Sunday, May 30, 2010

Graveyard Shift 101: Relationship

I spent my Saturday with my family half asleep. I got home at 5 am and had a quick 2 hour nap before packing my things and headed for the Antipolo resort. I spent most of the time awake until I had my second nap at 3 pm. I woke up at 7 pm for dinner. It has been a silent rule that if I'm on graveyard shift I should be the one to initiate phone calls because of Mitch's fear that he might call me while I'm trying to catch up on sleep. So last night I called and talked to Mitch on the phone before sleep took over. I woke up Sunday morning at 8 am with a buffet breakfast waiting. I called up Mitch again for our morning talk; and I guess I have right here a premonition of my weekends.

I did graveyard shifts before, in fact I did all the unimaginable shifts. I did the 4 pm - 1 am, 9 pm to 6 am and 2 am to 11 am. I practically experienced all different time zones and adjusted to different activities whenever the sun's up. My body proved to be resilient and I'm not the one to cry over a lack of social life, which isn't my priority. I remember how some people kiss their social lives goodbye when they were assigned the graveyard shift. Single ladies even pray harder. Weird as it may seem, I met my boyfriend during my 2 am - 11 am shift conveniently in front of my house. We had a consistent courtship, him adjusting to my time of course, and we have been together ever since. I guess I am the one to say not to worry because social life happens where and when you make it. I met my boyfriend while I was working in an ungodly hour though certain sacrifices would have to be made to see it through. And a dash of luck really helps a lot.

I have friends who work in the call center industry covering various shifts. I know a couple, who works for different call center companies, who has to make insane sacrifices to make things work. Their off-days or "weekends" are different. When the girl has work, the guy is off. Most of the times the guy follows the same schedule of her girlfriend even on his off days so that he could pick her up from work and spend time together. In some days one of them files for a vacation leave to spend the whole day together. In drastic cases, one manages to only acquire 2 hours of sleep just to have quality time. Graveyard shift entails a lot of work in relationships, but if there's trust and a will to spend time, then I think this is workable. Only weak couple deteriorities in this set-up.

I know a married couple who prefers to have conflicting shifts to manage their household and kids 24/7. They could always spend quality time even for just a few minutes and it's healthy in their relationship to miss each other. I know someone who just had to stay strong with the changes in his partner's career and he learned to adjust.

I should know. I've subjected my boyfriend to my career changes and various shifts. I always give priority to my career and most of the times I don't think of how it would affect him. But that's why we're still together, he lets me go for my dream. He prefers for me to follow the normal shift so we could spend time together, in the ideal world, I wouldn't have it any other way. But we both know that opportunities come in different forms and in different times. We're young and we could still make that choice to sacrifice. I'm happy he understands and we're mature enough to miss each other, but not be dramatic about it. We make sacrifices and there are days that we have just have to let each other recuperate on our own. I'm thankful that he knows how important these changes are to me and he doesn't bitch around. I am indeed a lucky girl.

So for those singles in graveyard shift, there is still hope. There's always a possibility to meet someone and have an enjoyable social life. In fact, it's really a blessing if you would meet someone who also experiences the same shift changes you have. They are bound to understand and not contribute to the stress. Anyways, you should always know the circumstances of finally quitting and when to finally give up. For those in relationships, most definitely you could make it work. It's not always physical love that makes everything go round. One has to make sacrifices and there is a reason why you love each other come what may. Just like in the first set-up, the choice is really up to you.

Nurturing relationships, managing relationships and finding relationships are all possible in graveyard shifts. Don't let them say otherwise.

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