Episode 79 – Thursday, July 14th, 2016 (7135)
For two and a half years working in my current job in San Pedro, Laguna, my working schedule has always been at the morning (around 10 o’clock) although there’s no time log, unlike other big companies, to check-in. Well, I’m so satisfied with the schedule which is remained unchanged since my first working day. This is the perfect time working schedule for me, considering as a convenient time (no need to wake up early or travel/commute at high noon getting sweat when arrived at the office).
But some few years ago, I had different working schedule when I was working at Alabang and Mandaluyong. And the most challenging moment for me was working at the night shift. I just remember the old working days (or nights rather) to come at work during at night. Working without the heat weather or sunlight was the moment that I had been at the office.
In my observation, most of the business process outsourcing (BPO) companies (that includes call centers) in the Philippines are working at the night shift because of their foreign clients, especially living in the United States where their clocks are different – daylight in the U.S. while it’s nighttime at home. Also some printing companies that are owned by foreigners (mostly in the U.S., including the previous two companies that I had worked for) do their jobs at night, so the agents are able to contact to their clients in the U.S. where it’s daylight. That’s strange though, but these companies are working for the economy.
Back to my past working life, I had worked at the night shift for more than 200 nights (I didn’t count or record my attendance since it doesn’t really sense to me) in my previous two jobs. There were some good and memorable moments, but most were bad moments while I was working at the night shift. I’ll share some notable moments that I had been at the night shift in work: (Note: dates that occurred in early morning or next following day are in parenthesis)
- Oct. 12 (13), 2010 – my first working day (night) as a trainee for graphic artist in Alabang, Muntinlupa (first ever in my working career).
- Jan. 30, 2011 – I came at work when suddenly the guard told me that there were no employees working inside at the workplace. I really didn’t know about the situation where my team leader sent his text message to everyone announcing that we would come at work on Monday morning. I was so upset during that night because I was unaware. The reason: I didn’t receive his text message because my cellphone had no signal inside my house while I was asleep.
- Jan. 31 (Feb. 1), 2011 – while it was idle time, I was asking some of my female work colleagues about having crushes in the workplace. One of them was supposed to be my crush (who coincidentally was my college batch mate). (Note: this was a night before the unknown textmate accidentally contacted me in the daylight while I was asleep.)
- Jul. 11-15 (12-16), 2011 – coming at work at 11 pm plus three hours overtime (up to 11 am), the worst working schedule that I had during night shifts.
- Oct. 15, 2011 – I and my work colleagues supposed to work in a Saturday night shift when the fumigation (smoking and spraying pest insects inside the building) was scheduled. Due of fumigation, we halted our operations, and we ended up to have “happy hour” at a bar outside Festival Mall, Alabang.
- Dec. 29 (30), 2011 – my team, led by Romeo Enriquez, had a drink session during our one-hour break and after our work in the morning. After the morning drinking session, I accompanied with my workmate, Jonathan Penunia, to watch a Filipino comedy movie in a theater at Festival Mall.
- Feb. 10 (11), 2012 – I was awarded as Best in Quality for Dex One West.
- Feb. 27 (28), 2012 – during my temporary stint in SuperMedia, I and my other work colleagues were forced to work 24 hours straight to finish the volume of ads. Some of them worked for more than 24 hours. I came at the office at 11 pm and worked until 10 pm on the next day after I decided to leave out (on my final day at SuperMedia) and went back to Dex One West. This was the longest (and the worst) working time in my working career.
- Apr. 4-6 (5-7), 2012 – working at the night shift during Holy Week.
- Sept. 21 (22), 2012 – I came at work on my night shift schedule before my long travel to Nueva Ecija on the next morning for the date.
- Apr. 17-21, 2013 – I got annoyed by a senior graphic artist and a senior quality controller because of my “quiet” personality during one of my night shift times.
- May 12 (13), 2013 – working at the night shift for my final time. This was the night that I came at work before mid-term elections in the Philippines. I would resign my job from Mandaluyong in June.
Working in the night shift was fun because of staying cool (in contrast of heat weather during daytime) and some relaxation. There were some advantages in working night shifts such as traffic (avoiding rush hours at daytime), benefits (from a certain company that you work), fewer meetings about production and quality and less disruption from the boss who works on daytime. However, there were also some disadvantages that I had ever experienced before such as:
- Health conditions – stress, irregular heartbeat, blood pressures and cardiovascular complications may be occurred especially to the older ones with health problems. Eating during nighttime and early mornings may alter your digestion and imbalance diet.
- Sleeping – sleeping in the daytime is the hardest thing to do especially when you’re from the work. You may not have a nice and complete sleep during daytime because of distractions like noisiness (especially if you’re living or renting a home in a congested place) and, of course, the heat (mostly during summer) and the sunlight that disturb your sleep. I had encountered this several times when I was working in a night shift basis, so that I was still feeling “tired” every time when I came to work at night because of not enough to fulfill 8-hour sleep.
- Travel (especially if you’re commuting) – if your work schedule is 10 pm onwards, you may have hard time to ride in a public transportation going to your office. I really had some experience this before when I was working in Mandaluyong. When my schedule was 12 midnight, sometimes I missed to catch the last bus going Cubao (via EDSA) from Laguna (I’m an avid commuter though), so that I made some alternative ways to avoid arrive late at work (I used to ride other jeeps and buses in other direction going to the same destination). However, travel and commuting at night is prone to threaten personal security.
- Security – travelling at night, especially if you’re commuting in a public transportation, may expose you many security threats. Most crimes occur during nighttime, and most ladies who work in the night shifts are prone to be victimized (such as robbery or, worse, rape) in unsafe places, everywhere in the metro.
- Frequent naps at workplace – because of lack of sleep during daytime, you may experience frequent napping while you’re working in night shift. You might not concentrate your work and your productivity might be affected. The cold environment in the workplace and playing smooth music during dark hours may also affect you into boredom and less energize into a sudden nap while you’re on the job. I had done this so many times, but I overcame this to avoid sleeping at work (except for break and idle time).
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The last time when I had night shift schedule was happened three years ago while I was working in Mandaluyong. After that, I had daytime schedule for four weeks until I left there to find a better opportunity for my working career. Night shift at work will be never the same again in my current job, but I’ll miss it forever even though I really don’t like the harsh situations that I had before. I really hate working night shift schedule! Nevertheless, it is now already a part of my life especially in my working career for the last 6 years.