If you work on the night shift, should you be allowed to sleep?

I work for a technology company where my team and I host tech support services for big time accounts… our operation is 24X7 so therefore we have 3 shifts… I along with a couple others work up to 10 accounts on the 3rd shift while everybody else, including management goes home and sleeps.

This weekend, my brother and I moved into a new apatrment… a very exhusting event that took all weekend… Monday, I come into work… but I’m dead tired… I WILL NOT make it throgh the night without passing out at my desk. So what I do is go to my teamlead who is about to leave and let them know that I am too tired to work and I’m going home. They say fine… JUST email the project lead that I am going home. So I did. And then I went home.

Next day my manager calls me and tells me that I should not have gone home, that I needed to voicemail her or email her… I said fine, sorry, will do next time… it will not happen again. She says that just because I’m tired is not good enough reason to go home… whatever.

Still with me? Good because this is where this shit gets good…

EVERY Single night I work, the other people I work with fall asleep… not a rest, not a breather, not a nap… they go to sleep for 3+ hours every night… sometimes putting them out of a phone state to take tech support calls so they are not woke up. I NEVER do this ever. I’m always in the correct phone state, always at my computer, yet I tell the truth and get in trouble for it? WTF?

Should these people be replaced? This is making me look bad even when I’m honest!

Should I rat? I hate to, but this shit is getting old, and I will NOT be the scapegoat forever… I’m simply not paid enough for that.

No, if you work the night shift, you should be awake and doing your job the same as if you were working in the day.

I wouldn’t be allowed to nap at my desk after lunch, I think the same applies.


It was almost like she was treatening to fire me… I’ve got an excellent record with the company other than this… NO bad marks that I know of or anybody has told me on the dl about…

I think I’m going to bring my video camera in this place… I’m not going down with swinging. A swing to knock somebody’s non thinking head off… If the moto of the company you work for is “think”, then damn, you should be thinking, don’t you think? lol

Y’all thinking again over there in NC? Is that where the smoke’s comin’ from? :wink:

Sure, get proof and call her out if you have to, sounds like you might not have much else to lose.


This happened to me last night. Sometimes my co-workers and I will doze off in our chairs a bit, but always ready to take calls. Our supervisors are aware of this, but so long as we don’t miss a call (which we haven’t yet) and our administrative chores are done by shift-end, they don’t really care. Then last night I suddenly realised that my partner in crime had been gone for almost an hour at one point. His phoen was on ‘not-ready’, so I went looking for him.

He was asleep on the couch in the lounge. :rolleyes: I did mention that part to our team leader, since I was just a wee bit irate.

Shit like that happens every night… I’m not a rat… I hate rats, but this is the IT industry and you get paid to be a rat… so it’s really a move to protect my own ass… too bad I’ve got to take someone else’s out to do it… Oh well, upper management busts a nut everytine they get a chance to fire sombody… it’s really all one sick game if you ask me. I’d rather give a handjob than get fired:smack:

Why would anyone sleep at night? That’s what daytime is for.

At least for people like me who are naturally nocturnal for some reason.

Anyway, all that should matter is if a job is done, and if it’s done well, and you aren’t in any way harming the company. Beyond that it shouldn’t matter if you shut your eyes now and again, though tightassed bosses probably think otherwise.

Here’s my manager’s email after our talk tonight:

Tyler, To document our conversation this evening…I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt in this situation. In the future, please be aware that being sick and being tired are two different situations. If you are too tired to work, the expectation is that you would take vacation or personal holiday time to cover your absence (after checking with the team lead on the schedule). Being sick is a totally different situation which XXXX has a policy on and covers the tine you are absent due to illness.

Additionally, in the future please make sure you are sending me a direct communication (phone mail or email) if you are either calling in sick or leaving a shift early.


And here’s my reply:
Thanks. I want you to believe me when I say that it was necessary… and I will take a vacation day(s) or comp day off my allotment if you deem it. Once again sorry, but I don’t sleep on the job and it’s already a big rumor that everybody does nothing but sleep all night on the night shift (which has some truth to it… no names shouted…)

If being sick and being tired are too different things, why are people always so sick AND tired? :smiley:

I’d definitely go with the video camera option. You don’t have to hand it in immediately or even threaten anyone with it (in fact, I’d advise against that). Just keep it around in case there’s ever talk of a round of layoffs.

I personally treasure the Polaroid I have of my former boss asleep at his desk at 4pm in an open-plan office. He was one hell of an inspirational leader, I tell you.

sucks it has to come to that… Damn that’s almost like Blaclmaling somebody… infact, it could be used for that purpose! Got to move carefully on this one… hopefully it will just end up as a form of entertainment for me on my home computer… it is kind of funny… SLEEP AT HOME PEEPS!!!

As someone who’s worked the third shift, I think it’s bloody unreasonable for management not to be understanding if on rare occasions your sleep clock gets screwed up and you’re too tired to make it through the night. I’m as nocturnal a person as I know, but after a few months, there were days I couldn’t get much sleep at all, and a few where I didn’t get any (and called in sick).

Used to work as a night patrol loser for the college I attended. If I had to work a double, or midterms were looming, or I could think of any other lame rationalization I would just find a nice dark corner with matching comfy chair and hope I woke up before the janitors did.

True… every once in a while… but this is every… single… night people! Hell one person even brought a pillow with them! (now fired)

If I lose my job over this, I’m going to through my boss out a window… we do have video cameras that could be used… but hey… this is managemnt we’re talking about…

I work in a manufacturing facility that has a decent sized third shift (approximately 200 people). Sleeping on the job is not tolerated - and it shouldn’t be. Of course on your lunch break you can do whatever you want, but if you are on the clock you are expected to be working.

Safety has a lot to do with this, accidents happen and can be a hell of a lot worse if somebody is sleeping. You don’t want someone machining an 8 ton engine frame or a 400 lb turbocharger casing going to sleep and the machine go haywire. Get caught once and you will be warned, get caught twice and you’re out.

Incidentally, our policy is that leaving because of being tired means you have to use personal illness time (paid or unpaid) and you are not eligible to use vacation.

I think I should be allowed to sleep on my day shift!

If the only respnosibility is to anwer the phone when it rings and a person can be alert enough after being awakened by a ringing phone then let a person sleep - but also pay that person less that his or her day shift counterparts who work on projects and maintain equipment etc.

I used to work the midnight to 8 am shift at an answering sevice. I slept on a couch and answered 3 or 4 calls a night. When I filled in on a day shift I got paid more than double because the phones rang non-stop.

As for ratting out the habitual sleepers - isn’t there someone noticing that for all the calls logged during your shift you catch a bigger percentage of them than is fair, or that people are having to wait on hold? Perhaps it’s naive to think that someone would be paying attention to that.

My sister has risen to the top of her department over several years. It seems like during that time the people who read People instead of taking calls, or gave wrong answers always manage to get themselves gone without her having to provide videos. I miss some of them though, there were always good stories.

I find that hard to believe. I don’t know you other than these posts, but I get a sense that you think that the rules of the company don’t apply to you. If you are conveying that attitude at work, it’s likely your boss is waiting for a chance to get on your case and leaving early because you are sleepy certainly gives him the opportunity.

Here, the happy land of government work, you can only be immediately fired if you physically hit someone, if you bring a gun on-site, if they find unlawful narcotics on you, or if you are found asleep on the job. Everything else goes through a massive paper trail. No sleeping EVER at your desk.

And as the queen of tired, sleepiness is NO reason to ever take sick leave. Your planning your day badly does not make you sick. Sick leave is a privilege that is not to be abused. Sick leave should only be used in the event of illness, or doctor’s appointments that are approved by your supervisor. Vacation time is used for any other time you leave work.

ah yes … sleepy only sure… whaat the hell ? I would have just stayed and slept with the rest of my crew… morons… but that’s just it… I was not just tired… I was sore to the point of I could not move… my calves where knotting up… I was having trouble typing because my fingers could not move… I was litterally no good to do anything… it was hard even driving my car home… i’m still sore today! So maybe I should have been more to the to the point with my boss… obviously tired is not the only thing… but I had been up since 1am the other night so it was the first thing that came out of my mouth… er, email…

I work 7 12 hour night shifts and 7 12 hour day shifts per month (on a rota to complex to go into here) at a tech. support company and ALL of the guys I work with sleep on the job but I dont, now I dont mind them sleeping because I cant cat nap like that without feeling shit when I wake up. If however I started to take their calls because they were asleep I would have words with them. Can’t you confront your workmates without going above there heads? They would respect you more for it. Also being tired is not really a reason to take time off work - you really should have said you were ill if you were that tired, lesson one in office politics, never tell the truth when it comes to time off!

An airline pilot once told me that pilots regurarly take turns to take a nap, which made me feel much safer when flying. I would not trust a flight crew that were fighting to stay awake instead of dozing away a couple of minutes if they had the opportunity.