the psychosis of night shifts

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
there are a few night owls who circulate but anyone dip into the realms of the night shift?

they’re a surreal world, delirious, tedious, frenzied and calm. worked the night economy of drugs, drinking dens to all manner of punters, security for wedding receptions guaranteed to go wrong, hotels (bussing drugs), bleary eyed morning sunrises seeing everything opening up as shop shutters yawn open

today if it’s calm I can fit snatches of reading in which is its own reward but your sleep gets corroded further if you don’t break/mix cycles

managing life and cycles? different proposition
 

william_kent

Well-known member
there are a few night owls who circulate but anyone dip into the realms of the night shift?

they’re a surreal world, delirious, tedious, frenzied and calm. worked the night economy of drugs, drinking dens to all manner of punters, security for wedding receptions guaranteed to go wrong, hotels (bussing drugs), bleary eyed morning sunrises seeing everything opening up as shop shutters yawn open

today if it’s calm I can fit snatches of reading in which is its own reward but your sleep gets corroded further if you don’t break/mix cycles

managing life and cycles? different proposition

24/7 tech support in the late 90s for an ISP, Saturday nights, Quake deathmatch interrupted by the sad and lonely, we did support for pretend internet suppliers, one of which catered for the LGBTQ+ community, "man69" was a regular caller who never got his head around that we were tech support and not a chat line, got an invite from a relative of Baden-Powell which I never acted on ( no intention of ever taking him up on the offer of a "bed" ), another customer claimed to work for Disney so I asked her if the rumours of the Snow White little people orgy out takes were true, and received an affirmative... one of our pretend internet service providers was the Sunday Sport so we got a lot of queries about if the SS honour knife offered in the small ads was genuine... we hacked the drinks machine in the foyer so 50p got us unimited fizzy drinks, smoking skunk in the carpark between levels on quake, shit pay, almost nostalgic now but really it was shit, wouldn't go back
 

william_kent

Well-known member
I've worked in "tech support" for a couple of internet service providers, you hear stories... one regular caller, Michael, was notorious, eventually banned from every call centre in the UK, a former colleague told me how she picked up the phone and it was Michael: "what colour panties are you wearing?" - her reply: "chewing gum grey" - classic response in my opinion
 

william_kent

Well-known member
was talking recently to a volunteer for The Samaritans, apparently times haven't changed - there's a lot of Michael's out there, abusing charity to breathe heavily down the phone while "pleasuring" themselves
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
24/7 tech support in the late 90s for an ISP, Saturday nights, Quake deathmatch interrupted by the sad and lonely, we did support for pretend internet suppliers, one of which catered for the LGBTQ+ community, "man69" was a regular caller who never got his head around that we were tech support and not a chat line, got an invite from a relative of Baden-Powell which I never acted on ( no intention of ever taking him up on the offer of a "bed" ), another customer claimed to work for Disney so I asked her if the rumours of the Snow White little people orgy out takes were true, and received an affirmative... one of our pretend internet service providers was the Sunday Sport so we got a lot of queries about if the SS honour knife offered in the small ads was genuine... we hacked the drinks machine in the foyer so 50p got us unimited fizzy drinks, smoking skunk in the carpark between levels on quake, shit pay, almost nostalgic now but really it was shit, wouldn't go back

one of my first toxicology rounds involved a hazing session in a mortuary

the idea‘s to shock you but i was looking at people, they weren’t butchered or fucked from gun shot injuries, different shades of blue and purple lips all from a hot batch over one long weekend.....the grimness was from their young age and where the arm or thigh or chest area where it had all gone wrong an explosion of bruising scattered out like spider web tendrils in reds, scarlets and crimson into almost black

got home, kissed my eldest as he was off to nursery and thought about the last 5 faces seen previously, how he’d never know, the dissociation
 

william_kent

Well-known member
one of my first toxicology rounds involved a hazing session in a mortuary

the idea‘s to shock you but i was looking at people, they weren’t butchered or fucked from gun shot injuries, different shades of blue and purple lips all from a hot batch over one long weekend.....the grimness was from their young age and where the arm or thigh or chest area where it had all gone wrong an explosion of bruising scattered out like spider web tendrils in reds, scarlets and crimson into almost black

got home, kissed my eldest as he was off to nursery and thought about the last 5 faces seen previously, how he’d never know, the dissociation

had a friend who went for a job interview at a mortuary - first thing the 'panel" did was whip off the sheet from a gurney and if you didn't puke straightaway then the proper interview commenced
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
When I was a PA for a reality show which shot 24/7, we all had 12 hour shifts, and we’d rotate through night shifts. The delirium point is accurate from my experience, but it was also kinda fun. They were less busy, and we’d do stuff like golf cart racing.
 

william_kent

Well-known member
my tech support experience on nights was probably more fun than the day shifts as we got to play Quake, but it was annoying when we got a call, it's not like the callers had a technical problem we could fix, it was more like they were broken psychologically, damaged beyond repair
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Hotels can be creepy and not in an Overlook sense, done a few in different places. People checking in late in gaffs like Culpepper (semi Sopranos reference), rural Virginia away from I95, dealers holed up peep-holing, no one really cared about your accent or visa status and you could get tipped in heroin

You’d see the odd row escalate. Yanks square up to each other completely differently to other countries. You get these long, not really tense verbals and then it’s 4 women going at it then their male friends weaving haymakers. Here you pretty much know within a few seconds

American night work is particularly nosferatu because of firearms. Did overnights with state fair food sellers, stop at Dennys. Waitresses who took zero shit and, if you tipped getting seated, most would keep topping your coffee up no questions asked. It’s dire not that you care after 8 hrs in a cramped haulier
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Worst hotel work - low rise gaffs in and around Atlantic City

Cum stained carpets, appalling kitchens with wish I was exaggerating levels of poor food hygiene, even the main venues were ripe for stereotypical shuffling blobs going “wow” at the mirror tunnel after booking in. So many degenerates but it gives you an education on oddsmakers

all the Monday night shift cleaners were these wicked latino girls who tore through this waste, pride in their work, raucous yet humble and had t for tremendous cannabis, seeing American labour partitions up close
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Here all the greasy spoons where you could duck in for a brew and a quick decompression before home have gone. Even pubs which found a way to open early to cater for forever drinkers have shut, reopened as Tesco which in turn sells even more booze, the irony
 

william_kent

Well-known member
hotels, other side of the coin: a friend told me about a time before she became sober, booked into a travel lodge on work business, ran a bath but there was a bottle or two to polish off, came to and the room was a foot deep in water, turned the heating on to full blast but the water was not going away, legged it out the back door...

pity the help
 

martin

----
I used to do night shifts at the GPO/Parcelforce, including 2pm-6am shifts around Xmas time. It was basically like having a dream about being at work. All the nonsensical, inexplicable dream bits – including people ripping open PG Tips bags in front of fans to create ‘tea winds’…or people taking running jumps onto trolleys and scooting down the depot, only to keel over sideways…or ringing up people from the callers’ office at 4am and saying “It’s breakfast time, wake up you silly cunt!”…or news coming in that one of the drivers has just gone up in a fireball on the North Circular after having a race with another driver and smacking into a flyover…or someone having a mental breakdown and trying to destroy the radio…or a nerdy line manager rambling about wanting anal sex with Lady Di…all actually happen.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Never worked a proper nightshift, but I guess I am one of those night owls to which you allude; unless something is stopping me I tend to gravitate to sleeping at 5am, rising early afternoon and that's fine. But a few times have had very intense periods of dj-img which fucked my body clock that little bit more. Stuck waking at 5, 6, even 8pm, sadly out of step with people and, worse, the sun. Said to Liza we need to sort this out and she just said why, we got another allnighter in two days.

And she was right I'm sure... but regardless, living without the sun or people cannot help but be depressing. Waking to see the sun go down engenders an immediate sinking feeling and so if my body as stuck on that cycle I try and fuck with it one way or another and see if I can switch things around a little.

As for proper nightshifts, I has a friend who was a night porter in a country hotel. We would drop in and help him "clean out the taps" or build ourselves five decker sandwiches in the kitchen. He also used to like going outside and smashing golf balls at the place from a distance I would have not described as safe. From pointless acts of vandalism and petty theft I am sorry to report that his crimes did begin to grow in size. It's pretty hard to keep an accurate inventory of beer from the tap (although you would have thought that they would have been a little bit surprised to learn that the actual amount on hand was a nice round zero quite so often) which was why he would steal that as a matter of course even if he was not thirsty. In fact one could even describe it as a matter of principle - if one had the same twisted and malevolent pseudo-principles as him.

That was how thefts started at the hotel. The obvious next step was to help himself to the odd bottle of vodka (or gin) from (or rum) the store cupboards (or whiskey) and the (or whisky) cellar. And when you think of it, if they don't miss one they are hardly likely to miss two are they? So, I am sorry to say, it became not uncommon for a fair number of bottles to mysteriously walk out of that cellar.

The next step was one that I have to admit a certain grudging respect for; I believe it was my brother who was kindly helping Gavin by carrying up the stairs a couple of huge bags full to bursting with assorted spirits (I assume he naively believed that there was going to be a huge party in the hotel the next day, maybe a large number of people were due to check in... in fact a very large group) - Gav was already carrying a prodigious load himself so it was a good job Rob was there - when, to his dismay, the milkman pulled into the yard catching them as red-handed as they could possibly be.

I imagine Rob was about to leg it the fuck out of there and bravely let Gavin deal with the problem (like his namesake Brave Brave Sir Robin in Monty Python and the Holy Grail come to think of it), when Gavin quickly reassured him, there was no need to worry at this point, there was simply too much booze to carry and so he had struck a deal with the milkman who would kindly stick them in his van and deliver them to Gav's house when he passed it on his round - minus a small commission for himself of course. And he didn't just deliver to Gavin, he also dropped a couple off at the house of the guy who worked at the all-night garage down the road. The reason for this was cos in that garage much of the shelves were covered by a security camera, but there were a few blind spots which relied on the alertness of the guy working there to prevent theft. Sadly however the guy seemed to be somewhat sleepy on occasions when Gavin was shopping and so Gavin would often emerge from there carrying enormous amounts of nighttime snacks that I'm almost certain he forgot to pay for.

So the hotel did in fact tolerate this for some time. The aim of both Gavin and his fellow night porter was to keep continuously sucking away at that beautiful, generous golden teat, extracting as many golden eggs as the golden sheep would defecate for them, but avoiding ever actually slaying the beast with the kind of massive bloodletting that even the management of this place couldn't ignore. It seemed to actually be working for quite some time despite the fact that to the casual observer they looked like deep throat gobbling on a hosepipe on full power.

I think that the two guys used to alternate nights as a rule but sometimes they would do half a night each, the point being that there was enough overlap between their shifts that they could coordinate their planned crimes to minimise visibility.

"I absolutely fucking rinsed that secret supply under the stairs last night, maybe best you let that cunt grow back a bit before you get in there matey"
"OK, thanks kindly for the warning my friend, the timing is perhaps not unfortuitous in that I must confess of late my family grows weary of champagne, perhaps this week is indeed the opportune moment for our youngest to develop a taste for tequila"

As inevitably as marijuana leads to heroin, petty crime leads to harder crime, and soon this sort of huge local crime ring was not enough for them. They sort of semi-seriously began to raise the possibility of robbing the safe at the end of the month and vanishing into the night with a substantial sum of money. I forget the name of the other porter, think it was Bill or something similar to that, either way his "plan" in their oft-discussed fantasy heist was noteworthy for its simplicity and lack of extraneous details. I believe it boiled down to "break the safe open, grab the money and fuck off to his sister's place in the Inner Hebrides."

And one day, in a crime that as yet remains unsolved, someone did "do the safe" - I know Gavin had his suspicions that it may have been Bill. Just little things that he let slip such as "I'm really gonna do the safe tonight, I'm not joking" and his sudden disappearance to the Inner Hebrides got Gavin's antenna twitching, however they were never able to actually prove anything (clearly a case for Poirot) and they fired them both to be sure so that was the end of that particular chapter in Gavin's extraordinary sleazy and corrupt life.
 
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