Drinking after the Night Shift

Let me first begin by relating that anyone who works a night shift.. any night shift.. by default is not correctly chemically balanced. From security guards to nurses, no matter how normal sounding the job.. the person is not.

I have myself worked a 12 hour, 7pm-7am night shift for the past five years. Now I only work three or four nights a week, but having to work every Friday night (the prime social drinking night in Vermont), can be a bit mentally and emotinally taxing in itself. But being that where I work, there are quite a few like-minded people, we have an excellent support group.

Our happy hour occurs twice a month, or on the Sunday morning following the Saturday night we worked. Unfortunately the local blue laws do not allow a bar to begin serving before 8am. But local convenience stores sell beer much earlier-- much to our relief.

Our shift ends and we begin our period of relaxation. A quick run for a road soda to the local Quiick Stop and off we are to our happy hour establishment. We park our cars as well as our quickly drying mouths in the establishment parking lot, and await the opener of the Hall of Hooch. We see the solitary bar-tender slowly pull their car in.. get out and approach the still locked front door. Hopefully this soon to be well-tipped bartender was not the one who locked up this establishment the previous evening...for they probably will not be in the best of moods.. or sobriety.

As he fumbles for his keys, we are already out of our cars and closing in slowly, ready to pounce. Getting the door open and the morning's paper under his arm, this Tender of Relief has only to motion to one of the soon to be patrons, to help him triumphantly place the A-frame sign out front. That worn and weathered sign obviously states a Sunday Brunch opening at 8am, exclaiming to the city that tying one on, on this Lord's sabbath.. is OK. In fact it is promoted at this establishment.. and who are we to deny nor resist this blatant request for our patronage.

The freshly cleaned bar and close tables begin to fill up with the patient but recently released night shifters. As the clock ticks slowly towards 8am, each and every patron gets their order correct and money in hand...like the well-trained paratrooper standing at the door ready to jump. "When its my turn.. I'll be ready with no hesitation"... thinks each person.

Something simple... beer and a shot for post college engineer... white wine for the recently divorced mother of two. Don't expect anything fancy this early, beer.. wine.. shots.. and if you think your going to get a fancy cocktail.. think again... one of the only three ingredients in your mixed drink better be ice.

The thoughts of the patron's orders make the time tick by a little faster, but never fast enough. As the clock slowly clicks past 8am, the orders fly and the bar tender springs to work like a well-oiled machine. Several beer caps are cracked at once.. the "shish" of cola gun is heard as a rum and coke is quickly mixed. These sounds quickly make the past night's drudgery melt away into haze of low bar conversation and bad juke box music.

As cars slowly pass filled with church-going families... that divorced mother of two is well into her fourth white wine... and contemplating a well-intentioned rendition of Coyote Ugly... including the dance on the bar... It is at this point after a few drinks and some light conversation I come to realize that being a poor night shifter isnt all that bad... And that seing the Sunday morning sun filter through a stained glass Budweiser sign.. this is my religious worship...
hclapsis13d hclapsis13d
5 Responses Mar 16, 2006

12 years working this shift and still going strong! Yep! A nice cold one after work is just what the doctor ordered! There is no such thing as adjusting to this shift. We are working against the natural order of things. The body is designed to be asleep at night and awake during the day!

Gotta admit, after the long night shift, a gin or Jim Beam go really well with eggs.

I have worked 7p-7a for 7 years. A jose ceurvo sure tastes good for breakfast. That and a burrito. The only place that serves beer with breakfast is a mexican place.

i am shift trash and i like it<br />
at 7 am miller lite really does taste great/less filling

I never worked the graveyard shift, but I have worked in bars and resturaunts for a while now. Drinking has almost become an after work ritual. On saturdays I would get out from work at 4am and rush to the 5am bar to meet my friends. Seems kinda sad when I think about it. Now I get out around 12 am and drink till 2. Bad habit.