The Grind

July 9, 2009

At work we do self-scheduling. Every month there is a calendar posted in the break room and we are supposed to fill out what we WANT our schedule to be for the next month by a certain date. Then our boss will take and finalize it, usually giving us what we want but not always. I have had the same schedule since I started working here, which looks something like this (repeating every two weeks):

(OMG I could never be a graphic designer. It took me entirely too long to create this image and it made me want to throw my computer across the room.)

Well last month I forgot to fill out the self-schedule calendar, so my boss did it for me. She made one little shift: I am now off every other Friday instead of every other Thursday. This may not seem like a big deal, but my body is telling me that it is. “What are we doing at work today?” it’s saying. “Shouldn’t we be at home, cleaning the house like we do every Thursday?” I know I don’t always give my body a huge break on my days off, but at least I do let it sleep a few extra hours (till 7:30 a.m.! Such indulgence!) It’s just the difference of one measly day, but for some reason it feels like for-ev-er.

Most nurses do 12-hour shifts, and only have to work three days a week. I thought that I would hate such a long shift (I did them during nursing school), so when I was hired onto the only remaining unit in the entire hospital that actually offered 8-hour shifts I was relieved. And, I must say, it IS nice to leave at 3 p.m. (who am I kidding…3:30 p.m. at the earliest) every day, saying goodbye to those suckers working the long hours.

But the downside is that I have to come to work five days a week. And since I live over an hour away, it has started to wear me out. Many days David beats me home, which is depressing when you think about how he wakes up three hours later than I do and works approximately the same amount of hours. The thought of four blissful days off each week sounds like heaven to me now. I don’t care that the other three days I’ll have no time to do anything but work, eat, and go to sleep. It’s really hard to only have two days off in a row every two weeks.

I’ve been thinking more and more about requesting to change over to 12-hour shifts, but I’m afraid to rock the boat. The compromise I’ve made with myself, internally, is that I’ll ask to switch whenever I get pregnant (which I’m not, FYI). That way I’ll have a good reason to ask for it.

Hmm. When I started writing this post I didn’t intend for it to turn into a manifesto on the scheduling woes of nurses. But that’s how things go sometimes, and if I bored you then just wait till tomorrow…it’s my day off which is always super exciting. :)

Anyone else have crazy work schedules?

Posted in: personal

Comments on The Grind

  1. 1

    From Christine:

    Wow, those are some crazy hours. I guess I’m lucky as I do the semi-regular 7:30 -4:45 Monday to Friday. What would you need to do to switch to the 12 hours shifts?

  2. 2

    From kapachino:

    I would just have to approach my director and tell her that I really, really want to switch and that I’m serious about it. I’ve offered to switch before if it would make scheduling easier on her, but she told me that she would rather keep it the way it is unless I really want to change. She’s pretty accommodating though, so I’m almost positive she’d let me.

  3. 3

    From Julienne:

    YES! But I think you already knew that. I work from 6:30am – 7:00 pm Monday to Thursday and then 6:30am until noon on Fridays. That schedule usually runs from May until October and for the rest of the year I work 7:30 am until 5:30 and noon on Fridays still. And I work away from home so that means I spend my weekends cleaning my house, getting groceries, doing laundry and preparing for the next week away.

    It’s pure insanity but in this industry you work when you can. BUT I am feeling completely burnt out and cannot wait for the fall so I can have a little more time to myself!

    Sorry, that one was a little self-indulgent!

  4. 4

    From kapachino:

    I was thinking of you when I wrote about my crazy hours. I’m still in awe at how much you have to work. I really hope you like what you do! Do you actually work away from home in that you sleep in a completely different place during the week? Or is it just like in a different town so you have a long commute?

  5. 5

    From Krista:

    I’m glad I don’t have to work weekends but I wouldn’t mind working 7-3 so I could have some time after work to run errands and doctor’s appointments. My schedule varries a little depending on the day (Mondays & Fridays I work 8-4, Tues & Wed 9-5, and Thursdays 10:30-6:30.

  6. 6

    From Krista:

    I’m glad I don’t have to work weekends but I wouldn’t mind working 7-3 so I could have some time after work to run errands and doctor’s appointments. My mom is a nurse but she has worked in surgery for as long as I remember so she usually works 6am to 2pm because she has to be there so early for the OR prep.

  7. 7

    From Kathleen:

    7-3 sounds nice, but unfortunately the long commute kid of negates the extra time I would get from it. Oh well!

  8. 8

    From Scott:

    Technically you don’t know when I’m reading this, so in all reality you could be pregnant by now. Just saying.

  9. 9

    From kapachino:

    Umm is it TMI to say that I positively know I’m not?

  10. 10

    From kaitlyn:

    Ah, yes. Scheduling woes. Hopefully it is just another month until you can write in your schedule! It is nice that you can write it in– my boss has a “suck it up and work what I give you” policy, which includes not just days but shifts (I can work 9-5 one day and 2-10 the next).

    P.S. You keep getting lost in my reader. Then you comment and I’m like “Where have her posts been, Reader?”. So you’re added again, and I’ve missed reading! :)

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