Due to my increased need for sleep, I have less time to do social 'things', so email/blog reading/blog posting/telephoning friends/IRC/meeting mates tend to go completely out the window. I'm either too busy feeding/washing myself, or I just can't work up the enthusiasm to reply to 20+ emails. Yes…this is an excuse for my sometimes tardy replies to people
The only people you find yourself meeting are drunks (early in the night), wimps (a little bit later) and pregnant women (in the morning). You also have twelve hours to talk to your crewmate, imagine being around one person for that length of time…you get to know everything about them, and heaven help you if you don't get on with them…
The other people you meet during your nightshifts are the police and the nurses working in the A&E department. If you walk around London, you will often see ambulance and police crews waving to each other – this is because we often get called to the same assault/suicide attempts, and we soon get chatting about how crap our respective jobs are. The nurses in the A&E departments are all married, very busy, and hate ambulance crews because they bring in work. Sometimes, if there is a quiet night you can have a chat with them, and to be honest we are friendly to each other, but it's the same faces night after night – and they tend to be more stressed than us.
After working a set of four twelve hour shifts, the last thing you are thinking about is dating/sex/relationships, and this is why single ambulance staff often have trouble forming relationships. 'Normal people' tend not to understand just how tired you are after working all night, nor that when you get home, all you are thinking about is getting into bed and sleeping the day away.
Tonight I feel particularly aggravated – I've had 2 hours sleep in the past 24, I dealt with whiners all night, I got off late because a child with eczema was 'scratching', and then I cycle three quarters of the way home (3 miles) at a sprint only to realise that I haven't got my door key – thinking they have fell out of my pocket I sprint back 3 miles to the alley I think they must have fell out in, only to find them sitting on a hook at work. One cup of tea later and a very slow ride back home to realise that I'm not going to sleep anytime soon, and my computer's mouse isn't working. Also at work there was some bad news (which I will talk about later, but doesn't involve me directly) and earlier today I was watching an RSPCA advert and found myself crying at it…(something I do when I get tired). I think these 14 nights/lates are gonna kill me, I need a hug and there is no-one to hug me)
Blimey I sound like a teenager!