When I was in my early twenties and undecided about school, I got a job at the local 7-Eleven. I worked the night shift, which was from 11 at night until 7 in the morning. Most of the time it was dead except for the breakfast rush, which began around 6 in the morning. The rest of the night was spent receiving deliveries and stocking up the cooler. The manager demanded that it be fully stocked before he got there. One missing bottle of soda would get you in trouble.
When I took the job I had previously worked in a convenience store when I was in high school, but that was just for a few hours late afternoon to early evening. Most of the customers were seniors who would stop by, get a cup of coffee, and chat. One of them was about to retire and got me an office job.
When I took the overnight job I didn’t realize that it was one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet, if not the most dangerous. You’re more likely to die on the job as an convenience clerk than a fireman, cop, or deep sea fisherman. The reason is that there are so many robberies in those places.
When I started there they had just installed a time delay safe. The safe couldn’t be opened until 10 minutes after entering the combination. I was worried that robbers wouldn’t believe me when I told them they had to wait 10 minutes before I could get the safe open. They needed a notice on the door or something. “Attention all robbers it takes 10 minutes for the clerk to open the safe.”
During the 6 months that I worked there, I was robbed at gunpoint two times. It’s very unpleasant having a pistol shoved in your face and someone telling you that he was going to blow your f&*%king head off if you didn’t co-operate. But fortunately I came out unscathed.
There is another hazard to working the late shift. It really interferes with your sleep patterns. According to Medical New Today,”There appears to be a link between working night shifts and sleep problems, especially among workers in their 30s and 40s, according to a study published in the April edition of Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the official journal of ACOEM (American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine).”
Sleep deprivation is a more serious problem than some people think. If you go without sleep long enough you’ll die. Even if it doesn’t kill you it can make you tired, irritable, and unable to focus. Shift workers have a greater rate of problems with alcohol and drug abuse.
I had a simple solution to the problem. I slept during my shift.