How to endure a physically exhausting and mentally draining job?
March 1, 2014 8:10 PM   Subscribe

So, being the unemployable liberal arts grad that I am, I’ve started cashiering / waiting tables to make ends meet, while looking for internships in my desired field (which are often unpaid anyway). I hate this job, dread going to work, but cannot quit yet. How do I cope?

The shifts are 6 hours, sometimes 12 hours, long. At the end of the day, my body would be sooo tired from all that standing and running around. But what’s more important is my deteriorating mental health. I’m an extremely thin-skinned introvert. Thus, socially interacting with people and dealing with their demands / complaints is too much for me to bear. Also, I know this is unreasonable, but I cannot help feeling what a waste my life has been, investing in all those degrees for nothing. I’ve always taken school very seriously, studying so hard to get good grades. And look at where I have ended up! It would have been better if I had quit high school instead.

I know that life is tough and happiness is not to be expected (although this realization sometimes leads me to the conclusion that it’s not worth it to be alive after all). However, it seems like other people handle it better than I do. For example, my co-workers at the restaurant (waiters, cooks, and dish-washer) are toiling away too, but they can still have fun, talking and joking around with each other at work. My sister used to have a similar job that paid even much less, yet she rarely complained about it. My parents have been self-employed with various jobs that are more physically and mentally taxing, but they tolerate everything well enough.

While reality cannot be changed, at least temporarily, I hope to change my attitude towards it. So, please share with me words of wisdom that can make me feel better about the situation. Thanks a lot in advance!

P/S: I’m an atheist, so religious teachings may not be effective. Also, I currently cannot afford therapy.
posted by shadowy_world to Work & Money (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Can you make some friends/allies at the restaurant and share in the misery a bit? When I waited tables, I loved to share stories of our favorite/least favorite regular patrons, swap gossip, and give each other some really necessary breaks stolen away in the walk-ins while my buddies would cover my tables for a bit. It sounds like you might be approaching this job in a loner mentality, and while it may be against your introverted grain to reach out to others in the job, it may help to have a close group of people you can count on to ford against the teeming masses, as it were.
posted by xingcat at 8:22 PM on March 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Remove meaning from the job, which means more meaning elsewhere.

Otherwise center the bullshit as bullshit.
posted by PMdixon at 8:27 PM on March 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you feel that minimum wage jobs are all that is available to you right now, can you get a different kind of job? I had such a range of minimum wage jobs when I was in college and they were all different, and I had a blast at them -- WAY more so than my first "entry-level professional" jobs which didn't even pay that much more. What about stocking a grocery store overnights or delivering packages? There are plenty of things that don't involve much human interaction or dealing with people's complaints.
posted by cairdeas at 8:39 PM on March 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tangential to your question but perhaps relevant: as an introvert, I found I was much better off doing warehouse and factory work than customer service. It didn't pay much but I was able to pick up jobs through temp agencies. It might not be a viable alternative for you but it's something to think about.
posted by metasarah at 8:40 PM on March 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

seconding the notion of giving more thought to the nature of your minimum wage position. It may have nothing to do with your life/career ambitions but it's clearly making a mess of your here and now.

When I was in a similar phase in my life, I fumbled through a bunch of different low wage jobs all of which were killing me in their way. And I kept quitting them because they weren't worth dying for. Eventually I ended up driving cab, which to this day is the best "job" job I've ever had. Better than any grad school I might have attended.

Good luck.
posted by philip-random at 9:00 PM on March 1, 2014

I'm just here to say that I had those same problems with working customer service call centers. I hated it. I mentioned my loathing to a friend and she said, well, what you need is an office assistant job! I went looking and presto, whole new environment with smiling people who appreciated my ability to operate a giant blueprint copy machine (it would not work for anyone else). Way better than being miserable all day.

If finding a new job is not an option or you just can't face looking for something... just remind yourself every day that this pays the bills FOR NOW. It is not forever.

If there are people around you who actually seem to enjoy the work you do not enjoy, ask them what they like about it. Be genuine, sincere - this will help you see it differently. Ask them about their best days there. What happened? What about their most fun or funny moments on the job? Anything happy like that will help. Also, keep your eye out for your own fun and funny moments.

So, I know you are looking for internships and so on, but what other things can you do? If you can cope with waiting on people, maybe look for office assistant, receptionist, concierge, chauffeur, library page (puts books away/gets books), temp agency..?? Factory/warehouse stuff might also work as suggested above? I was also going to suggest driving a cab, as mentioned above also.

You might also look for a position that is email customer service. For the most part, those jobs are copy/paste (surely you've been on the other end of that? :).

If you like dogs - dog walker? Petsitter? Position at a dog daycare?

Do you like to write? Maybe Elance or something for writing jobs?
posted by AllieTessKipp at 9:22 PM on March 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I forgot to mention I am also an introvert. I work from home as a transcriptionist and interact with a single person via IM once in awhile. I am very, very happy with this.

I hear Verbal Ink pays a living wage for general transcription. I have not worked for them myself but read good things about them recently when looking for a new job as a medical transcriptionist.

Also - delivery driver? All that time to yourself in the car. :)

Most of the things I listed would be things I'd be willing to do myself (maybe not concierge - too many people - BUT you stay in one spot most of the day! :).
posted by AllieTessKipp at 9:30 PM on March 1, 2014 [6 favorites]

How long have you been at this job? I started a new job (of a similar sort) in November and the first day I couldn't stand it. But I desperately needed the money, so I kept working and sort of told myself I'd give it til the end of the year. I journal compulsively, so I kept notes on each day of work for about the first 15 work days, and if I go back and read now, I can see my observations/feelings going from "I am not sure I can make it though any more days of this" to "this isn't that bad/is almost kind of fun" and now I mostly like it (for what it is, at least.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:34 PM on March 1, 2014

I realized really early on in my work life that I was not suited for certain types of jobs and didn't even bother to apply. For other jobs where I had the whole "my life oh how it squandereth" moments I just kept reminding myself that it's a means to an end.

I work in a completely different field that what I got my degrees in, and the names of the schools I went to sometimes impress people. But what I get hired for is the experience and expertise I gained doing jobs I never thought I would or could do. So consider that there may be value in even the crappiest places.
posted by sm1tten at 9:34 PM on March 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, waiting tables would be tough for an introvert. Can you brainstorm other jobs and look into what it takes to get them? Construction / trades are often moderately to very solo. Baking, doing prep cook work, and dishwashing are also more solo.

When I had a job like this, I found relief from the meaninglessness via self improvement (I got all into meditation and spent my breaks reading Siddhartha one summer; another phase was going to the gym all the time), dreaming and plotting my escape (planning a move, applying to other jobs, reading up on vacation spots), and hobbies.

Consider saving up and moving. A crummy job in a beautiful place or in a place with lots of career opportunities is a lot better than a crummy job living in the suburbs with one's parents (just to give two examples; i don't know your situation). Easier said than done, I'm sure, but if say, you're willing to live out of your car, that helps. Or try tourist towns and see if you can get lodging at the hostel in exchange for cleaning rooms. Now is also a good time to apply to be a camp counselor... er, camp cook? Maybe this is off base. you mention local internship opportunities, so maybe you like it where you are.

It sounds like two things are dragging you down, being a "thin skinned introvert" in a thick skinned extrovert's job, and your thoughts that your life has been a waste. Being thin -skinned: have you tried the phrase "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke?" This one I can't help you with except to validate that if you are thin skinned, food service may be tough. The second one: that sounds like depression and hopelessness talking. Can you table the question of whether college was worth it to reconsider in two years? Or can you go even more nihilistic or hedonistic? Why must everything have "a point" or "achieve something" lest it be a waste? Did you not spend those days breathing air and looking at things? Was there pleasure in that?

Last, the exhaustion. Are you talking social or physical exhaustion? If it's social exhaustion, i doubt there's a way around that other than soaking up your alone time however you can get it. For physical exhaustion, strangely, you might try exercise. The YMCA / YWCA offers reduced price memberships for lower income people. But it's tough. After waiting tables, I would lie on the floor looking at the ceiling for a long time. Then take a really hot shower. Or sit there counting my money, organizing the bills, putting it in the shoebox, rolling coins, etc. (I loved handling the cash at the time because I remembered how hard I physically worked for it. Counting it, touching it, helped tell my body "see THIS is why you are exhausted.") Oh, one thing that did really help after a shift was dancing alone in my room. That, and long hot showers, were usually the moments when it hit me that my body was mine again and not a tool for doing something for someone else.
posted by salvia at 9:36 PM on March 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

I am (or was) an introvert and a bookworm (and an atheist, hi.)

Books are about people. We don't read novels about dogs, we read novels about people. We watch movies about people. At some point in my life, I realized that I actually liked people- their quirks, their stories, their failings. Don't get me wrong, it is a universally understood fact that customer service is shitty. (It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife...) But you are surrounded by characters. What were you, an English major? Write their stories. A psych major? Psychoanalyze them. A history major? Learn their personal histories, where they fit into the timeline of humanity. You see what I mean?

At some point in life I gave up on being an introvert. I gave up on being invested in it, on pigeonholing myself. My fantasy of being alone on a peaceful desert island and reading about people instead of interacting with them was always fantastical bullshit anyway. I mourned it and had a good laugh.

I mean, yes, you could get a cubicle job. They do exist. Absolutely. You could probably pull that off. But they have their downsides, too.

Read Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham on your breaks.
posted by quincunx at 10:57 PM on March 1, 2014 [11 favorites]

How long have you been at this job? The summer that I worked as a restaurant hostess I was super tired/stressed the first few weeks, but then I got used to it.
posted by radioamy at 11:09 PM on March 1, 2014

To a degree you get used to the physical and mental demands of any job. When I first worked in catering I only had a short 3.5 hr shift and I was dead at the end of that. Soon I was doing double and triple shifts and whilst I was dead after the triple shifts I could take anything less than that in my stride.

Secondly, if customer service is not for you find something that isn't customer service. Find something that requires way less interaction and way less smilie/happy interaction in particular. Work in a warehouse if that's what it takes. Still physically exhausting but a lot less so mentally.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:33 PM on March 1, 2014

Creative person with a restaurant job here.

1. Your job is how you pay the rent. It's just the money, it's not your soul. I currently work at two restaurants and one I absolutely hate, but . . . leaving with a lot of cash at the end of the night makes the job easier to bear.
2. Make friends with your coworkers, but don't feel like you have to get sucked into the social scene.
3. Wear good shoes. Excercise. You're young and you shouldn't be knocked on your ass by the physical demands of a restaurant job.
4. Chin up, Charlie. Life is tough. Channel your frustration into a way out, don't throw yourself a pity party.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 2:46 AM on March 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Care less. Give only the required amount of shits about the job necessary to keep it until you find something better (something not in food service!)

Do your best not to bring echoes of the workplace home with you (the reprimands, the customers piques, the squabbles.) This is something I failed to do at every co-worker type job I've ever had, and I was always the more miserable for it.

I second other posters who suggest finding a dog-walker, pet-sitter, maybe proofreader, sort of work. Maybe lawn care? Something more quiet and and outdoors. The sheer din of food service must also drive you crazy.

I'm an extrovert, and I can't imagine being in your job.
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:50 AM on March 2, 2014

I know everyone is telling you to get another job but I know from experience how difficult those office asssistant type jobs can be to get. Even with the economy recovering, you're fighting against people with actual experience, not just soft skills. While factory jobs are easy to land they can be really monotonous and depending, very hard on your body. So their is no simple answer.

I currently am a teacher aide (I, too have an undergrad degree I can't apply to anything). My job is hard for different reasons perhaps (pay sucks, nobody respects you despite being the person who knows the students best, no career path, easy to be taken advantage of, etc) but what keeps me going is knowing it's just a waystation. This isn't my final resting place. I have a direction.

Use this time to figure that out. It's easier when you distance yourself from your job. It's kind of nice that despite my low pay I've saved enough money to have choices. I think our generation was broight up to believe a job is everything and it doesn't have to be. Sometimes it's money, or a filler in between life transitions, or something you learn to like.
posted by Aranquis at 6:55 AM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have an office assistant job and I am still having to do public service and am getting yelled at all the time for how inadequate I am at it. (Again, degrees don't do much these days, but what does?) The jobs where you work in a cube and nobody needs to talk to you all day are slim to none. I miss it. I thought I was much more of an extrovert than I actually am, I guess. I feel pecked to death all day.

I am coming to the conclusion that I HAVE TO drink the Kool-Aid. I HAVE TO care DEEPLY about serving and helping and giving everyone what they want, because trying to keep my introvert self preserved is getting me in trouble. (And people will not go away until they get what they want.) I have to WELCOME everyone who is eating my soul and demanding and needing of me. I have to give until it hurts because that is the job. I have to be someone else entirely for 40 hours a week, because being me is Not Okay. So I am trying to think of some kind of persona that is practically perfect in every way, knows everything, and is happy dappy doo to serve and help and welcomes people telling me what I did wrong again today, and put that on like a uniform. Because anything less than that is unacceptable when serving the public all day long.

Yes, this is depressing, but.... I can't find another job that lets me hide in a corner any more, so it's either embrace the service or end up homeless.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:43 AM on March 2, 2014

Retail/food service jobs ARE draining for introverts. Heck, I am about as balanced on the introvert/extrovert scale as you can get and they drained ME.

I like my current job because, although I do interact with people as part of it, it's generally the same people, and they are NICE. The rest of the time I am holed up in my cubby with my computer and phone and as happy as a clam.

See about some temp work in a different field. Your mental health is worth something.

If that is not possible then, try to see your current job as a way of getting used to dealing with people. That's not a bad thing either. But yeah, this needs to be temporary for you.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:25 AM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been in your exact spot. Actually, I've been in your exact spot, gotten the office job/internship/"career opportunity"/grad school admittance and *still* gone back to waitressing over and over. Because at this point, I actually really like it. Plus, once you get going, the money can be really pretty good, especially compared to the work load.

There's a really long learning curve, though, much longer than I would have thought for sure. The frustrating thing is, at the beginning of that curve, you can technically do the job, it's just incredibly crappy and draining. Over time, though, a whole lot becomes second nature, it all becomes a whole lot easier (and a lot of it actually becomes fun), and thankfully, because of the nature of the work, you can start figuring out exactly what kind of restaurant/bar/club is the right place for you, and actually transition into that. Your money will get a lot better over time because you'll be doing better work and, eventually, working in a better place (one that fits you better, and also one that just has more money coming in the door). So what I'm saying is, don't give up. It's not actually a terrible job, but you're not able to enjoy any of its perks yet because just hitting your marks is tough right now, and you're probably working in a place that isn't quite your style/right for you -- so of course you're exhausted and frustrated and lonely at the moment. That's OK, that's normal, that's what happens when you get thrown in at the deep end -- but that doesn't mean it'll always be like that.

At the end of the day, my body would be sooo tired from all that standing and running around.

Yeah, it took a long time (about three weeks per job, at least) for me not to feel like I was getting my ass kicked. Everybody doesn't have that issue, but in my experience, tons of people do. Make sure you eat a few bites during the long shift -- at least bring some fig newtons or something -- and drink a ton of water. If you take at least a bite and have a sip or two of water every few hours, it'll keep your energy up and your mood more level, and then you won't crash at the end of the night. Some people don't have that issue and can go for a 14-hour stretch without eating or drinking but I know that I can't, and if you can't either, that's just a physical/logistical issue to work around.

If your legs are very tired at the end of the shift, that's totally normal, too. In my first waitressing job I'd come home from a double and there would be this weird popping feeling in my shin muscles -- dunno if you're having that? Anyway, your body will get used to it. In the meantime:

-- Gel insoles for your shoes. Don't skimp on shoes, or on those inserts!
-- Keep your feet elevated when you're sitting around after work.
-- Roll a tennis ball under your feet when you're hanging out (you can use a pool noodle, too).

Right now, you might need more food and more sleep and more water than you're used to -- don't worry, your body will get used to the work, but in the meantime, don't starve or exhaust or dehydrate it.

But what’s more important is my deteriorating mental health. I’m an extremely thin-skinned introvert. Thus, socially interacting with people and dealing with their demands / complaints is too much for me to bear.

The best advice I've gotten is: It's just lunch. It's just dinner. It's just drinks. Nobody is going to starve, everybody is going to be fine. Customers and other workers can put a lot of pressure on you, which makes it *feel* high stakes sometimes, but it's not high stakes. So if you get tense just remind yourself -- you are literally walking over and picking up a beer (or whatever) and bringing it over to someone. This is not rocket science and this is not saving a trauma case in the ER. If you take ten seconds to carry a beer across a room instead of five then oh well. Que sera sera.

Part of what customers are paying for when they're paying you to serve them is for your patience. Some people try to get a whole lot of patience out of you, usually the people who can't afford to buy it that often. Don't worry about it, don't begrudge it, just try to give it to them.

Also, customers can be rough, but they can be pretty great, too. Sometimes a customer can just make your day, when they're just really kind, or you hit it off with each other, or they say just the right thing. Over time you'll probably get some of those gems, too. Also, if you're feeling lonely and frustrated, it's OK for your friends and family to drop by for a snack or meal, and sit in your section! If you're having a rough stretch at work, it can be a real pick-me-up.

Stay positive with your customers and co-workers, it'll foster better relationships and make work a lot easier. Someone gave me the advice a while back: "never say no." When I first heard that, I thought it was frustrating and over the top, but over time, it actually has proven invaluable.

Also, I know this is unreasonable, but I cannot help feeling what a waste my life has been, investing in all those degrees for nothing. I’ve always taken school very seriously, studying so hard to get good grades. And look at where I have ended up! It would have been better if I had quit high school instead.

It would not have been better if you'd quit high school instead. Look how freaking hard it is just to make a living and get by even with a degree. If you hadn't had all that education, and had had to just muddle through and figure out all this ("all this" meaning: how to think critically, how to pick out the relevant information someone's giving you, how to learn and apply new techniques/procedures quickly, etc), without teachers and professors to guide you, you *might* have gotten to the place where you are now, but it would have been a much rougher road. Also, especially if you're judging what life is like for high school dropouts by the lives of people you work with, then I think you might not be seeing a very representative sample; I know a whole lot of people who didn't finish high school and they've had it rough. Not a single one of them (including 90% of my relatives) can get work right now for the life of them and have struggled for years and years, if not for their whole lives. It's hard enough for a lot of people who have no diploma or GED to hang onto under-the-table stuff a lot of the time. So don't discount the leg up your education has given you, even if you haven't gotten a boost all the way to where you eventually want to go.

Also, you aren't wasting your life now. There is a lot to learn in a restaurant if you keep your eyes open. Some things that I'm now very grateful for having had such a great chance to learn while working in restaurants and bars: how to read people, the art of persuasion (and sales), how to cater to people in a way that makes them feel heard while staying efficient in my work, a *whole* lot of nitty gritty about economics and politics...Having to work as part of a larger team and having to deal with *so many* people every day forced me to grow as a person, too, which wasn't always comfortable but which was most definitely worth it. There are tons of other places a person can (and will) learn those things, but serving full time gave me a crash course and maybe it can do the same for you.

You might want to think about this as an opportunity to learn, rather than as a waste of what you've already learned. If there's anything that you're really interested in that concerns the restaurant, ask questions and learn more. In a place where I worked, there was a big sign that tracked our sales and stats in real time, and I swear I learned more about economics from that sign that I have from multiple grad classes in the subject. Maybe that's not interesting to you, but with *that many* people all piled in one place and working at a breakneck pace together for hours every night, I'm sure you can find one person or one topic that you find interesting and can learn from.

Anyway, don't give up -- what you're going through is perfectly normal. It'll probably get a whole lot better, but you might have to be patient. In the meantime, enjoy your shift drink and the cash you get at the end of the night, be kind to your body, and try not to take yourself/work/anyone too seriously.
posted by rue72 at 12:03 PM on March 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

So, first off, everything that rue72 said. Restaurants (I'm biased; I cook for a living) are an amazing way to learn all sorts of 'soft' skills that will help you in the future. If nothing else, you'll know how hard the work is and be even better to servers who serve you in the future.

But, to your actual specific question, I'm going to assume finding a more introvert-happy job isn't an option.

So. First of all, most servers hate their jobs. There's an in-the-trenches mentality in restaurant work that basically everyone's a part of. Extended kvetching sessions are part of the life, so trust me when I say your coworkers know your pain and are happy to share and lighten the load.

Second, just because you're serving doesn't mean you suddenly have to be this bubbly gregarious extrovert (unless you're working at the kind of place that requires pieces of flair, in which case sorry, I can't help much. Other people here can, mainly the people suggesting a change of job venue). You can be professional and detached while still giving good, warm service. Think of it this way: when you go to work, you're putting on a mask. Masks give you licence to behave in ways that are different than you would normally while still being comfortable. So put on the mask of attentive, efficient server.

Third, I guarantee the kitchen will kvetch with you about guests.

Fourth, try thinking of them as 'guests' and not 'customers.' It may seem counterintuitive given your preference for introversion, but try thinking about them as guests your parents have had over for dinner. You don't need to be SUPERBOUNCYFRIENDOUTGOINGPERSON. You need to be courteous and warm, that's all--and that gives you a bunch of space to still be private, which as a conflictedly introverted person I think is really the root of introversion.

Fifth, this too shall pass. Your job does not define who you are. Leave it behind when you walk out the door at the end of your shift. This applies to every job you will have for the rest of your life. Whenever you walk out the door of home or work, leave it behind.

Sixth, let's talk about how physically draining it can be. Most importantly, get comfortable shoes. Obviously they'll have to fit in your restaurant's dress code, but get the most comfortable, supportive shoes you can. Giving yourself a foot bath when you get home after work is a great way to relax both mentally and physically. If that's not really an option, Body Shop mint foot lotion (or any close equivalent) is a great thing to keep both at work and at home. It'll cool and soothe sore feet, which can be surprisingly rejuvenating in the middle of a busy service. If nothing else is an option, take a spare pair of clean socks (/pantyhose/whatever you wear) and change into them halfway through your shift. It sounds like nothing but trust me, that small bit of comfort makes a huge change. Take breaks whenever you can. I realize obviously how hard that is in service, but any chance you have to reasonably rest your feet for a few minutes will really help you.

I did suggest kvetching with coworkers, but try to keep away from the heavy drinking that tends to go with. It'll drain your paycheque for one thing, and will sap your energy at work. Try (and again I know how impossible this can be in our industry) to eat well--lots of dark veggies and lean protein; low glycemic index food--at least while working. Get sleep. Give yourself decompression time alone after work. Make friends with the kitchen! Being the server who asks permission rather than begging forgiveness will endear you to them--and they will do their best to make your life easier.

Seventh, and finally, complaints. They suck. No question. I used to take it really personally when a guest would complain about a plate or, horror, send it back. But then I realized two things: 1) you can't please everyone all of the time, and 2) I can think of them as total useless assholes while still being a professional and giving them 100% of what I've got. You, too, can do these things. If they complain about the food? Not you; that's the chef's fault. Complain about the drinks? Again not you. Brush those off as things you have zero control over. No point in being upset. (I am a very thin-skinned person myself. This is not Pollyanna-ing. Just accept that some people will complain about shit you have no control over and it has nothing to do with you.) Complain about your service? Well, okay, that's on you. But if you think of every complaint as a learning opportunity and not as criticism, you're going to do well. Someone complains you didn't get to their table fast enough? Maybe you need to learn how to manage your time better. Maybe, and more likely in my experience, you need to learn that assholes gonna asshole, and you're actually doing your job right so again, brush it aside as something that simply doesn't have to affect you.

I've known introverts and extroverts on the other side of the pass. Both can be extremely effective at their jobs; the absolute best server I have ever met is a deeply introverted guy. Very, very nice, and very, very cool and professional. Some people want OH HI MY NAME IS TIFFANY DAWN AND I AM YOUR SERVER AND YOUR KIDS ARE SO CUTE. Everyone wants a server who is quick and efficient and knows their shit. He concentrates on those things, and every night I worked with him he walked out with higher tips (as a % of total bills) than anyone else in the building. So you can do this.

And one day, you'll have the opportunity to do what you really want--and whatever that is, the skills you are learning now will help, as rue72 said.

Best of luck. Go kick some ass--you can do it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:28 PM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just reread my answer above, which describes what I did when I got off shift and remembered one more thing: I cleaned. If you're like me, you will never be as super incredibly efficient cleaning up your house and especially your kitchen as you are in that 10-15 minutes after you get home and before your momentum finally wears off. It was a nice side effect of food service work to be able to get the bulk of my chores done that way. I mention it because it made the exhaustion you describe less of a big deal. there wasn't much I still needed to do, so I could focus on resting.
posted by salvia at 6:02 PM on March 2, 2014

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