01773: Sleep Deprivation Rambling

Makati Panorama by Liz

My transition to full-on mid-shift is complete, just in time for my client meeting later this afternoon. It's a weird feeling to actually wake-up around the time you'd normally go to sleep, but that's the call center life for you. You're a slave to what your schedule determines to be essential to the business and like the good trooper that you are you follow to the best of your ability.

Oh, and by tomorrow night I'll need to be back on my regular night shift schedule because that's just the way we roll in the call center industry.

Working on the time zone of another country is never easy. A lot of people dismiss BPO jobs as being grunt work or somehow beneath people. But they're just as complex as any other desk job but perhaps even more so because of the schedule considerations.

When you work on a night shift schedule on a day-to-day basis, it's more than just sleeping in the day. It means turning your life around on its head in order to accommodate what your work obligations indirectly require. It means that you still need to try to follow a night shift schedule during weekends and thus your social activities are rather limited. The only way you can attend family affairs and major events like weddings and this typically means going there severely lacking sleep when you show up or having to file leave from work just to rearrange your life to get there.

And sleeping during the day is never going to be as fulfilling as sleeping during the nighttime. It means that the sun is all bright in the sky and different construction projects and other sources of noise pollution are at full blast. It means that you travel in the dead of night when things are a little more dangerous and the risk of getting mugged or otherwise waylaid are a little higher. Plus you work in an industry that is assumed to have more money, and thus are a natural target for criminal elements.

But the biggest impact will always involve your home life. I live on a schedule where I'm constantly fighting to find time to spend together with Tobie. I know of parents who juggle being with their children and how their lives really go out-of-whack when a child falls ill or something like that. It means that little events that friends go to on a regular basis are out of your reach without some Herculean effort. The list goes on and on.

I love my job. I'm proud of what I've accomplished thus far. But there will always be days when the enormity of what I've had to do to keep this job sometimes hits me pretty hard and it's easy to question why I continue on as I do. There's no easy answer to that question, so in the meantime I keep on pushing forward.