Being Prepared for our Shift


Are we ready for work? Hello again, Marty here with Warehouse and Operations as a Career. We’ll have Joe joining us a bit later in the program today and we’d like to talk about being Ready or Prepared for work each day.

We work in the Warehousing, Transportation and Operations fields, It can be Hot during the Summer, sticky and humid and Cold during the winter and maybe we work in Cooler vaults or Freezer environments, lol we may even have a position where we could be in all three environments throughout the course of our shifts!

I feel we handle these circumstances or situations much better if we’re prepared for them.

We may have day positions or deep night shifts, lol really anything in between.  Certainly not unique to our industry but Operations shifts may be long too, in the distribution arena the task of selection and loading isn’t through until that last case is loaded for delivery.  I’ve interviewed candidates before, gave them the shift start time of like 6 till finish and I’m always asked if that’s eight hours or ten hours, Try explaining what till finished means, 6 to 8 to 10 or as much as 14 just till finished!  Production facilities can be exactly the same, manufacturing can hold true as well, and transportation, transportation is a beast of its own, right?

There’s differences in working a day shift and the night shifts, there should be differences in how we approach or prepare for them as well.  Myself I love the 3rd shift, being one that never required the full 8 hours of sleep it fit me well, the 2nd shift was a good fit for me as well.  I find these two shifts are great for saving money, you’re working during those disposable income hours, also, or at least in some of the distribution centers the weekend comes earlier, many 3rd shifts select and load Sunday through Thursday so deliveries are rolling Monday through Friday.  I found another great thing is, you come in, know the piece count, get it done and go home, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to do anything really, just come back the next night and start over again.  There especially great for the single man or woman, I mean we have a lot of unconventional freedoms like when we want to sleep, we can get off and go straight to bed or we can stay up a while, take care of errands or socialize on the schedule we want too.  I use to get off, go to bed for my 6 hours and get up early afternoon, while others would stay up in the mornings, get their day done and wake up like an hour before work.  Like I said I loved those shifts, and we’ll be talking a lot more about the night shifts a bit later, there really important should we have aspirations of Management in the Operations world.

Of course when most people think of a job I think our first thought has to be the 8 to 5 thing, Operations is 24/7 and really 365.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of positions in our field that are day jobs, and there’s equal opportunities on all shifts.  Many times the 2nd & 3rd shift may come with a differential of some kind or outright pay more hourly as well.  In our Distribution worlds we’re going to find that a bit of experience on the night shifts are typically going to be a prerequisite to most positions of upper management.  It’s going to be important that we have a thorough knowledge of how each shift works, what it takes to make it happen and how the employees do their jobs.

The Nightshift can be a bit rough on Families or young children if we approach it as just another job.  Our sleeping is of course upside down most of the time but other things like our eating can be affected as well.  I always just eat by the clock, another words I have typical breakfast foods during morning hours, I always try and have a good lunch but a light lunch when I’m working nights and then I’ll have dinner foods in the evening.  I know a lot of men and women that eat by the meal or breakfast foods just before going into work, a heavy or full lunch and then their dinner when getting off in the mornings, I never could do the plate of spaghetti or lasagna in the mornings myself, I’d of had dreams of monsters or minions I’m sure.   Something I’m always a bit learly of is all the energy drinks available to us today, years ago caffeine pills we’re a bit of a thing, I did and do drink a lot of coffee when on nights but I never liked that jittery feeling after being up a while.

It’s important that we sleep enough & sleep on some kind of a regular schedule.  I find for myself anyway, I can work about any schedule but I do have to keep to a schedule.  As I was saying, I’ve know people that will get off work and go straight to bed & those that stay up 4 or 5 more hours and then turns in but I’ve seen those that have tried to occasionally get straight to be or bounce back and forth between the two during the week and its just not a successful plan.  Without eating properly AND sleeping as your body may require – you will not be successful at work and you’ll possibly find you’ll be sick quite a bit. Back to what I started to say about families and children though, I feel, or it’s my opinion that families can be perfectly fine with a Mom or Dad working a night shift.  The key is it has to be the norm, or the norm at the time.  If Mom or Dad gets up and goes to work as the kids are coming in from school activities or setting down to dinner it just has to be what everyone’s use to and it will be accepted.  I know families that’s worked well that way, for many years.  I actually have several friends that have worked that shift 10, 15 + years, they love working nights, they just feel there’s less stress and it pays well in their position.  I know it probably sounds completely upside down to anyone that’s never worked it but it can really be just different and works well for many people.

Although the Dayshift is inherently normal, I’m definitely not one that should be using the word normal in any form or fashion, but really, the 1st shift is the preferred shift of the masses.  I believe the same things hold true for us on days as well.  We need the sleep our bodies need, may be 5 hours for some of us or 8hrs or 10hrs, we need the rest that we need.

The same holds true with the importance of a schedule too & our eating habits, I believe we have to think ahead a bit, we all have to work the rest of our lives & good habits are going to be needed to keep us as sharp and productive as we can be right?

Being prepared for work each shift will eliminate a lot of the Human Nature things we’ve discussed and we all struggle with from time to time.  If we have a set wake up time and we plan for our breakfast time, have plenty of time to get cleaned up, dressed and are ready to leave for work on time each day, even have a little extra time to leave for work early on those rainy or foggy days we can’t be tardy or we’ll never have to stress about being late reporting to work.  I know several companies that encourage, strongly encourage that their selectors, loaders or fork drivers etc are at work at least 15 minutes early each day.  Think about it, we’ll always be prepared, properly dressed with our PPE’s and at our work stations ready to go if we’ve planned properly.  Being that person will get us noticed by our management teams, and that’s what we’re after, we want them to recognize that we’re dependable, doing a good job & that we participate with the Team.

Well enough of my thoughts, I kind of ran off the rails a bit and got side tracked with what we wanted to talk about.

Joe why’d you let me get lost and go down that opinion path?

(Visit with Joe)

I enjoyed talking with you today Joe and thanks for sharing your thoughts on Being Prepared for our Shifts & I want to thank each of you, our listeners, I hope we gave you some thoughts to think about today, there’s so much opportunity in our field, I mean operations affords us those jobs if we’re just working towards a paycheck at the end of the week BUT we can turn each of those jobs into Careers & advancement and management opportunities are right there in front of us if were interested, all we have to do is apply ourselves, plan our goals out & take on the responsibilities required for those positions!  Again, I’d ask if you enjoy our programs and find any value or are just having fun with it like we are that you’d rate us and leave a comment on iTunes and join in on our discussions through Twitter & Facebook, email us a topic you’re interested in and I’ll find us a subject matter expert, someone doing the task for us to talk with!  Until next week, be prepared for you jobs and work Safe at everything you do, our co-workers and Family will thank you for it!

2 thoughts on “Being Prepared for our Shift”

  1. Marty:
    This is vary helpful information that I can use for the rest of my life I really love listening to all this information it is a really big help for me as a new supervisor for Belmar AZ keep it coming

    Thank You

    1. Thanks for your comment and the kind words Austin! We’re glad you like the show, please pass the information on to your friends as well. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play so you never miss an episode!

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