02-08-10 - The Early Shift

I've been falling off the early shift wagon a little bit. I just can't figure out how to fucking LIVE !? In theory the early shift is pretty sweet. You get home by 3:30 or 4:00 so you have time to run around and exercise in the sun before dinner. The office is nice and quiet when you get in so you can focus.

The biggest win of the early shift is that traffic is so *reliably* non-existant. People often suggest shifting late as if that's equivalent to shifting early. It's not even close. The thing is, traffic problems are not of instantaneous duration. An accident during rush hour (or a bridge opening or whatever) will cause lingering traffic for *hours* afterward. That means when you shift late, you either have to shift *really* late, or you have to have a pretty high probability of at least moderate traffic.

The traffic density ramps up very fast in the morning, reaches peak in 7-8 and then bleeds off very slowly. (The best data I've found is UW HOV study ; click the green boxes to download PDF's or go straight to Congestion Frequency ). Congestion before 7 AM is reliably near zero. Then it trails off gradually.

To shift late to really avoid traffic you have to shift to 11:00 - 7:00 , and even then you're going to be hitting way way more traffic than you would at 7:00 - 3:00 ; something like an accident on the 520 can easily make traffic bleed way past 7:00.

So, shifting early is awesome. No, not really. It means you have to go to sleep by 10 or so, eat dinner at 6-7, so you never get to see friends at night. If you do stay up late one time, it completely fucks you up.

The worst thing is that my body clock just doesn't want to adjust even with about 2 weeks of pretty steady early schedule. I wake up and I'm just exhausted, I'm yawning all day. I don't feel hungry at the early-shifted meal times, but if I don't eat I get woozy. So I'm just a bit miserable all the time.

I don't know how to live!!


Aaron said...

Maybe you should rent a shitty little flop-house on the east side across the street from work. Then your commute hours can be:

Morning: Nothing, just walk across the street to work.

Evening: One commute to Seattle after you get off work, in traffic probably, but only once per day.

One more commute back to your flop-house when you're ready to go to bed. Late at night that trip home probably tack an extra 15 minutes onto your normal drive home. Of course, it'd suck if you're drunk taking a taxi home, but you've got $ to burn it seems, so maybe not such a big deal :)

castano said...

Have you thought about doing exercise right after waking up? Something that increases your heart rate and pumps some adrenaline and endorphins into your body... That should really wake you up and get you hungry, plus it will make it easier to get to sleep at the end of the day.

cbloom said...

"Have you thought about doing exercise right after waking up?"

Yeah, obviously bicycle commuting to work would be ideal.

The problem then is I have to wake up at 5 AM or something. Or, I could commute to work at 7 or so and then work out a bit near the office.

One idea I had for a while was to come in to work from like 10 - 3 , and then go home and chill for a bit and then work at home a bit more in the evening. The problem is that extra evening work is so easy to skip.

cbloom said...

"Yeah, obviously bicycle commuting to work would be ideal.

The problem then is I have to wake up at 5 AM or something"

That comes out different than what I meant; I don't mean that bicycle commuting implies waking up at 5 AM. I mean bicycle commuting is a great way to feel good and exercise on the way to work. Bicycle commuting is I think not possible for various reasons. Assuming I *don't* bicycle commute, if I wanted to exercise before commuting and then still commute before traffic, that means waking up at 5 AM.

castano said...

Exercising close to work is what I thought would make most sense.

"Bicycle commuting is I think not possible for various reasons."

Yeah, its unfortunate that the only way to cross the lake is through the I80.

Thatcher Ulrich said...

Amphibuous bike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgSajTZkR1E

MH said...

Flying bike:


old rants