To anyone who has ever worked shift work before, you will know how incredibly tough and at times downright exhausting it can be. In fact, I remember coming home from work one day after an extremely stressful day (on top of it being my fourth early shift in a row), taking my shoes off and proceeding to curl up into the foetal position on the floor in the spare bedroom and saying to my husband – “I can’t do this anymore”.
I’d reached a point of burn out. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
Every muscle in my body ached from top to toe, my sleep-deprived brain felt completely drained, and I became overwhelmed with emotion when my husband wrapped his supportive arms around me triggering an outpouring of tears down my face.
I felt completely and utterly lost. I loved my job, but due to circumstances beyond my control – the dynamics of the workplace had changed.
A change in management had brought about changes to our work practices, including our rosters – but without any consultation with the staff. This resulted in over 100 resignations over an 18 month period, from a workforce of 300.
Quite simply, despite many years of service, my workmates had reached a point where they’d become burnt out and had enough.
It was an incredibly emotional time – and one that I will never forget.
A stressful workplace is hard enough to navigate through at the best of times, but when it’s coupled with ongoing sleep deprivation thanks to our 24/7 lifestyle, it can wear us down to our very core.
Nonetheless throwing in the towel and quitting my job at the time for me, was not an option. Like most young couples we had a mortgage and bills to pay, and despite the ongoing sleep-deprivation and changes which were occurring in my workplace at the time, I still really loved my job and wasn’t ready to hang up my alarm clock for good – just yet.
In fact, all I really needed was someone to tell me “I know it’s hard Audra, but you’re going to be OK.”
But there was no-one. No-one to put my mind at rest and tell me that despite the rigours of working 24/7 – I was going to be OK.
Perhaps you can relate to these feelings too? (more…)