Friday, April 9, 2010

Too Much Facetime

To say that the past 10 days or so have been insane is an understatement. Common sense abandons me as I get offered overtime and I agree to work a lot more than what’s considered healthy. Although yesterday’s payday was great, I’m not going to be taking on so many shifts for quite a while. For one thing, I really need my downtime to unwind and get myself back on track. I also need a break from my colleagues. This is not to say that I don’t like the people that I work with (because for the most part, I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive team) but after spending almost 10 days with the same group of people, I am in dire need of solitude. I work in a department that has a lot of youngish staff who are die hard partiers and I find myself frequently declining invitations to drinks and clubbing. Having exhausted my partying days a long time ago and not being much of a drinker, I’m starting to feel stressed out by frequently having to defend why I just want to stay on my favourite couch reading a good book. Since I live quite far from where I work, I have to commute and after 12 hours, it pretty much drains the last bit of my resolve to maintain an alert level of consciousness. Commuting on my days off feels like a special sort of nightmare. Lastly, I also like to catch up with friends and family who don’t work with me. This is not to say that I never accept an invitation for a night out here and there, but I feel like I need some distance between my coworkers and other aspects of my (mostly boring) life without coming off as a snob.

What say you readers? Is this an unjustified rant from a social recluse or do I have a point?


Andrea said...

You have an absolutely valid point. I feel the same way after three-in-a-row.

I read somewhere once that the average worker after a 16 hour shift would fail a sobriety test. That their driving was officially "impaired". I know I definitely feel that way after a particularly rough shift, or after I've been there having to stay late and chart and not having had a proper break or little to eat that day.

There's nothing wrong with decompressing. You should feel proud you have a life outside of work.

Katie said...

This was a topic of conversation in my apartment after Easter. We've determined that after spending an exuberant amount of time together, there are two types of people:
1. the type that need to get away and NOW
2. the type that need to seperate themselves slowly to avoid withdrawals.
It looks like you fit into group one in regards to your colleagues. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just the way it is.
Go read a good book!
<>< Katie

NurseRatched said...

Not unjustified at all! After a 12 hr shift, I need *quiet* People talking, monitors ringing, pumps beeping (did I mention the dept got new IV pumps, and we're still learning to use them, so they tend to alarm a lot?) the phones ringing...the list goes on.

The thought of going clubbing after work does not appeal to me. I need to withdraw for a while before I can socialize without biting someone's head off.

miss-elaine-ious said...

I go home after multiple 12 hour shifts in the ED and I never want to see anyone except for my fiancee.

He doesn't get it: "Why don't you want to go out?" he asks. Well, considering I see 50+ people (between staff, patients, and families)a day and have to interact with each of them, I really just want to have alone time.

I totally get it. I hope that one day they will too.

StorytellERdoc said...

I just got home from finishing a rough shift, and a vodka and tonic and the end of a great book await me. You are not a recluse, you are normal. Trust me. Or old...:) LOL Have a great weekend.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

A very valid point. Alone time is critical to sanity.

Jackie said...

Complete and total point there sweetheart!

I commute close to an hour each way. (except on the weekened when there is no bus) so I totally understand. It takes every last ounce of strength not to strangle the people on the bus/train who are talking loudly and being obnixuous!

"Me" time is really important. You can always tell them "I have a very important date tonight" and then refuse to mention that it's with yourself.

I'm still "young" and i'm already tired of that clubbing/partying bull.

I just want my couch a good book and a good tv show!


Old MD Girl said...

Not unjustified at all! I used to work at this place where you'd work 12 hours, and then you were *expected* to go out and tie one on with the rest of the team. They would all suck down 3-4 pints and hop in their cars and drive home after going out. And if you didn't go out with them, they'd talk about you behind your back and you were likely to get blacklisted and then fired. It was truly messed up and I'm glad I'm not working there anymore.

So Maha, sometimes going out after work is fun, but we're not in college anymore and sometimes a girl needs her beauty rest!

RehabNurse said...


I'm with you...I'm noted as a teetotaler because I don't talk about getting smashed and driving while intoxicated.

Hello that is a)so stupid and b)so high school.

I prefer to drink at home where I can really relax or with a few, trusted friends at their homes. I am just picky I guess.

I'm all for you maha...gotta have some space or you'll go crazy.

Anonymous said...

Some people are energized by being with other people and others are re-energized by being alone.
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude." ~Henry David Thoreau

Albinoblackbear said...

I used to tell people that I needed time in my sensory deprivation chamber after work.

Big ED's have bright lights and lots of machines going 'BING!!!!!!!'

I think it is more than normal to want some quiet time after several hours of that.

This is coming from a nerdy bookworm though so take my opinion with a grain of salt. ;)

Anonymous said...

My PEEPS...where have you all been hiding??

I do not work in an ER; in fact I am a nursing instructor and am only in the hospital when I am there with students. BUT--the energy it takes for me to be "up" for any workday is exhausting (People think I am a very friendly extrovert, but I merely play one on television!)

I don't want to be anywhere when not at work except HOME with just DH and the critters, with the exception of camping or hiking deep off the beaten path. Give me a good book and a glass of wine, or decent TV and I am happy as a clam. I also need more sleep than the average bear of my age, and consider reading and napping all day paradise!

And no, not depressed or unhappy, just need my quiet time or the synapses quit and madness takes its toll!

PAttie, RN

Anonymous said...

I think the point of this story is this: if you weren't a social recluse, then who would hang out with me?! Yes, its all about your sister and her needs. So piss off work buddies, shes mine in her days off!

Halie said...

The bar/club scene grates on my nerves and the idea of getting gussied up after a long day at work only to go out and talk about work some more... no thanks! Sometimes putting your feet up is just what the nurse ordered!

Gossamer1013 said...

Good grief----that you even have to ask if this is OK is proof that you need to decompress!

(Having been only on the receiving end of medical care, I believe that all of you folks should have complimentary neck and foot massages on demand.)

Off-topic: a while back one of your posts was about a homeless man who came in with a kitten. I cried. I forwarded. Others cried.

Go pamper yourself; we need people like you.

shrtstormtrooper said...

I'm a little late to this game, but I'm with you. Being only 24, I'm of the age group in the ER where I'm expected to go out after work every day. And I don't. Not because I don't like my coworkers - I do - but because my job is not my life, and my coworkers are not the only people in my life.

I have a life outside, and I balance myself between the two. Sometimes I go out and socialize, most times I go home and decompress. Both are necessary.

You're not abnormal.

mojitogirl said...

Living in a small town (SMALL!) means if I go out for drinks, I meet up with the same people I treat in the ER. If I'm lucky, they're not selling the drugs they got prescribed there.

Personally, when I work, I try for all my shifts in a row, so I can have lots of days off together to completely decompress, turn off the phone (no, I don't care if you're short-staffed!) and connect with the rest of my life.

After all: this is what I do for a living, not who I am.

BTW: just picked up on your blog.Love it!

gabbiana said...

I don't even freakin' leave the house on my after-shift days, usually. Too much noise.


Maha said...

Glad to know I'm in good company!