4 November 2021 (Thursday) - After the Night Shift

The first night shift I ever did was in August 1985. Things were rather different back then. Effectively blood testing shut up shop at five o’clock every evening and we all went home having completed the entire day’s work. One of us would then be available for emergencies. If one arose out of hours then we would be phoned (on our landlines at home) and if we agreed a blood test was needed, then we would come in and do it. If we didn’t have a car (like I didn’t) then a taxi would be sent for us, would wait around and then drive us home again when we were finished. We would be paid for each time we were called in, and on average we would be called in four times between five o’clock in the evening and nine o’clock the next morning (though we were rarely called after midnight). On my first night I had five calls, and on my second I had seven. Before my third night I was taken to one side and told that if I kept claiming at such a high rate I would draw the attention of the finance watchdogs.

Last night I started a routine shift at nine o’clock in the evening and (apart from finishing off that which the late shift hadn’t had time to do) had urgent blood samples from over seventy patients by eight o’clock this morning. That’s more than one every ten minutes. How times have changed.


I was glad to see the early shift turn up this morning. As I drove home the pundits on the radio were interviewing Kwasi Kwarteng (the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) about the ongoing Owen Paterson scandal in which Mr Paterson has been accused of abusing his position as an MP on behalf of firms which have allegedly given him over twice my annual salary. I wasn’t that interested in the talk about how MPs are not supposed to abuse their positions. Of course they are going to make the most of being an MP. Who wouldn’t? I certainly would. I was more interested in listening to Mr. Kwarteng squirm as the pundits mercilessly crucified him live on national radio. Anyone who hadn’t previously listened to Radio Four in the mornings would think the interviewers were rather harsh. But Kwasi Kwarteng is the David Blunkett of today. A few years ago the Labour politician David Blunkett came on the morning radio show at every opportunity he was given, and every time he never gave a straight answer to the straight questions being asked of him, and the interviewers would hound him mercilessly. Every time the interview finished with him appearing to be either evasive or incompetent. The pundits on the radio lost one of their best stars when Mr (now Lord) Blunkett retired from government, and they must be rubbing their hands with glee now that Mr. Kwarteng has stepped up.


I got home and saw a rather small space outside the house. I wouldn’t have even tried to have got my old car into it, but I did it first time with the new car’s parking sensors.

Waving at “er indoors TM” in passing, I had my morning ablutions then went to bed. Thirty seconds later both dogs came and made themselves comfortable on top of me, and we all slept very well until the postman came two hours later. I wasn’t going to get back to sleep after that “Red Alert” so we went up to the co-op field for a game of “fetch”. “Fetch” has been a bit of a disaster recently, but “er indoors TM” had a theory that I was throwing the ball too far for the dogs. So I tried chucking the balls a much shorter distance, and this held Pogo’s attention far longer than usual.


With walk walked both dogs were soon snoring. Over a brekkie/lunch I had a look at the Internet. I had an email from the nice people at Credit Karma. It would seem my credit rating went up substantially in the last week. I wonder if that has anything to do with buying a car?

I don’t understand finance. I’ve taken out quite a substantial loan over the next four years and blown most of my savings… and that makes me more credit-worthy. How does that work?

I then got my usual post night shift fix of “Four In A Bed” in which the contestants got particularly nasty with each other. It was during this that the electrician came and fitted the new bathroom heater; a job which took him a few minutes but would have taken me most of the day. I am a great believer in paying an expert to do a job which I would probably only ever do once. I can remember the bitter couple who used to live next door being incredibly keen on DIY, and not-so-nice-net-door’s (frankly insane) husband saying that when he moved in, the house looked like they had been incredibly keen on DIY. And once the electrician was off on his way (and the telly had finished) I bodged a waterproof boot liner into the back end of the car. It will hopefully contain the filth that the dogs pick up. However the old dog grille thingy doesn’t fit at all now – I will have to get a new one. I’ll have a look in Halfords tomorrow.

“er indoors TM” came home and boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we scoffed whilst watching an episode of “Taskmaster”, and then an episode of “Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly” which gave me one or two ideas about Pogo’s continual pulling when on the lead. Something I wish he’d stop.

No comments:

Post a Comment