Lets say you go into your normal day shift work on Wednesday, when you enter the office it's Wednesday, when you leave the office it's Wednesday. Not so with us, when we work a nightshift, after five hours of writing Wednesday the 5th of September, you have to change the date on your paperwork to Thursday the 6th. When you talk to patients at 3am, and they tell you that they have been ill since yesterday you have to work out whether they mean four hours ago, or 28 hours ago.
Then, when you get home, your clock is saying 9am, but your body-clock is screaming 11pm, time to go to bed. Friends wonder why you are half falling asleep at midday, and wide awake at 4am. Time-zones start to blur as you talk to people across the globe, you and your friend in American might both be having dinner, but only they are eating it in daylight. Cory Doctorow's “Eastern Standard Tribe” understands this.
You become confused about what day/time it is, days and weekends come and go, hours spin past and you have no idea when you are. If you are sleeping during the day, then you aren't watching television, so news stories that shake the world can pass you by, or you can be the first to learn the latest news if it occurs during the night (or during the day in America). BBC 24 is an absolute godsend to night workers, it can keep you orientated during the night, if you have time to watch the TV.
This explains the slightly dazed look and mild disassociation that night workers tend to have, and also explains why, for us, it is perfectly acceptable to have a 'night-time' can of beer before going to bed at 9am. (A lot of postmen delivering parcels have given me a dirty look because of that on more than one occasion).
Thanks for all the hugs (((()))) I really appreciate them, I just hope I didn't come across as whiny…. My pleasures have increased multi-fold as the pumpkin seeds that I ate in an attempt to keep fit have resulted in, what can only politely described as, 'gastrointestinal'. I have little hope of getting some good sleep now… I'm also saving up some nice, and some not so nice stories, for after this little themed section.