Night Shift

With our company always on call
we were rostered on different shifts
though some did only night shifts.

Some of us died young,
under retiring age.
All those who died within
my ten years there had
only worked night shifts
for at least several years.

Doris had a brain tumour
Enid had stomach cancer
May had lung cancer
Alf had a massive heart attack.
Young Jack was medicated
for seizures. He went to
sleep one night for ever.

Relief workers came in
each time staff attended
yet another funeral.

We all knew those who passed away
had spent so long on night shifts
yet no one questioned it.

I do wonder
are our bodies
chewed up turning
day into night
night into day ?

For some do not survive night shift.

Originally posted 13 March 2016.


Night Shift

12 thoughts on “Night Shift

  1. I was a poor fit for night shift. I’d go home in the morning, have beer with breakfast (!) because I couldn’t join my fellow workers during the evening drinking fests. Then I’d try to sleep, which rarely came till just before “normal” time, which was time to get up and go to work.

    On top of it, it was summertime, I was young, and there were too many distractions – going to the lake, riding my 10-speed, taking day trips to interesting places – to consider trying to sleep.

    Until I outlasted enough people to get moved to day shift, I was a walking hazard, tired to the core. Accidents definitely are more likely, too.

    There are people who handle the second and third shifts with no problem, but most people don’t. Health concerns? Yes. You have lower resistance to disease because of the lack of sleep, and it probably can be proved through studies that your anecdotal observations about the danger to life and limb working nights is not your imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

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