Opposite Shifts

Hi there, Catie here!

We’ve mentioned before that Paul works nights while Lena and I work days. This is great in some ways but not so great in others. In this post the three of us are going to discuss how this impacts our relationship and life in general.

For Paul and Lena this isn’t anything new. Paul is quick to point out that when they were first married they worked opposite shifts. At the time it worked out well because it gave him time to be home with Bina when she was a baby. It wasn’t easy but it worked. Many years later it still has it’s good points. Paul has time to do yard work, work on cars, run errands and generally help out around the house. Honestly, I think he ends up doing the majority of the housework (oops) but only because he can’t leave a pile of dishes or laundry undone. The major downside is that we miss him.  

Lena: “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” is a crock of shit. We miss him. But when he’s home I can’t keep up with him. I get tired just following him around. So, I have no idea if I want him home or not.

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Again I say, this is not an exaggeration.

That .gif is 100% true, he’s like the energizer bunny.  Anyway, working opposite shifts was definitely not what I had pictured when I moved in. When we first started dating, the three of us worked first shift, which meant we had a lot of very fun nights. My plan was to move in and see if every night (or at least most nights) could be that much fun. The Universe had other plans though because a month after I moved in Paul was offered a much, much better job. There was only one catch, it was 2nd shift, 3pm-12am. His old job was crappy and dangerous and involved a lot of  physical labor. We (Lena and I) hoped this new job would be cleaner, less dangerous and involve less lifting/carrying/burning to death/hanging off ledges/confined entry work, etc. What can I say? We like the guy.

Lena: He worked in a waste management facility. He worked with shit all day – literally. The facility would take human waste in, process it, pull the water out and clean it, and burn the solids. This involved very large hearths. Huge hearths. Massive hearths. 

Catie: Bigger than Trump’s ego.

Lena: Is that possible?!

Paul: Nothing is bigger than Trump’s ego.

Lena: Anyway, the hearths were on average between 300 to 700 degrees (fahrenheit). During a burn out (when they would burn everything out of the system), it would go up to 1,200 degrees. This would happen year round. Including hot, humid, horrible summer days.

This made Paul demand 55 degree weather in the house. All summer. Not that we minded. He had good reasons, he worked hard all day, everyday in heat (which he hates) to provide for his family. If he wants to come home and enjoy indoor sweater weather, so be it. 

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Lena: That wasn’t the worse of it. There were super high ladders, and tools that would break, and idiots that made things worse. I was getting gray hairs just listening to him talk about his day, and Catie was more worried about someone (not her son) than she imagined she could be.

Catie: Yup, that was one of the ways I knew this was more than just a fling. You don’t really care if a fling gets hurt on the job.

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I was excited that he was going to be in a job that I thought would be safer. I was wrong. This was not a computer tech, fix-the-odd-small-machine and then sit-at-a-desk doing paperwork kind of job. It’s an I-work-in-a-place-where-things-blow-up kind of job. I also didn’t think that his working nights would be a big deal either. I was wrong about that too.

Lena: Catie isn’t exaggerating. The things he works with literally blow up if not handled correctly. And the worse part? He’s in the emergency team. So, if one of those things do blow up, or have the potential to blow up, he’s a first responder.

Paul: Into the danger! Like a super boov!

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Or Homer playing with radioactive stuff.

Catie: After Paul started this new job, the first thing we lost was getting laid (hahaha-priorities!) The second thing we lost was his presence in general. Paul is very chatty and busy. The house is quiet when he’s not around. Almost too quiet.

Lena: Bina and I try to fix it by singing. And then Catie runs away. I don’t know why.

Catie: Don’t worry, I can still hear you from down the hall.

Paul: Singing? You guys want me to sing? (To the tune of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin) Don’t stop… sneezing, hold on to your tissue!

Catie:  Stop making fun of my summer cold. (Sniffles. Ah choo!)

Lena: Focus!! We’re typing a blog here. How do you feel about the shift, Paul?

Paul: I like it. I get to sleep late. Though, with overtime, I get home at two in the morning, which kind of sucks. And I don’t get to see Catie as much during the week. Lena works from home a couple of days a week.

Lena: It’s a constant revolving door. We wake up, he’s asleep. We leave, he gets up. We get home, he’s already gone. 

Paul: But during the weekends, things switch off. I get to see Catie a bit more. Catie and I run lots of errands. And sometimes, sexy time. (wink)

Catie: Middle of the night sexy time is always welcome and fun too.

Paul: But I feel bad waking anyone up. Even if it’s just walking in the door, I feel like an ass because I don’t want to wake anyone up. Catie is a bit more pleasant. Lena is the Incredible Hulk when you wake her up in the middle of the night. But yes, middle of the night sexy time is fun too and I do wake you up for fun sometimes. 

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This is Lena when you wake her up. It better be for a good reason, or somebody is going to die!

Catie: Only a bit more pleasant? I think I’m insulted. Anyway, Paul has a blanket invitation to wake me for sex. Who needs sleep? Beyond sex though, it’s hard to go a full five days without communicating face to face. We text a bit but I’m generally busy at work (how dare my employer expect me to work) and Paul keeps himself busy before his shift too. Lack of communication sometimes gets to me. I know it shouldn’t, he’s not really ignoring me we’re both just busy. Facetime has been hugely helpful as far as communication goes. Paul will Facetime either Lena or I during his dinner break and we’ll gather around the phone and chat. It’s almost like having him here, just with less booping.

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So as much as this whole opposite shift thing sucks, I think we manage it pretty well. Paul is much happier in this job than he was in his 1st shift job. Happy partner, happy life, right? I think he’s safer too, despite the possible explosions. He’s not hanging by one foot upside down over a 50 foot drop welding something at least.

This whole post would have been much easier to understand in podcast form. We’re actually much funnier and less confusing in person. 😉

As always feel free to ask us questions and leave comments, we love them!

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