I’ve worked the third shift for a long, long time now. Come to think of it, I’ve worked overnight for virtually half my life; some 15 years now I’ve been at least in part working the overnight shift. As anyone who’s seen the 1985 Martin Scorsese classic film “After Hours” knows, things happen a little differently on the overnight. It’s just the little things; but they’re there. I have been working in the highly regarded southern coastal city of Charleston as of late and the ambiance here at most hours is electric. However it’s in those waning hours; well after the ‘last call’ chimes of 2AM have rung; when most others are asleep at home; that’s when some gross stuff is happening. What it’s like working overnight has become something of par for the course. Still, I’m always amazed when I analyze the setting to see just what goes on while working overnight and what society seems to turn their closed eyes to.
Overnight Life: Full Bladders: I don’t know how many times I’ve been working front desk at a hotel and gotten that paramount question; “do you have a bathroom?” Of course we do fellas; of course we do; in your room. This inevitably gets the disgruntled exhale and these bums move on. It’s not even just the sanitation factor in not letting these kids use the facilities, it’s also got to do with individual safety. If I’ve got some crazy kids, doing drugs, having sex, or otherwise continuing their party in my bathroom; I, or more likely, my employer is now liable. I don’t want to make anyone responsible for someone else’s mistakes.
Overnight Life: Retaliation: One thing I’ve noticed about the downtown section of Charleston where my hotel is located is that folks will take full advantage of the sweltering heat, their full bladders, and my resistance in letting them use the bathroom; they’ll just pee on the ground. I’ve seen two guys do it over the last two nights and I’ve got to say, it’s something which goes on all the time. I can tell because I go outside and I breathe in the urine-soaked air and I’m repulsed. But it happens all the time.
Overnight Life: Drunken Orgy: One more thing which is totally gross about the overnight is the lack of inhibitions folks have when they’re drunk, they can’t see, and likely don’t know who they’re making out with. Standing at my street level door tonight I saw this big bald guy in a tank top, leaning up against my building across the street, totally groping this skinny girl in white stretch pants. His hands were down her pants; they were making it like bunnies; it was not pretty. I should have gotten a photo but then, as quickly as they’d started, they stopped. I watched them for at least 3 or 4 minutes; they probably stopped so quickly because the two went back to an apartment or maybe they just had sex in a car somewhere (like any decent drunk would).
Overnight Life: Conclusion: Overnight’s aren’t for everyone. People ask me all the time how I can consistently live this kind of lifestyle; I guess it’s all that I’ve ever known. Still, it’s not easy; even getting back on my day-sleep schedule after being away for a week is pretty tough. But, if you can stand the sights and the smells, the overnight on close enough analysis is a pretty darn interesting place to be.