The 8 Unbeknownst Annoyances Of A 4am Job

I have been a front desk associate at a gym for about three years, doing the shift that everyone dreads and subsequently won’t do: the 4 AM shift. At first it seemed so great – getting out no later than 11 AM and still having my entire day, but still getting in my seven hours a day. But now that I am a seasoned veteran to this imprisoning time of a shift five consecutive days of the week, here are the things I have come to despise about it.
Dodgeball
Dodgeball

1. My wake-up time. Okay, this one is maybe not so unbeknownst to the general public, considering the general public isn’t typically awake earlier than at least 6 AM. But in all seriousness? I’m OVER it. Nobody really knows just how annoying and ultimately exhausting it becomes waking up at 3 AM unless they have actually done it, and more than just once for that early flight. Most mornings I find myself sacrificing any sort of decent look for myself because I cannot physically get out of bed until the last minute. It reminds me of when I used to have to wake up for high school; I would pull the same exact shit. Why? Because it’s too damn exhausting.

2. It’s inconveniencing. So not only do I have to get out of bed at an ungodly hour, but my brain also has to be functioning at a somewhat reasonable level. And at 3:30 AM when I’m trying to think of everything I need and want to bring (especially if I have a long day and need to bring all my shit, which I had to do a year ago during my final semester of college when I had two jobs, full time school and fieldwork observations), sometimes I don’t remember a thing or two. It becomes a sure nightmare when I forget something that I end up needing an hour later after leaving work and I have to finagle a way to get the item to myself, all the while kicking myself in the head for not using it at 3:30 AM. What was I thinking? Clearly I wasn’t.

3. The 4:30 AM members. I’ll get to the general topic of members later, but this group of them is enough to make your head spin. They’re the ones who arrive to the gym no later than 4:20 because for whatever freaking reason they think I’m going to open the gym early (even though I’ve consistently opened on time for as long as I’ve been opening). I’m not really certain why someone would want to wake up any earlier than they have to, especially THIS early, when they KNOW I don’t open any earlier. That’s not even the most annoying part (but WAIT, there’s more!) … these people wait by the doors and then when I finally open them they crowd the desk like animals waiting to be fed. Just because these people actually want to be here at this insane hour and are alert as a duck, doesn’t mean I am always 100% the same. It should be expected that there are some days I am just too tired to function perfectly, and these members don’t seem to understand that.

4. The evening spinning members. You might be asking yourself at this point, what do evening people have anything to do with this? I’ll tell you why. We have a system in which you have to call and reserve a spot for some of the classes, the spin classes being one of those. The evening spin classes usually take place at or around 6 PM. Well, these people are so deranged from reality that they believe it’s necessary to wake up when the gym opens just to call and reserve their spot for this class. No, not even the morning spin classes; those members call in later. So if the morning spinners are calling in around 7, 8 AM for their class, why are these evening members calling in before that? In addition to the annoying 4:30 AM people crowding the desk, I have the phones ringing off the hook just so people can cycle for an hour fourteen hours from now. And then if the class fills up and someone can’t get in, they go off on me. Oh, right, I forgot that this is MY fault. These people are their own form of hell. Doesn’t make sense? Yeah, I’m still trying to understand myself.

5. The members who think everything works only one way. I’m talking about the mostly older members who grew up with going right to college after high school, getting a job right out of college and then finally settling down with someone. These people badger me with questions about whether or not I’ve finished school, why I’m still here/not looking for a “real job”/not using my math degree and from time to time, will inquire about my current relationship status. Well, I’ve got news for these people: times have changed and there’s more to life. Not to mention I’m not trying to rush anything either. If I’m here biding my time until I find out what I REALLY want to do with my life, whenever and whatever that may be, then that’s what I’m going to do. Just because you’re miserable with your job and you think the world needs to follow in your footsteps, doesn’t mean that I’m going to succumb to your bullshit.

6. The locker situation. Let’s be completely honest: on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most important, how important is what locker you get? I mean, really. I have some people who come in here during my shift and literally give me three or four locker numbers if I don’t have the previous one(s) they asked for. There’s also a guy who questions me incessantly about why a certain locker is missing everytime he comes in. Do you really have nothing better to think about or waste time over? Because all you’re doing is wasting mine. In the wise words of a former coworker of mine, “take what you get and move on.”

7. Being eternally exhausted. As if being too tired to face the day upon waking up isn’t horrible in itself, I have to suffer the Forever Exhausted Syndrome. Yes, it does exist. Basically, when I get out of work at 10 or 11 AM, I find myself feeling it necessary to drop dead and not wake up until I’m energized again. But there is normally no such luck, because I unfortunately don’t make enough money at this God forsaken job so I have to rely on a second source of (shitty) income working as a waitress in the evening. So by the time I get home and get the chance to lay down and shut my eyes, I have to be up again a short while later to get ready for Job #2. And it’s just a never-ending cycle of exhaustion that I will have to endure until I either change my shifts, quit or, even better, drop dead.

8. The general public of members. Yup, the one you’ve all been waiting for. This includes any other annoying members who weren’t covered prior. These include, but are in no way limited to: members who think they’re the only ones standing in front of me, members who always have something to complain about, members who attempt to speak to me while I am trying to listen to someone on the phone, members who take up ten minutes of my time on the phone talking about nothing, members who stand there futilely trying to argue with me when I obviously know what I’m talking about (I mean, not for nothing but I do work here), members who are excessively needy (it’s a GYM, what more do you need besides maybe a locker and a bottle of water?), members who pretend there isn’t a huge line building behind them while they drone on and on and on … and on, members who try to make stupid, annoying jokes at 5 in the morning, members who assume that, because I appear or sound tired, I went out and “partied” the night before, members who are just downright rude, members who think they know everything, and to be perfectly honest with you, this list could go on for another few lines, but I’m going to end it here because I think you get the point. And at 4:30 AM, this group of people is the last you want to encounter. TC mark

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