My First Nightshift

by Adam

I was on nightshift Thursnight, Frinight, Saturnight, for the first time.

When nightshift was proposed to me, I enthusiastically agreed to it, for the experience and also because the sun doesn’t shine here at night, so I thought it would be cooler.

On Wednesday night, the night before nightshift, I tried to stay up as late as possible.  I went to sleep around 11:30pm and couldn’t stay awake any longer.

On Thursday, I tried my best to sleep in.  Despite waking up at 6am (having an idea regarding work and sending an email), I forced myself to stay in bed.  I was awoken again at 9am when the laundry was being collected, then I made a sign and put it on my door. 

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Woke up for lunch, sent a few work emails, had a light lunch and then back to bed.  I got up around 4pm, hoping to go to the gym, but then it started raining.  A sign to stay in my room!  I got to work at 5:30pm for handover, wearing a t-shirt under my work shirt (anticipating some cold weather…. mistake!).  Had a quick dinner at 6:30pm (Thursday burger night, with the most disappointing burger ever!  Though there was smoked salmon, there was no lettuce, onion, or tomato for the burger!).  Went back to work, and started to complete the nightshift tasks assigned to me.

Working without any interruptions: no phone calls, emails, being asked to do things while in the middle of something, allowed me to really focus and get the tasks completed.  Then I had to go out on field to check on progress…  Most things were fine, except that there was no breeze, the air was still and humid, and the things I needed to check on throughout the night was at EL100 (roughly 80m high).  Climbing to this elevation every few hours, really made me sweat a lot, especially with the two layers I had on.  Everytime I got back to the office, I would take the outer shirt off and let it dry.  The office was quiet, and around 3-4am, I started feeling very tired.  I went out to site again around 4:30am to check again, and by 5am, it was starting to get bright already.  When I saw the sun, I was no longer feeling sleepy, just exhausted.

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Went back to the office, and then out again around 6:15am to check one more thing, then I left around 6:30am.  Straight back to my room, for a shower in the dark, and into bed.  I tried to make my room as dark as possible!  Slept well until about 11:30am, when I got up to check the time.  I decided not to go to lunch and stay in bed instead, but it was difficult to get back to sleep.  Finally managed to sleep around 1:30pm until my alarm woke me up at 4pm.  Got to work at 5:30pm again, I was hoping to go to dinner around 7pm, however, was caught up with some issues so could not leave before the canteen closed.  Having not eaten a meal since the burger night the night before, I was feeling very hungry.  At 10pm, went to the canteen for the night meal.  Then went back to site, and waited, and waited…  The people working did not come back to work until after 12!  Perhaps this is normal nightshift routine.

As it was the second night of nightshift, despite the problems earlier in the night, I time went a lot quicker, and I was not feeling as tired.  When the morning came, it was the same feeling as the morning before, super-tiredness.  Routine: went back to my room, showered and slept.

Saturday night was my last night of nightshift.  Had many tasks lined up to do, which kept me busy until 6am, which I am glad I managed to finish!  at 3:45am, I saw CAT crossing the slag haul road.  I could not believe my eyes.  I took my camera out to take a photo, and it disappeared.  I thought maybe it was from fatigue, then saw it again, walking into the bottom floor of Line 1.  I was so excited, but didn’t see it again.  The third night of nightshift was probably the best in terms of staying  awake and alert, but also completing some tasks (47 isolations!).

After I finished, I went to the canteen, had a big breakfast, and then back to my room for shower and sleep.  I got up at 11:30am, then went to lunch at 12:30pm.  There was a special dessert at lunch, and, there was also icecream!

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Relaxed a bit, then went to gym.  I’ve been online shopping for nice brown dress shoes.  On my last day in Perth, I tried on some shoes, and wasn’t too keen on the full brogue with pointy toecap, but as I look at it more, maybe it’ not too bad.  Looking at nice shoes makes me want to wear nice clothes!

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