Dear Ann Landers,
Most of the world works by day and sleeps by night. But many people do their jobs while everyone else sleeps -- police officers, nurses, firefighters, waitresses, truck drivers, telephone operators, cab drivers, janitors, security guards and night-shift workers. I am a woman who manages a very busy bar, which means I work late hours six nights a week.
Some people have the crazy idea that I get paid to "party." Actually, I monitor the bartenders and have to decide which customers have had enough. I rarely get to sit down. Meanwhile, my husband seldom gets to stand up. "Mike" is a disc jockey. He is expected to be cheerful and funny and sound as if he is having a ball, even when he has a killer headache or the flu.
I get home around 4 a.m. Mike gets home about 5:30 a.m. We eat supper together and go to bed when the sun comes up. Then, the phone starts to ring. People think because we work at night, we have the whole day free. Some of our friends and family members have actually said, "You sure have it easy. You can sleep all day." Where do people get that nutty idea?
Night workers are just like everybody else. We spend eight hours at work, a couple of hours commuting and running errands, a few hours doing marketing, cooking and household chores, and if we are lucky, we get six or seven hours of sleep. Will you please say a few kind words for us night owls? We could use a little sympathy. -- Sleepless in New Orleans
God bless you night owls. If it weren't for you, the world would come to a screeching halt at sundown. I'm a bit of a night owl myself -- preferring to work late into the night and sleep until noon. My energy level peaks around midnight. The phone is off the hook when I retire. If people think I'm "peculiar," I don't give a hoot.