Sleeping on the Moonlight

Hello! I promise I have not forgotten this blog; in an effort to keep it from becoming a “today I did this and this and this” blog, as my old ones were, I try to wait until I actually have something to write about.

This past week was ridiculous, work-wise; I worked two doubles in a row between two days of singles. Included in one of my doubles was my very first moonlight shift.

I knew I was in for an experience because every time I mentioned to my coworkers that I had my first moonlight, they would either smirk or say how sorry they were- or both.

The only thing I really knew about moonlights was that they ran really late- or rather, that they ran so late that they ran early. But my first one was even more special than a normal moonlight. I thought a cruel joke was being played on me when I started hearing that not only would the moonlight be starting an hour later than usual- so, midnight instead of eleven p.m.- but they would be having an extra hour at the end, ending the event at 3:30 a.m. This does not count the extra hour and a half to two hours that it takes to clean up and then set up afterwards.

I wanted to cry, because what I suspected was what turned out to be true: while I am a night person, even I have my limit. Even I have a time where I need to be in bed, especially if, in order to get to that bed, I had to drive forty-five minutes.

Moonlights are also quite different from a normal shift- the music is loud enough to turn us into a club, and the food and drinks are completely self-serve, so literally all the servers do is bus. That late/early in the day, I’d actually prefer to be busy to keep my mind alert, and even bussing duties were removed from us because the event during my first moonlight was a fraternity, and there were so many people on the dance floor that we couldn’t get to any of the tables.

This meant that, with nothing to do but fold napkins, my mind shut down. Partly, it was the monotony of doing the same five folding motions. Partly it was that I was sitting down. Partly it was the intense dizziness- they hadn’t given us dinner or moonlight food, and for me, not eating for ten hours means bad, bad news. An hour and a half into the shift, I was asleep in a discarded chair under the stairs. This is probably very, very against the rules, but I did it anyway. There was nothing else to do. Also, I was so dizzy that I was afraid to stand up.

It seemed like the night would never end, even after the night turned into the morning. Eventually, I went down to the kitchen and stole two rolls from a basket; there was no way I could operate a moving vehicle without some kind of sustenance. And eventually, people did leave, but then we had to clean-up and reset. None of us are ever enthusiastic about reset; it’s slow going, sometimes frustrating, and never the highlight of any shift. But getting us servers motivated to reset at 3:30 in the morning… not going to happen. If we walked across the room, we felt we deserved a little nap. We were too tired to snap at each other, so we just dragged ourselves around hoping we put the forks on the table facing the right way. It seemed like we were resetting for five hours.

There was more that happened during my first moonlight shift, I’m sure, but to be honest, I don’t remember much. And I know I’ll have to work more of these, but I still pray that I won’t. I don’t want to be so tired that I fall into a deep enough sleep to dream. I want to be alert and functional at work. And also, I really hate clubs, so I’d rather not work on one that floats on the water.

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