Many shifts leave me feeling like a weary soldier of the ER/ICU, and (more often than not) the Grim Reaper. These times call for a drink. I envy those of you that can meet for so-called "happy hour", the late sunlight glinting in your hair as you sip a discounted Margarita or IPA.
The hang-up is that I work overnights. I get home at 8am. This is not a "happy" hour. It is against social norm for me to stop in at Joe’s Cellar for a double vodka soda (with a twist please), especially if my scrubs have mysterious stains (point: I know exactly what they are). I concede I’m a little sensitive about this. No one will likely turn away from their electronic Lottery machines to judge me. I judge myself. The thought of consuming an alcoholic beverage at 8am in the morning, after a 14 hour shift, makes my stomach curdle. After a shift filled with crazy/confused/crashing clients, I drink water with a melatonin tab melting under my tongue.
Then I hit my "Friday" and know I don’t need to wake up with any degree of rationale or focus in the morning, so I book it to whatever breakfast joint is open for a bloody mary. I order them like a Seattlite orders a latte. Make it a double, in a tall glass, extra spicy, salt, extra veggies. Please. And keep them coming. I have a week of missed happy hours to make up for.