To the unsung heroes who work the graveyard shift in public-safety… we call you, “Guardians of the Night”.
You work all night. When all the world is fast asleep, you are wide awake. You work long hours, from sun-down to sun-up. Holidays? There is no such thing. You celebrate Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at work. You too, miss your son’s soccer game, or your daughter’s dance recital, because you can’t get it off due to staffing shortages. If you do attend, you look like a zombie from being up for 24 hours straight with no sleep due to work. It’s hard for you to accomplish “normal chores” because the bank, post office, grocery store, and dry-cleaners are not open for you in the middle of the night.
You’re underpaid for the work you do at those abnormal hours, which heavily taxes your personal life. Your sleeping and eating habits are unexplainable to your family and friends with regular 9-5 jobs. You come home exhausted because our human bodies are not physiologically programmed to be awake all night and sleep all day. You try to sleep during the day, but your neighbor has a lawnmower cutting his grass right outside your bedroom window, while the kids have organized a football game in the cul-de-sac, and a city crew has arrived with a jackhammer to repair a water-main leak across the street. Your social life self-destructs if you keep your graveyard hours on your days off, or your body becomes utterly confused if you try to switch back-and-forth for lack of maintaining any type of routine schedule.
Darkness is often associated with evil, and yet you boldly suit up and venture into the darkness to patrol the night. The evil lurking in the darkness is no match for you. You take pride rolling around in the mud, the blood, and the beer because no one could do your job like you in the middle of the night. Day shift would not be as much fun. You find comfort in your brothers and sisters working by your side on those front lines in the darkness because they understand the sacrifice.
The graveyard shift at public-safety agencies across the world is often forgotten. Many people mistakenly believe that our public-safety agencies are only staffed and operate during regular business hours. But today, Guardians of the Night, rise and stand tall among us so we can see the men and women who work when no one else wants to… the graveyard shift. Thank you all for your service. Carry on, knowing we all see you and appreciate you.