What shifts/hours do you work?

PapaMike

Active Member
If you get night to early morning shifts and find yourself unable to go to bed early, definitely get some blackout curtains. They help tremendously.
 

bbmikej

Well-Known Member
I've heard of SWA dispatchers working 2 weeks and then having 2 weeks off. Do you have to have seniority to do this.
The base schedule at SWA is 6 on, 3 off, 6 on, 3 off, 6 on, 6 off with the bottom 20% being a relief schedule. With that being said, I've heard that a bunch of people like to trade shifts all the time meaning the 2 weeks on 2 weeks off wouldn't be unheard of
 

mrezee

Living the dream!
I got stuck on 2:45am starts at my regional when I finished training. That's hardly a morning shift, more like a late midnight. QOL was absolutely horrendous, and I did exactly what DE said above: crashed when I got home, woke up at ~10pm, then laid in bed wondering what I was going to do for 4 hours in the middle of the night before I had to go to work again. Glad that only lasted one 3-month bid.

Since then, I've been on PM shift (12:30p-2p start) and loved it. I get to wake up when I want to, not when my alarm goes off. I can either wake up early enough to get chores and errands done before my shift, or go out with some friends after my shift and sleep in the next morning. It's a tougher shift to work in the summer, when thunderstorms blanket the country, but the improvement in QOL is worth it. My favorite shift was 6pm to 4am, where I could go straight to the airport and catch a 5am flight, but that shift is sadly no longer offered here.

It's all a personal preference, really. Our midnight lines go senior here, and a lot of people bid the super early morning starts just because they like getting done early or spending more time with their families. I didn't mind working (reasonable) early morning shift starts when I worked the ramp; it felt great to be outside in the fresh air that early. Different story when you're in an office that's so quiet, you can hear a pin drop. Our trainees do OJT on every shift so they can see the differences in the operation on each shift, plus discover what shift they prefer.

If you're stuck on midnights, definitely invest in blackout curtains to help you sleep during the day, and try to bunch up your shifts into clusters (e.g. people here trade around to work 8 days on, 6 days off) so you don't have to flip your sleep schedule around as much.
 
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Altimeter

Well-Known Member
I had all 1500 starts 4-3 4-4. I love having the time in the morning. A handful of releases. If it’s quiet getting relieved a little early. I’m going to miss them next year, but I’ll get them back. Not waking up to a clock is worth it’s wait in gold.
 

DispatchDan

Well-Known Member
I've heard of SWA dispatchers working 2 weeks and then having 2 weeks off. Do you have to have seniority to do this.
Not exactly 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off since they don’t do a schedule like 4on4off... since they do 6on3off-6on3off-6on6off best you can do just by swapping days is 18on-12off
 

autosave36

Well-Known Member
Gotta be confusing somewhat going back and forth between 6on3off and 6on6off
It's not so bad, you just look at your schedule to see where you are in the rotation. Today is day 2 of 5 for me, then I'll have 2 off, then 3 on then 4 off. Essentially you rotate the weekend off with your opposite number. ... same thing for the 6-3-6-3-6-6. just look at your schedule.
 

SpaceBeagle

Located in Low Earth Orbit
The 6 day break is definitely nice, but that first 6/3 6/3 bit can be a bit of a drag. Plus, with the 6/3/6/3/6/6 schedule you work 225 days per year, compared to someone working a 4/4 who will work 182. That’s 43 extra days off, equivalent to a month and a half off. Or 43 extra opportunities for overtime if you do that overtime thing.

It’s certainly better than a 4/3 rotation, but it sure would be nice to trade and go 7/7 or 8/8 for the whole year and be able to go to Europe once a week...
 

MT

Well-Known Member
I’m one of those weird people that functions best on overnight shifts. Afternoons are ok. You day shifters however can keep them :cool:
 

MT

Well-Known Member
It’s certainly better than a 4/3 rotation, but it sure would be nice to trade and go 7/7 or 8/8 for the whole year and be able to go to Europe once a week...
7/7 and 8/8 look great on paper and are essential for commuters, but they’re very difficult to do every week. You spend half of your time recovering from the long work week and by the time you finally might feel relaxed, it’s time to go back to work.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
7/7 and 8/8 look great on paper and are essential for commuters, but they’re very difficult to do every week. You spend half of your time recovering from the long work week and by the time you finally might feel relaxed, it’s time to go back to work.
Yeah, I'm on day six of nine here myself (did trades so that I could attend a memorial service late next week) and I'll be quite glad when it's over.
 

crjdxr

Whale watching over SCUPP
can they swap you from one shift to another in the same week? At my shop we can work a graveyard to an AM to a PM back to the Grave all in the same week. Doesn’t help with having any sort of consistent sleep schedule. Just did a week of graveyard shifts with not much time off straight into a long stretch of AM starts. Rough.

Interested in what other shops do for reserve lines.
While they can schedule to the legal limits, they rarely do. One week will be PMs, then a few days off, a switch to AMs, a few days off, then back to PMs. I was asked for my shift preference and they've done what they could to schedule me within those preferences.
 

R2D

ACK
Yeah, I'm on day six of nine here myself (did trades so that I could attend a memorial service late next week) and I'll be quite glad when it's over.
It's nice to be able to manipulate your schedule to do what you need to do.

I'll be working three straight 6 on 1 off, but also worthwhile later on.
 

OttoPilot13

Well-Known Member
can they swap you from one shift to another in the same week? At my shop we can work a graveyard to an AM to a PM back to the Grave all in the same week. Doesn’t help with having any sort of consistent sleep schedule. Just did a week of graveyard shifts with not much time off straight into a long stretch of AM starts. Rough.

Interested in what other shops do for reserve lines.
I too work a reserve/relief line. Hours vary greatly. Yes we work a mix of both shifts as long as we get required rest, and can work multiple start times in the same week. Just worked this week: 0300 start, two 0500 starts, followed by two 1300 starts. Can be rough especially when your day off transitions from night to an early AM start. The freedom I have in building my schedule and vacation time is worth it though.
 
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