As some may know, I’ve finally landed a job (and a pretty decent one, too) - except for one nasty detail: It’s on the night shift.

We’re just two people covering the shift 7 nights per week, and currently we’re simply getting 5 days in a row, with yours truly working Tues-Sat and my colleague working Sun- Thu. IOW, I’m stuck with the very unattractive weekend-disruptive watches Friday and (worse) Saturday. My colleague is OK with us splitting these watches, but we haven’t so far come up with a good plan on how to do so.

The challenge, as presented for the teeming millions: Make us a schedule.

We need the following:

[list=1]
[li]We each have to work on average 5 shifts per week. This is, after all, what Mgt. is paying for, so it has to be easily demonstrable.[/li][li]We’d like to share Fridays and Saturdays as fairly as at all possible. [/li][li]Corollary: All Fridays, Saturdays and - if possible - Sundays - should be solo watches.[/li][li]All shifts have to be covered. [/li][li]We’d of course prefer not to work just one day, nor to have just one day off (although the last may be necessary). Likewise, if possible, it’d be great if we didn’t have to work eight or nine days in a row.[/li][/list=1]

If any group can come up with a plan of Salomonic wisdom & fairness here, it has to be the Dopers, right ? Right ?

<Leans back in happy certitude that question is now in good hands.>

So you’re saying the weekends should be solo watches. Does this mean that both of you working one day would be considered reasonable? Also, can we say 1 shift = 1 day for the purposes of your night shift?

Week one you work Sunday thru Saturday (7 nights),
Your co-worker works Tuesday thru Thursday (3 nights)

Week two you are off Sunday and Monday, work Tuesday thru Thursday.
Your coworker, who was off Friday and Saturday then starts Sunday thru Saturday, and so on.

Giving it a little more thought, it seems that you are saying one person can do the job, but the employer has hired two, with some overlap, so that there is 7 day coverage. Would he or she be amenable to paying you each a full salary and having you just alternate weeks?

I very much doubt so. While the job can mostly be handled by just one person, the boss-man wants two people on duty as much as possible. (It’s kinda nice for us, too. Bathroom breaks, meal breaks etc.)

The easiest way to schedule it is with a 10 & 4 schedule, kinda sucks though to work 10 days in a row. The way it works is, you work 5 days, up to the end of the week. Then you continue on and work 5 more days in the following week. You don’t get overtime because it’s spread over 2 weeks. Then you get 4 days off, usually Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon. Your coworker works just the opposite schedule. This way you get alternate weekends off.

Maybe I missed something, but…
Why don’t you keep the schedule you have now and just alternate weeks? i.e., one week you work Tues-Sat and the next week you work Sun-Thurs

I work Sat-Sun-Mon, 12 hours per day, and 8 hours every other Friday. My counterpart works Tues-Wed-Thurs, and alternating Fridays.

This way, with two people, we cover 7 nights easily, and have 4-day weekends every other week. The trick is to find someone like me, who would rather work weekends then weekdays.

There are consultants who get paid to do just what you’re asking.

I tell you this only so you understand that some of this work has been done for you, and some new schedules are tied to research that demonstrates how different schedules lead to better morale and higher retention rates.

Richard M. Coleman has written a book called “The 24 hour Business”.

There are schedules you never dreamed of out there.

Each of you must work 5 days a week on average, so alternate working 4 and 6 each week.

The 6-day worker will work Saturday and Sunday alone, and will choose his day off thru the week. The 4-day worker can choose his day off from Monday thru Friday each week, excepting the off day chosen by the 6-day person.

Spiny, you live in California, so beware of any schedule that has you working more than 5 days in any one week.
This probably would expose your employer to paying overtime, every time you exceed 5 days/40 hours in one week. This probably would not make your boss a happy camper. (particulary if it came up say a year later, and he had to write a couple of whopping big checks.)