If you expect something ghoulish in this post, then you may as well plunge into the world of the AfterLife, where night takes on a new meaning and darkness new dimensions, where shadows stalk your every move and help is not a call away. Welcome to the World of the Graveyard shift.
Yes, without further ado let me tell you where I disappeared to? After promising myself “NO MORE,” five years on I returned to do a graveyard shift, which let me tell you was foisted on.
Day 1 was a drag. Couldn’t wait till the shift started ‘coz I had prepped myself by sleeping most day, having a cold shower followed with hot coffee. Torture indeed!!
Cab came-a –calling, literally. Cabbie used to ferrying bones to the yard made it a point to honk all the way from end of the road to my house, just to ensure his boney customer was ready and waiting. Grumpy neighbours, even grumpier family and a boisterous dog all gathered around to bid a fond adieu to yours truly.
So at work on day 1. Climbing stairs to meet a cheery bahadur, our friendly securitywalla and trudging up further to the floor I worked on. Other days I would hurriedly rush to catch the lift before it clanked shut in my face, today I was curious to see how many other ghouls shared the goal with me. Not a whisper, I could even hear my floater and its lumbering sound on the steps until floor 2 where I was greeted with terrific yells. Apparently, someone’s system had conked off and production schedule was thrown out of gear so there was a terrific to-do between the all-pervading TEAMTECH vs Floor-in-Charge.
Onward I trudged on, as shadows danced around me in the dark. A terrific setting for the opening sequence of CID or the closer in a Ramsay Bros flick. The floor I worked on seemed cheerier at night than day, when it resembled a hospital ward. People only acknowledged silence during tea time or lunch break. Even whispers were looked askance. So there I was playing tag team with 3 other fellow ghouls, interspersed by cheery “hi, welcome aboard” to “chai will be served at 10.30 and snacks at 2.30” – type info thrown my way. Wonderful, I thought until as night progressed, the shift got better.
Music thanks to an obliging BD cum LJ (laptop jockey if you must know). When do I work? was a tempting question to ask but why push your luck I thought. Bonhomie unfettered. Juice, chips et al. Work was in progress with each comrade taking turns at doing what they were paid to do. Long breaks were in order but who was keeping count. Guilt poured down my brow as I was the uninitiated one. Again the Q popped and again I bid it stay.
Music played on getting happier and happier. Juice came and went, as did scheduled reports. Comrades found time to train the rookie on the rigors of the night shift, what rigors I thought. Foosh ball in competitive spirit broke the monotony, what monotony I thought. Time for another snack break when day break came upon us.
Ghouls slowly parted to meet again for another round in the Graveyard. Time, what time..I didn’t notice it fly by as I loaded myself into the cab for the journey back home amidst a ceaseless drizzle.