Why do older retired people get up so early?

4327 views
74 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 41 posts
Posted by PennsyBoomer on Saturday, March 21, 2020 6:52 AM

Second trick was always my favorite. Didn't have to get up early or rush to work, still some nightlife after work, still going to bed while it's dark and arising in daylight. Perhaps some of us are just normally outta sync. 

CSSHEGEWISCH

I wouldn't wish a swing shift on anybody.  In our college days, I had a straight second shift summer job at a steel warehouse and my brother had a swing shift at a steel mill.  He always seemed a bit out of sync with everybody even when he was on first shift.

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 18,525 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 21, 2020 7:03 AM

Out of my 51 year career about 30 years of it was working 11 PM to 7 AM or thereabouts.  Several years of Relief Jobs (multiple tricks) were included.  Never liked setting a alarm clock and having my life dictated by the clocks operation.

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 41 posts
Posted by PennsyBoomer on Saturday, March 21, 2020 7:14 AM

[quote user="BaltACD"]

When I was in my 20's I had a 'Relief' job - 2 Firsts, 2 Seconds and 1 Third - piece of cake.

In my late 40's I was forced into another 'Relief' job - 1 First, 2 Seconds and 2 Thirds - damn near killed me.  I could make it through the first Third but couldn't get enough sleep to make it through the second Third. (note at the time I didn't have enough seniority to hold a straight Third job.

Before UP went to centralized dispatching and the ACDs were governed by hours of service the best jobs, IMO, were those that included both trick and ACD positions. For awhile I worked 3-3-1-1-2 with Tuesday night Rawlins to Green River, Wednesday night Green River to Ogden, Friday daylight Green River to Ogden, then Saturday 1st trick ACD and Sunday 2nd trick ACD. Didn't have much of a weekend and your system seldom knew what to expect, however, it was one of the best jobs I had insofar as variety.

Some people stayed on third trick because they didn't like maintenance of way (who could blame 'em). For over a decade before I retired I worked 12 hr. shifts that rotated 3 days, days off, 3 nights, back to days and on and on. That became rough with advancing years, although I realize it is a cakewalk vs. train service. In any event, generally to bed around 12-1am and up anywhere from 5am to 9am. Still have a thick blanket across the bedroom window to blot out the sunshine.   

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 18,525 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 21, 2020 7:30 AM

PennsyBoomer

BaltACD

When I was in my 20's I had a 'Relief' job - 2 Firsts, 2 Seconds and 1 Third - piece of cake.

In my late 40's I was forced into another 'Relief' job - 1 First, 2 Seconds and 2 Thirds - damn near killed me.  I could make it through the first Third but couldn't get enough sleep to make it through the second Third. (note at the time I didn't have enough seniority to hold a straight Third job.

Before UP went to centralized dispatching and the ACDs were governed by hours of service the best jobs, IMO, were those that included both trick and ACD positions. For awhile I worked 3-3-1-1-2 with Tuesday night Rawlins to Green River, Wednesday night Green River to Ogden, Friday daylight Green River to Ogden, then Saturday 1st trick ACD and Sunday 2nd trick ACD. Didn't have much of a weekend and your system seldom knew what to expect, however, it was one of the best jobs I had insofar as variety.

Some people stayed on third trick because they didn't like maintenance of way (who could blame 'em). For over a decade before I retired I worked 12 hr. shifts that rotated 3 days, days off, 3 nights, back to days and on and on. That became rough with advancing years, although I realize it is a cakewalk vs. train service. In any event, generally to bed around 12-1am and up anywhere from 5am to 9am. Still have a thick blanket across the bedroom window to blot out the sunshine.   

On CSX the ACD positions were not covered by HOS - at Jacksonville or the distributed offices.  I worked for money, not prestige; and worked more than a few doubles.  All Dispatcher and ACD positions on CSX are contract positions covered by the ATDA.  I understand all Dispatcher positions on UP are non-contract with them being considered 'company officials'.

In retirement, I also continue to have my windows blocked as I did when I was working.

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 41 posts
Posted by PennsyBoomer on Saturday, March 21, 2020 8:48 AM

BaltACD
On CSX the ACD positions were not covered by HOS

I erred in saying ACDs on UP were governed by HOS. They were not, however, worked 8 hour shifts and thus one could move between trick and ACD jobs without conflict in this regard. During my thirty yrs. with UP, dispatchers were non-agreement and remain so today. UP's website says dispatchers have rejected the ATDA eight times, most recently in 2018. I believe they went non-agreement in the mid to late 1960s.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,903 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 21, 2020 10:52 AM

Balt, PennsyBoomer, you have thrown in a couple of acronyms which I do not recall having seen before: "ACD" and "ATDA."

I am thankful that I never had any rotating shift work; workiing 7 pm to 7 am (not for long, thankfully) was the worst I ever had. I did not mind working noon to midnight 3 days one week and 4 days the next week. One of my brothers worked first shift one week, second shift the next week, then the third shift for a week, and then back to first in the wire mill in Ensley, Alabama for many years.

It is wonderful being shiftless.Smile

Johnny

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 41 posts
Posted by PennsyBoomer on Saturday, March 21, 2020 11:59 AM

[quote user="Deggesty"]

Balt, PennsyBoomer, you have thrown in a couple of acronyms which I do not recall having seen before: "ACD" and "ATDA."

As in BaltACD - Asst. Chief Dispatcher. ATDA is the American Train Dispatchers Assn. that represents dispatchers on a number of carriers.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,903 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 21, 2020 1:14 PM

[quote user="PennsyBoomer"]

Deggesty

Balt, PennsyBoomer, you have thrown in a couple of acronyms which I do not recall having seen before: "ACD" and "ATDA."

As in BaltACD - Asst. Chief Dispatcher. ATDA is the American Train Dispatchers Assn. that represents dispatchers on a number of carriers.

 

Thank you.

Johnny

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 43 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, May 22, 2020 9:12 AM

We have only so many days left on this planet....don't waste them sleeping when you're getting closer to "the Big Sleep"

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 3,925 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Friday, May 22, 2020 11:54 AM

Not quite my demographic, but I'll offer an answer anyway.. habit. I spent time in the military early in my career and part of my enforced early morning daily ritual was physical training "PT"..After all these years that habit has stuck with me.. Didn't make that much of a difference in my 20s and 30s but makes a HUGE difference to me  now. And I have the military to thank for it!

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 480 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 8:45 AM
Not all older, retired people get up early!  I am 80.  I get up at 7:45 because the cat rousts me out of bed.  She wants her breakfast.  Most importantly, at least according to what most doctors say, I get 8 hours of sleep most nights.  
  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 4,687 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:55 PM

In my working days I generally got about 7 hours of sleep a night.  In days in the field, I would be driving back in late afternoon, and would get groggy.  So  would stop for a coke and a cookie.  Since I retired, I found 9 hours of sleep a good start.  At least I don't need to nap in the afternoon.

  • Member since
    December 2006
  • 105 posts
Posted by tloc52 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 10:54 PM

67 here. Bed is midnight, get up is 8:15am. 

prior to retirement bed was 11pm wake-up was 4:45, a 4 mile 1 hour walk, shower and head to work. Did that the last 21 years I worked. Took 2 years of retirement to break that cycle, now the walk is 2 miles in 35 minutes with the wife.

TomO

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,066 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, May 25, 2020 10:16 AM

This is my second post.

When I was built like a rooster (all c... and ribs), and running marathons several times a year, I was up at 0600 to run 10 miles.  I'd get home, clean up, grab something I could eat on the run, and head to work.  Twice a week I would also run to the local track and do repeats or a ladder workout at lunch.  The other lunch hours I would play singles badminton.  Those days were memories 15 years ago. Time marcheth on...

I think the internet has not been so good for me.  I stay up far too late sleuthing, looking for music or philosophical/political opinions or 'facts', or watching biographical documentaries and history.  I rarely awaken later than about 0700, no matter when I finally fell asleep a few scant hours earlier.  So, I have to be careful because too much of that affects the immune system and my waist line.

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 2,770 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Monday, May 25, 2020 11:57 AM

Since retiring, I'm noticing exactly the opposite.

When working, I'd wake up at 6-6:30 AM,.  with or without an alarm clock, and after a full day at work I could find very little that would justfy me staying up much beyond midnight.

Now without the exertion of work, I'm usually wide awake until 3 AM, and have no problem (or regrets) sleeping through til 10-11 AM. 

As far as the oldsters who are up, out, and about earlier in the day....there are some people who just can't roll over and go back to sleep...once they are awake the mind starts churning and they just can't find peace enough to fall back to sleep. I suspect that is a factor. As are the aches and pains of old age that wake them up in the first place. 

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy