Trying something new

Starting about a year ago, Shannon has worked evenings at a needle exchange site in the Plateau. She liked her work and her co-workers, but really didn’t get along with her boss. Her shifts were evenings from Tuesday through Saturday, because that’s when injection drug users were around, which was fine at first (we got to hang out during the day!) but got to be a drag, since our friends were typically available to go for dinner or whatever at those exact times as well. That’s all changed now, though, since she found a new position at a street youth drop-in centre downtown, where she’ll work nights from Thursday through Saturday, and probably pick up other shifts as people take vacation time over the summer. From a professional and work satisfaction perspective, this is a great move, and I’m truly happy for her.

We’re still figuring out how this will affect our schedules, though. Although Shannon will be sleeping until the early afternoon for half the week, we’re hopeful that this will mean being able to spend more time with friends, and so are looking forward to it. On the other hand, I felt lonely when I went to sleep by myself last night… I even dreamt that we were sleeping together and was sad to wake up and realize we weren’t. sigh One other catch is that it’ll still be hard to leave town for the weekend to visit friends, although of course the freedom to take four day camping trips on our own during the week will be nice this summer.

This all sorta reminds me of the early Soviet experiment with a five-day week with alternating days of rest. It was widely unpopular, even though it granted workers one day in five free as opposed to one in seven, because your day off was generally different from most of your friends and family, and thus you got to spend your spare time wishing you could actually hang out with them. (This, of course, was before the late 19th century English labour movement’s innovation of a two-day weekend had spread as far as Russia.)

As a corollary to all this, we’re trying to shift our sleep cycles by staying up until 3 AM or so the rest of the week, to make staying awake the entire night easier on Shannon. I wouldn’t normally stay up nearly that late, at least not on a regular basis, but it’s the least I can do if we’d like to actually spend time together. At least Shannon’s moving in with me in just a few more weeks, so that will make it easier to see each other. It also helps that I get to more or less set my own hours — this would be really hard if I was working nine to five. And so here I am, trying to find ways to amuse myself for another hour or two…

At any rate, wish us luck.