No fighting traffic, no normal sleep

About a decade ago, the Boston-based news radio program I worked for needed an overnight editor.

The boss tapped me.


While I had pulled a few "all-nighters" during college - working on term papers until the morning light - I had never pulled it off in the workplace.

I kept mum, being a diligent employee, and began working the 10 p.m to 6 a.m. shift, five days a week.

As it turned out, the hours had pluses and minuses. The pluses: no traffic-plagued commute, and the freedom to do what you want during the day.

The minuses: Trying to sleep in daylight, lead a normal life on the weekends, and determine just when to eat, and which meal.

The sleep issue was the biggest drawback. I felt like some modern-day Nosferatu. At the end of my shift, I'd rush out the door after work, race home before the traffic picked up, and climb into bed in hope of falling asleep before sunrise.

Some days, it would work. Other days, I'd just toss and turn in bed, eventually give up, and count on sleeping later in the day. Often, I'd get only three or four hours of sleep.

By the end of the work week, the quality of my editing slipped. While no big boo-boos got out on the air, small ones did. This troubled me, and I begged the boss to move me to an earlier shift.

After a few months, my gentle pleading paid off, and they found someone else to work the overnight.

On this day after Labor Day, we thought we would salute those who toil by moonlight. Apparently, some overnight workers are content with night-owl life.

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