Working the Night Shift

So for the past few days I’ve been back to my old routine of working the night shift. (Gotta pay the bills, ya know what I’m sayin’?)

Okay, okay, before the wheels in your over-imaginative minds start turning any faster, I’m simply talking about my part-time job. The task I’ve been assigned to work on recently is transcribing interviews for an evaluation study of a youth gang intervention/prevention program. If you’ve never transcribed an interview before, let me give you a piece of advice that will greatly aid you in retaining your sanity: Don’t.

The last interview I transcribed had to be done in installments over a couple of days lest someone find me at home, rocking myself in the corner and mumbling: “You know what I’m saying?” (that’s what the interviewee said at the end of every sentence).

The look of traumatization from the question that’s not really a question, “You know what I’m saying?”

Anyways, two things have happened as a result of having to work my full-time job and part-time job as of late: 1) I’ve been going insane; 2) I’ve found little time to keep up with reading my favourite blogs.

Regarding point number one, the full-time plus part-time work schedule has actually been the defining feature of my life for many, many years. When I was in school, the full-time part of the schedule was replaced with my studies. Aside from trying to be a shining academic star throughout high school (except for my last year when I was either sleeping in at home during the day, or at school but asleep on my desk), I also worked, at minimum, one part-time job. I think there was a point where I was working three part-time jobs at once.

Dammit. No bullets in my finger.

This continued throughout my university years and when I finally got to my Master’s year, I was working two jobs while attempting to maintain a 4.0 GPA. That year saw one of the worst episodes of my insomnia. I would spend countless nights passed out on the couch at the Centre (the building on campus where I had my classes and which I later nicknamed “the Island”). For awhile, I was alone in my nighttime stays but for the caretaker who became my loyal friend. Later on, I was joined by a couple of classmates who would indulge in $5 footlong subs and Red Bull with me. I ate those $5 footlongs for the last two months of my Master’s year — half for lunch, half for dinner. I now shake a little inside whenever I happen to be near a Subway restaurant.

Photobooth on Macbook likes to do things backwards.

Cafe, last seen on the Island May 7, 2009 …

Anyways, back to what I was saying. Sometimes I really felt like I would never be able to crawl out of the hole that I felt I was in. There were so many days I just wanted to break down, except I knew that if I did I really wouldn’t get to crawl out of the hole. Plus, crying always makes me exhausted and if I was exhausted there was no way I’d be finishing that 20-page essay that was due the next day.

Since starting my new job, I have finally gotten a taste of what it’s like to have time to do everything else I’ve wanted to do in my life. You don’t have to finish your day shift and come home to more work. I’ve never felt so damn happy in my life. Seriously. And now that I’m back to working the night shift, I feel the same exhaustion, back aches, frustration. But I try to keep the bigger picture in mind whenever I hear another “You know what I’m saying?” and remember that I’m doing this to save up for my vacation and do something that not everyone even gets the opportunity to. There are so many people hurting for a job right now that I can’t find it in my heart to complain about having two.

So that being said, I took some time today to catch up on my blogroll and I got to┬áthinking about “blogger etiquette.” I don’t really like to use the word etiquette in this respect, because I don’t read people’s blogs just out of courtesy. I truly enjoy the posts I read on the blogs that I visit. However, I feel like there are some undefined blogging rules out there in our little world and I’m curious to know your take on them.

For instance, I don’t really get it when bloggers don’t reply to comments that readers leave them. I do understand it when I know that person is insanely busy and they only reply to comments that aren’t in the mere form of “I love this post!” Or maybe they get like 100 or more comments on every post they write. Replying to comments can be very time-consuming. So I get that. But what if this is not the case? What’s your views on responding to comments left on your blog?

Also, do you feel obligated to “follow” the blog of someone who has just “followed” yours? Do you feel insulted if a person who you are following doesn’t follow you back? Or if you always leave comments on their blog, are you put off if they don’t ever comment on yours? (I don’t get offended by this, personally, but I’m curious to know what others think about this.)

Are there any other “blogging rules” or “etiquette” that you find are out there? Or is it all just nonsense to you?

- Cafe