Night Shift

Last May 11, there was an announcement made by my project, saying that I'm going to leave in three weeks time.

This was unexpected, and I had mixed reactions upon hearing this. I felt happy, for I could say to myself that I have overcome the challenges the night shift has brought me. I could get back the work-at-day, sleep-at-night routine I was used to. I could get back the optimum sleep I missed for so long.

I felt a little worried, as I had to face an uncertain future. If I'm not assigned to a new project in a few months after my project roll-off, I would leave the company. I would look for another one to continue not only my career, but also my contribution to my family.

And if I am assigned to a new one, I don't know the time I would have to report on duty. I could either be in the morning, afternoon or back in the evening. We had to be adaptable to where our project lead is situated at.

But things would come to light eventually. I'm into a new chapter now. And moving forward, I looked back on how it was, and how I was able to go through it.

The Early Months
When I learned that my project needed me to report on night, I felt uneasy at first. Having to adapt this kind of shift would mean placing my routine in reverse and bidding goodbye to the one I'm used to. It's something I didn't like because of its effects to health- most notably sleep. I would wish for an intervention to happen, but there wasn't. So I had no choice but to face it.  I had nothing left but my trust in God. This trust had to go through a process before I could fully understand it.

The first few months were hard. It was a struggle to be at one's best in work. I had to push myself to wake up even when I felt sleepy in the middle of work. Plus, I had a boss with a strict work ethic. I had to respond immediately to all task-related inquiries.

It was also a struggle trying to sleep in the morning. Despite having my room made into a night-like environment, I was still awake. I couldn't feel exhaustion, in which my body would prepare for a good night's rest. I felt energy pumping me up for a new day. Wanting to sleep so badly, I attempted in the afternoon. From here, I could get no sleep, or at most 2 hours when I do. This worried me because I couldn't get the optimum sleep needed in this work setting.

Dealing with this made me feel that I've lost something valuable to me. I imagined my young professional life to be a 9-to-5 routine, and a mini-get together with friends after that. Then, I would have several years to build my career on, and consider taking a master's degree. After which, I would pursue teaching, a profession I wanted to pursue in life. But these wouldn't happen because of my situation.

The Divine Trust was all I had to hope for in all things to make sense. It wasn't easy to do so along the way. But eventually, I learned. Trusting Him meant entrusting my life into His hands because He knows better than I do.

The New Transition
After all those months of being in that transition, my body clock became well-suited for the work setting. It was a surprise that I became a regular employee. I couldn't imagine that I could pull it off in spite of the difficulty. I was happy and thankful for that little achievement.

The challenge now is having to keep up an outstanding performance to my boss. With his strict work ethic, he wants every task done to be as flawless as possible. He was considerate during the probationary period. But after that, he started to set his expectations high. I had to achieve that one. As human as I am, I would make mistakes. And I received tough scoldings from him because of that. But in spite of this, I would be careful not to commit the same thing again.

There was a point in time that I received a low rating during the mid-year project evaluation. That made me down, because I felt that my effort wasn't enough for him to be satisfied with what I'm doing. I want to meet or even exceed his expectations, so that he could commend me for my work. But it was as if everything we were doing as a team was just plain for him.

So I had nothing left to do but to deal with his temperament. I only needed to give what he wants- nothing more, nothing less. And I had to make sure that I did it right. Because I don't want to see him angry again when I do it wrong.

After One Year
One year has passed. And I couldn't believe it. I was able to stay that long, after all those difficulties I went through. Another little achievement made, and I'm happy and thankful.

It was also at that time when my boss announced that he's moving into a new project. I had mixed emotions- relieved that I was able to deal with him well all the way to the end, and sad that the project would lose one of its big assets. That motivated me to do my very best at work until his last day. And he was pleased with what I was doing.

On his last day, I gave him my wholehearted thanks for his contribution to the project and to the team. I acknowledged him for all the lessons he imparted to us. I told him of my drive to continuously learn without ceasing, and I wished him the best of his career. He was glad with them, He thanked me for all my contributions in the project. He encouraged me to move forward with my drive, and wished me the best in the future.

The new boss came, and we were okay with him. He was a nice and comfortable person to work with. We didn't have a hard time dealing with him, as long as what matters was we did our job well. I had to give a good first impression on him. I applied all that I've learned from my previous boss, and my new boss was satisfied. From there, I was able to bounce back from my end-of-year project evaluation. I was more than happy. This would then lead to my promotion.

This continued on for several months until the May announcement came. As I savored the last few weeks I had with my project before the roll-off, I looked back at what has passed. I would miss a routine where I would take my day off on a Monday morning, then prepare myself for the night. I would be excited when Friday night comes along. And when Saturday morning comes, I prepped myself to go to sleep so that I could enjoy the afternoon. It was tiring, but good in a way.

Lessons Learned
From that experience, these are the most important lessons I've learned:

1. selflessness
That's one of the best attributes man can have. I've learned what it truly means to sacrifice, to give up something in myself in order for others to benefit. In this case, I had to put my dreams on hold to help my family for their needs. I'll wait for the right time to pursue my dreams.

2. The true value
I would be ambitious and achieve all the things that I want. But what if I lose all that's precious to me in the end? It's from there I learned to love the people I value and cherish the most- God, family and friends.

3. strength and trust in Him
From here, I got to experience life's realities in action. It was from here that I learned what it means to fully trust and find my strength in Him, with all the difficult challenges that lie ahead.

With this, I would like to thank several people who have helped me accomplish this challenge- my family, my workmates, my night buddies, my churchmates, and most especially God. If it weren't for His love and grace, I wouldn't have come this far.

Right now, I work on mid-shift, from late morning to evening. It's a better timeslot, and I never expected this. I expected to be at night shift all my life, but this came. I'm thankful for this nevertheless. Now, I'm facing what lies ahead from here.