to anyone.

If you work sixteen hours, there are precious few moments left to remember what you used to do, or plan what you want to do, or do much more than work sixteen hours.

I worked a double shift this week, and though I am still feeling its effects, I am happy to report that I've still got it in me to do it. With just twenty-four hours in each day, I can't imagine going back into "Double Louie" mode on a regular basis any time soon. But sometimes, in life, you've got to do a double.

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