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Dh considering 2nd shift, four 10 hr days, advice?


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I rarely post personal info on the forums but I could use some advice.  I cannot ask anyone IRL cause we live in a small community.

 

Dh has worked for the same company for 20ish years. However, his current company is a dying industry. So just for privacy sake, let's say he's worked for a typewriter manufacturer. He doesn't make the typewriters but he's the building manager. So, 20 years ago the typewriter company had it's own employees that mowed the lawn, cleaned the parking lot, loaded the trucks etc. So he was in charge of all that.  Fast forward to today, he now hires a lawn crew and hires a cleaning crew, and rents a truck to make a few deliveries. He's the "manager" but there's no employees left in his department.

 

The pros to his dying job....20 min commute, flex time, M-F 40 hours, 5 weeks vacation, his boss is only in the building 1 day a week. He still likes his job a lot. He's happy to go to work.

 

Here are the cons... in the last 10 years there have been no raises and no pension contributions and at some point he will probably get laid off. So to make ends meet he works for himself about another 20 hours per week (nights & Saturdays) in his trade. 

 

He's always said that when the typewriter company lays him off, he'll just make a go of working in his trade full-time for himself. Over the last 10 years, he's looked around and interviewed but he's never found anything he liked enough to leave the typewriter manufacturer.

 

He was not looking for a job but someone asked him to interview. He did and he's got a 2nd interview this week.

 

Pros: the job is more money, making a product that is not a typewriter :) Cons: it's an hour commute each way and it's 2nd shift, 4 ten hour days a week. He would be the manager.

 

Does anyone want to weigh in on the lifestyle choice this would be? Our kids are not under 5 so I'm not worried about him sleeping. However, we don't have family around, so that little bit of flex he's had in his current job has sometimes been helpful. What else should we be thinking about?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When my dh had second shift our kids were a lot younger.  He had his big meal at lunch.  Then packed a "lunch" for supper.  Homeschooling made it a lot more doable because he could see us and interact with us some in the late mornings.  (Depending on your schedule this may or may not work). 

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A 10 hour shift, four days a week, is not a bad gig. But depending on what he's doing, it can be exhausting.

As your dh is obviously 'no spring chicken' I would really consider whether or not he wants to add an hour each way 

on that. One can make that drive pleasant but you have to work on it. Is it really a job/change you all want/need?

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The drive is what would kill it for me.

I once worked 12 hour shifts, three in a row, an hour away. By the time I drove home, took a shower, and slept for seven or eight hours, it was time to wake up and go back to work. Consider that the drive will make it 12 hour days for him.

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Yes, I would emphasize the commute being the deal-breaker.

And the friends who I know that work 4 tens really, really sleep on that first day off.

But sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

Maybe you could move closer, if the job works out.

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What does he want to do?  Honestly, if you feel like he might be laid off any day now, your options are few.  I feel like the 4 days a week is better than 5 days a week, but that could just be me.  I guess what I'm saying is that you don't want to be short sighted.  What's better?  A job that your dh likes for now, but could be laid off any day now or a job with a longer commute (longer weekend) but a bit more job security. What about the pay?  You said that your dh hasn't had any raises in 10 years?  That is a really long time to have no cost of living increases.  

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 What would the commute be like?  An hour on the highway?  An hour through stop-and-go-traffic.  Is there any chance he can carpool or use public transportation?  Or, will he be driving this himself every time.  You should consider not only the extra commute time but the extra expense of gasoline and wear and tear on the car.

 

How does he feel about working second shift?  If that does not appeal to him, is there a chance that a different schedule would be available within the next few years?

 

Is there any chance you could move closer to this job?

 

 

 

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The commute would be the only drawback to me.  My DH works shift work that is ever changing my absolute favorite shift is actually 2nd. It would be miserable with school but its great for us.  We hang out all morning than dad goes to work, and we do school & activities. I usually am still up when gets home and we spend an hour or so together winding down.  

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When my dh had second shift our kids were a lot younger.  He had his big meal at lunch.  Then packed a "lunch" for supper.  Homeschooling made it a lot more doable because he could see us and interact with us some in the late mornings.  (Depending on your schedule this may or may not work). 

 

The bold above can work in your favor now. As they get older, this might prevent his attending your dc's concerts, ball games, etc. 

 

The commute is a huge factor, but as others said, perhaps you could move closer. 

 

Is there a possibility that he could get the 1st shift after he's been there a while? That might be better for attending your dc's events, but it could also make that commute longer. 

 

Lots to consider. 

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My dh had 4 10 hour days for a while. Travel time is about 45 minutes.

 

We loved it. A couple of things that helped it work were - he typically likes to work a long day anyway. It's just natural mode to go flat out then crash for a bit. - the commute time is slightly shorter because you get away from peak hour traffic. Roads here are pretty bad so that makes a huge difference. For us the long commute was part of what made it worth it because it cut off one whole lot of the driving.

 

Eventually the company ended it because it didn't work well for them but none of the staff wanted to let it go - they all loved it.

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Since he wasn't really looking and he stumbled into this, my question would be what is he likely to find if he really looks? Does his trade usually start you on second shift or are there any 1st shifts available? Is there a chance of going down to first shift if he doesn't like it down the road? Are there any jobs in his field closer to home?

 

In this economy, I would look for better job security. The older he gets the harder it may be for him to land a different job. And if it will always start with night shift I think it is better to go ahead and get in so that you start accumulating seniority for switching to days. Also better for any possible retirement or 401 K benefits to get enough time in with the new company.

 

But I would see what other companies and options there are available before accepting the first one to offer him a position when he wasn't really looking. My husband works overnight shifts and it has been hard at times, but doable. They have been very flexible so if one of my kids has an event or something comes up he can take a day off or go in late. It is a small family friendly company though.

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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Thanks for giving me some much to think about.

 

At this point in the interview process there is no promise of 1st shift. The drive is one hour all highway. There would be heavy traffic if he was ever 1st shift.

 

At his current job, money wise, it's been difficult with no raises, no additional pension, no company contributed 401k. 

 

I didn't realize how tight it had gotten till my oldest was given a small Pell Grant and Work Study and the college asked him multiple times why he wasn't on StateHealth Insurance.

 

This potential job offer would almost double his current salary.

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Thanks for giving me some much to think about.

 

At this point in the interview process there is no promise of 1st shift. The drive is one hour all highway. There would be heavy traffic if he was ever 1st shift.

 

At his current job, money wise, it's been difficult with no raises, no additional pension, no company contributed 401k.

 

I didn't realize how tight it had gotten till my oldest was given a small Pell Grant and Work Study and the college asked him multiple times why he wasn't on StateHealth Insurance.

 

This potential job offer would almost double his current salary.

Highway driving and double his current salary? I’d honestly encourage him to give it a go. For us, at least, condensing the work longer into fewer days is SO much better than drive and drabs five or six days a week. We can get honest to goodness stuff done in what essentially is three day weekends every week.

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Thanks for giving me some much to think about.

 

At this point in the interview process there is no promise of 1st shift. The drive is one hour all highway. There would be heavy traffic if he was ever 1st shift.

 

At his current job, money wise, it's been difficult with no raises, no additional pension, no company contributed 401k. 

 

I didn't realize how tight it had gotten till my oldest was given a small Pell Grant and Work Study and the college asked him multiple times why he wasn't on StateHealth Insurance.

 

This potential job offer would almost double his current salary.

Double?  That's a lot. Please give the job offer some serious consideration.  I'm not all about the money, but it does help.  

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I drove an hour each way highway for 8 years. It just is what it is. In this day and age with podcasts and audiobooks and streaming news and streaming music it would be even slightly less of a thing. With that kind of salary increase i think I would encourage him to progress.

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A lot is going to depend on how physically demanding the new job is, and how much stamina your dh has. A ten hour shift (paid lunch break? Or does he have to clock out and stay ten and a half hours total?) and two hours of driving is basically a twelve hour day. My dh works three twelve hour shifts per week (and essentially gets paid for forty hours a week through a pay differential). It's rough on his work days. He's first shift, and we feel like we hardly see him on the work days. We see him for a couple hours when he gets home before bed, and after a twelve hour shift, he isn't the most talkative, energetic person. ;) It's nice having four days off per week, and it's extra nice if he decides to work some overtime, but he's pretty wiped out after his work week. I don't know if it would be worth it if he had to do it for four days a week. That extra day off is probably going to be mostly for recuperation. 

 

Almost double the pay is a good deal though, even after you've factored in the increased wear on the car and gas money. If he's certain he's going to get laid off soon, it's worth a try. Even if the new job is too tiring for him, he could stick it out while he looks for something else.

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The commute would also be my issue. My dad worked 2nd shift most of his life. He did a few years of 10 hour days and enjoyed having that 3rd day off. His commute was 30, then 45 minutes at the end because my parents moved. 

 

I would want to know a few things 1. does he receive adequate break time, like a real lunch hour not just eat on the job type thing. 2. are there hotels nearby where he could crash for the night if he was truly too tired to drive home. 

 

As for family life, my dad wasn't around a lot as his days off where not weekends. I really didn't develop a good relationship with him until I was a teen and we'd stay up late watching MASH or the Rockford Files. 

 

It worked well for my mom and him as they were able to run errands together, eat lunch together, and really have some quality time. If you are homeschooling and plan to continue so, you can shift your school day to enjoy those hours before he leaves for work. Bedtime and evening time is on your own, however, depending upon how late 2nd shift is at this place. That can be great, aggravating, or lonely all at the same time. I have one sister and we used to have some great conversations with my mom before bed. 

 

When ds was little and I was still married, my ex worked a job where he didn't get home until 9pm every night. It was hard, we opted to let ds stay up later - he's a natural night owl anyway. That way he got time with his dad. There were other reasons that it didn't work for us, little to do with the job or commute. It was designed as a temporary job, so I was glad when it was over. 

 

It can work well, you just have to shift your idea of family time. The commute,  however, would give me pause. 

 

 

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I'd do it. Double pay and an extra day weekend would be worth it to me.

 

My dh currently does rotating shifts (one week each of day/night/afternoon) with a 40min commute. He's on afternoon right now and we had our main meal at lunch together before he left.

In June he's moving to a different shift that pays more- 2 x 12hr day shifts, 1 day off, 2 x 12hr night shifts, 4 days off. I'm looking forward to it.

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I loved working 4 tens! I worked day hours. I was able to cut my evening commute in half when I changed from normal 9-5. Where I live an hour commute is short so I don't see anything wrong with that. I loved having 3 days off each week. 

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Thanks for giving me some much to think about.

 

At this point in the interview process there is no promise of 1st shift. The drive is one hour all highway. There would be heavy traffic if he was ever 1st shift.

 

At his current job, money wise, it's been difficult with no raises, no additional pension, no company contributed 401k. 

 

I didn't realize how tight it had gotten till my oldest was given a small Pell Grant and Work Study and the college asked him multiple times why he wasn't on StateHealth Insurance.

 

This potential job offer would almost double his current salary.

 

Would those four tens be broken up in the week, or would he consistently have 3 day weekends? That's my current set-up and it's fantastic. If it would double his salary, it's going to be worthwhile. 

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There are always pros and cons when contemplating quitting one job, where one knows the situation, and going to another situation, where there are unknowns. He could stay where he is and be terminated in a week or two. He could move to the other position and be terminated shortly after starting there. Things like that happen.  He would be driving home one hour, after working a 10 hour shift.  How alert is he when driving late at night and when he is tired?  He has 5 weeks of vacation now.   He commutes about 40 minutes a day now as I recall and it would be a one hour commute to the other position, each way. That's an extra 80 minutes added to his day, every day.  12 hours, vs 8 hours and 40 minutes. However, the 12 hour days (leaving the house to arriving back at the house) are 4 days a week and the shorter days are 5 days a week. Much more wear and tear on the vehicle and much more fuel consumption.  If he were unhappy where he is now, it would be easier for him to make a decision.  Good luck with the decision!

 

 

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4 tens is great.

 

Where I live, an hour commute is pretty common because of cost of living, parking and traffic. And in a small town, it’s my understanding that 1 hour is also not uncommon.

 

Working in a dying industry is hard. Working 10 years without getting anything kicked into retirement is a huge loss to your family. Working without any pay increases for 10 years works out to be a de facto pay cut as you are paying more for necessities now than you did a decade ago.

 

Will they match his 5 weeks vacation? Or at least go 3 or 4 weeks instead of 2? I wouldn’t want to drop from 5 to 2 weeks off.

 

I would consider relocating to make the commute shorter if the job works out well.

Edited by LucyStoner
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This potential job offer would almost double his current salary.

 

Me, upon hearing that: Congratulations on the new job, sweetheart, I hope you enjoy it!

 

Not really, but close. That would be mighty hard to turn down. The commute sucks, but he's likely to have a commute no matter what job if he finds, if you are in a small town with few options. As Beth noted, you could always consider moving closer if the job works out. There are no guarantees, of course, but a move toward more options would pay off even if he leaves this job at some point. And four 10s is the dream around here, everyone wants that schedule. 

 

Second shift is like afternoon to midnight, yes? So home by one in the morning. That's not hard in the same way as graveyard shift, imo. It's not a complete reversal of schedules. I know plenty of working people who routinely stay up till midnight even with a day job. 

 

My initial thought upon reading your post was that there is a lot to be said for liking your job, but if your son is getting Pell grants then I would have a hard time turning down something that pays so much more. Retirement looms, y'know? Also, the longer he stays at this job, the harder it may be to find another. He has to be somewhat older if he's been there 20+ years, and people don't look on having one job forever with the same favor they once did. My dh jumped ship after 24 years with the same company when he was in his late 40s, and several managers and recruiters did tell him that it would have been much harder to do once he crossed those lines of 25+ years and over 50. They worry about you being too set in your ways. He's been at the same job since making the initial jump, but gets approached about other options fairly often. 

 

Double the pay, new industry, long weekends - it sounds like an amazing opportunity to me. 

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I’ll offer a flip perspective on vacation time. Dh moved from 6 weeks of vacation time to a company that starts everyone over with 2. It hasn’t been an issue.

 

Double pay, more secure industry....that should be a no-brainer....especially, if I recall from a thread a few years ago, dh has little formal education and no desire to retrain.

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Seriously, all of you are so helpful. I've read everyone's comments to my dh. Who now refers to all of you as my "imaginary friends"  It's been very good to read all of this before his second interview this week.

 

Yes, second shift is afternoons. Yes, all 4 days would be in a row.

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The second shift part would not bother me. Dh has worked second shift (3-11pm) for nine years now. We like second shift. :)

 

The bonus with the four ten hour days is that it cuts one day’s worth of commuting off. If he were working 5 8-hour days then there would be an additional two hours worth of commuting in the mix. Like others mentioned, there’s always the possibility of relocating to be closer to the job if it ends up being a really good fit. Even with the commute, if the pay increase is big enough, you could still come out ahead even before you take into consideration the fact that this might open up more doors than if he stays put.

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Lucy Stoner brought up a great point - what’s the vacation time like? Dropping too much down on that could be an issue, I’d definitely ask.

 

I'm all in favor of vacation time, but I wouldn't weigh it heavily against doubling my salary and moving into a more secure industry. I'd do 5 weeks down to 2 without blinking an eye. One week would make me moan, but I seriously doubt it would be a deal breaker, particularly when I'm going to constant 3-day weekends. 

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My dh loves his 3 day weekends. He is not a morning person but is willing to get up at 4 am every morning so he can get in early enough to get home at 4 on work days. He can decide when to go in and come home as long as it's set. He does get tired by Thursday but he also stays up later than he should being a night owl.

 

I'd have him go for it. We've adjusted our homeschool to 4 days a week. I get errands done on Fridays and the kids get to hang out with dad. That extra day helps him to unwind and still get some stuff done around the house. He's also able to easily take 2 days of vacation and get 5 days off, so he's able to take more vacations without using a lot of vacation days.

 

The commute might get tiring with an already 10 hour day, but that's up to him.

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That commute and more is the norm in my area. I interviewed and am a finalist for a job where the commute is 30-60 minutes each way, and I didn't give it a second thought. 

 

I'd be fine with that schedule for more pay and stability.

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