Friday, September 19, 2008

Mirth and Woe: The Nightshift

Mirth and Woe: The Nightshift

"Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift"
As someone who worked nightshifts for the best part of fifteen years, I have this to say: "What a load of bollocks. Keep the noise down, you joke."

On the plus side, the money's good. However, balance this against the fact that you feel like death for an entire week, and the fact that you are more than willing to kill any man that crosses your path.

"Nightshift workers," read a magazine article handed to me by a red-eyed fellow might shift victim, "are more sexually active than any other social group".

After the fourth Espresso of the night we finally came down from the ceiling for long enough to agree that this was obviously written by somebody who only worked days. You might be part of the most sexually active group in the world, but seeing as you're awake while the rest of the world is asleep and vice versa, the only other outlet is through what some people might call 'bashing the bishop'.

Those bored housewives you hear so much about – do not exist. (Unless you are one, then write in! We'd be only too pleased to hear from you.)

So, the worst thing that can happen to you whilst working nightshifts is some noisy bastard doing their very best to keep you awake.

Don't bother putting a note of your door saying "Nightshift worker - Quiet please!!!" with multiple exclamation marks in Comic Sans, because they'll ring the doorbell anyway and say "Oh – were you in bed?"

Jehovah's Witnesses take note. This means you.

You do, however, get used to a lot of things, and can tune out the worst of the passing trains and TV from the flat next door.

However, there are some things you just cannot get used to – the extra noise at weekends, and having to sleep with the window open in summer.

And, of course, the American girl from across the landing having vigorous sex in the shower with her current – and apparently well-hung - boyfriend.

OK, they started of in the shower, before going at it hammer-and-tongs in various rooms of the flat.

"Oooooh baby! You're so big!"

"Oooooh baby! Give it to me!"

"Oooooh baby! Mmmfff mmmmf mmmf!" (Heaven knows what that was about)

This went on for an impressive period of time, and would, had I not been completely frazzled by a twelve-hour shift of data backups, have made rather satisfying spectator sport.

And then, the words any interested observer dreads:

"Oooooh baby! Fill my ass!"

You do not want to know what that sounded like, but from what I could hear, Fairy Liquid was the lubricant of choice.

Even with the pillow over the head, the frenzied screams of ecstasy found their way through, and it was all I could do to for the ordeal could end.

Actually, I could have gone and knocked on their door, and asked them to keep it down a bit, but I didn't want to spoil it for the small crowd of spectators that had gathered outside. Also, there was the small-to-middling chance that I might be offered a bit-part in their free show, and that would have completely wiped me out for the forthcoming night's work.

At last, with a final cry of "Oooooh baby! It's everywhere", they were done, and a round of applause drifted up from the street and one observer packed away his video camera.

Then, they called out for pizza, who, quite naturally went to the wrong door because you just can't get the staff.

"Good day, Scary?" asked the day shift as I rolled in later that evening.

"Awful. I've got a letter to write."

So, I set to it.

"Dear Fiesta, You won't believe the most amazing thing that happened to me today…"

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