According to the National Day Calendar, today is National 3rd Shift Workers Day. As I have mentioned in the past, most of these 'national days' are a bit silly, but this is another one that I wholeheartedly agree with.

First, anyone who works or has worked the 3rd shift, knows it can be the hardest shift of a 24 hour day. Especially if you work more than the normal eight hours. Sure, some may be a piece of cake as far as what your responsibilities may be. It's just the fact that you are up all night when most people are sleeping during those hours, and it can be tough on the mind and body.

I have worked a few overnight shifts in my lifetime. The first one was working the 11pm to 7am shift at a gas station. It was located right off I-81 on Old Front Street. Many of the traffic that stopped there were long distant travelers. Many of those travelers hailed from Canada.

The gas station didn't have an office or even a cash register.There was a desk and wobbly chair situated behind a wall of boxes containing cans of oil. My cash register was nothing more than a cash box. It's was a good thing I knew how to count so I could give the correct amount of cash back. We didn't accept credit cards or checks.

Working overnight at the gas station was pretty slow and boring for the most part, except for the time I was held up. A couple came by just before I was to end my shift, had me fill up their car (we were a full service gas station), paid for it, and shortly after I returned to the gas station 'office', the driver came up behind me, pointed a gun and demanded cash. All he got was about 200 dollars and I think a few years in jail. That was a frightening experience.

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My other overnight work experiences included a short stint at a grocery store as a janitor, and during the first time I worked at WAAL. Taking calls and requests during the overnight was quite an experience, especially on the weekends when I'd get calls from listeners who were clearly drunk or on some sort of drug trip. Those were the days.

So, to anyone who works the 3rd shift, I salute you. You are the backbone of the workforce.

via National Day Calendar

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