Today, I broke my record for the longest work day ever recorded for me.
A 17 hour shift. 9am-2am.
It was pretty ridiculous -- but that's the way the club is. (a country club, not like a club club)
Don't get me wrong, the pay is great there, but sometimes it's just ridiculous. The management is rough and everyone is telling you different things to do and trying to point you in different directions. My guess is that if the pay wasn't so good people would never even want to work there in the first place. People are in and out so fast you always are seeing new faces. But, there are always those ones that continuously stick around, and for those, it's worth it.
There is some sort of bond between you and your coworkers immediately, even if you never met them, once you work such a long shift together. It's just rough, and the only way to get through it is to pull for each other and really work together and keep everyone in good (or at least satisfactory) spirits.
I remember really enjoying that the first shift I ever had, which happened to be 14 hours. I had only come back today to work this one bar mitzvah, but it reminded me how difficult it was to realize you would literally be stuck at work all day. For those of you who complain about a 10 hour work day -- well, I just worked 2 days worth of hours.
I started out busing tables and helping with prep and setup. Eventually I was moved to an outside job, refilling water coolers and icing them as well. Pretty much anything outside was my domain. There were pluses and minuses to this. The good things; well I escaped from the craziness of inside. I got to sit all day, instead of stand.
The bad? Instead of just my boss checking up on me it was the general manager and golf pro of the club. I had a radio on me, so I was constantly available and constantly told by multiple people that I wasn't doing my job fast enough (any faster would have been physically impossible) and that I needed to do their request instantly or faster. It was also brutally hot outside this summer, so that was rough, i always wore suntan lotion and I still got roasted daily.
But one of the worst things about working on the course and not inside was the lack of camaraderie with the other employees. These were people I really liked and felt comfortable with, with the exception of maybe a few. And yet when I was out on the course, I didn't see these people except for meals when I came inside, or anytime I happened to have a spare minute walking around inside. I missed the smiles, the laughs we shared together and the jokes and little pick-me-ups here and there. It really got to me that I was outside, sort of out of the loop, and feeling like I was slowly drifting apart from everyone who worked there.
One group of kids there always all hang out, but they all go and drink and party. Granted, that's never been my thing, at least not to that extent, but although I feel I am good friends with most of those people, I have never once been invited. That's fine though, everyone picks who they want to hang out with and not. And I'm not one to butt in and ruin the fun. It's just interesting to me. I try to help everyone out at work as much as I can, because I know how crazy it can be inside. Whether that's shooting a smile or just asking if they need anything, I'll try to do it. Maybe they feel that because I'm nice, I wouldn't be that fun outside of work.
I guess the point is though that where you work is an important place. It's important to develop those coworker relationships, and I just didn't want to miss out on getting to know all of those people better, even if it was solely in a work environment. But, there's nothing I can really do. I'm good at the course setup, and I do enjoy it. It just gets lonely sometimes...