Graveyard shift at the electron factory

My first “shifts” at work were this week. Being on shift there means being a part of a two-man crew that sits in the control room and runs the show. I was on the night shift this week (11pm – 7am), but because of the holiday today (Ascension Day) I ended up only having two shifts for the whole week. I remember that BDG had night shifts at a real factory job for a whole summer… much props. I can imagine getting used to sleeping in the day, but when your family and friends (and therefore the weekend activities) are on a normal schedule, I don’t know how you get adjusted.

The actual work itself was pretty boring. The system is not ready to do anything cool, and no one is around at night to make changes. We basically did “conditioning” on the electron gun which is just turning the power and the magnets on and off slowly over and over. And there is a computer program that pretty much handles that automatically.

It was interesting, though, to have the backwards schedule for a couple of days. The walk from the subway station to work was very dark and a little scary. I usually take this little shortcut through the woods to save an extra 20 seconds on the walk in, but I couldn’t even see the little trail so I stuck with the sidewalk. All the sidestreets and the woods were very dark. I kept thinking about Hansel and Gretel for some reason and wondering if that was one of those fairy tales where they changed the ending to something nice because the original Brothers Grimm version just scared the shit out of little kids. Not that getting abandoned by your parents in the woods and having to throw some crazy old lady into the fire because she’s trying to cook you is all warm and cuddly, either, but maybe that just goes to show how really dark the story was in the first place. As you can see, I had lots of time to think about important things.

Coming home was weird, too. I came back on the train around 8:30 so it was full of people going to work. I’m sure they would not have guessed that I was actually coming back from working. The bad part was coming back to an empty house (S. was already at work). Going to sleep was pretty easy for me… I was worn out. But waking up to an empty apartment in the middle of the afternoon is very weird. Next time I am on morning shift, and I think I will enjoy that a little more.

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2 responses to “Graveyard shift at the electron factory

  1. Hi Chase… just passing by!
    hope you have a great day, we miss ya guys!

  2. I’ll take credit for the “ghost wheels her barrow,” scariness, but I am certain I never read Hansel and Gretel to young children. It still scares me. And tell the guys at work,”No more night shifts for you, by orders from Mom”

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