Surviving Shift Work

I'm wide awake!

I’m wide awake!

I’ve not had the chance to write as of late, as I have been spending most of my waking hours at work and most of my sleeping hours dreaming about work, like that I have made some horribly irreversible error that consequently leaves the whole aviation industry doomed due to my stupidity. Needless to say, this hasn’t happened, and I daresay it won’t…my mind and time have mostly been occupied by work!

It’s taken me a little while to adjust back to shift work again (after 6 months of working in a “normal” job I have been feeling the 2 am wake ups more than ever!), but I so do enjoy coming home and being able to have the afternoons to myself. I think that is one of the nicest things about these types of roles.

So just in case anyone was wondering- this is what we general get up in in a day’s work. Think of it as “the other side of the flight”, before you go through security!

My Day


First alarm goes off, I question the meaning of life and why I would voluntarily get up at such a time and hit snooze.


Spring out of bed, shower, dress and apply makeup that is meant to look painstakingly perfect, when in actuality takes about 5 minutes and I could do with my eyes closed (I often do!). Attempt to tame hair into submission by low ponytail, or it is death by bun. Either way my hair protests and I end up burning an even bigger hole in the ozone layer and also my scalp due to severe overuse of hairspray. Oh, the joy! Double check that I have all necessary uniform items including pins, badges and accessories.


Shove toast in the toaster and triple check that I have everything I need for work- ID, badges, parking card and brain (I know I left that somewhere between here and the airport…)

3:00ish am

Butter toast, unnecessarily check social media (unnecessary as most of my friends in Dubai are still out partying and all my friends at home are still in bed) and then put shoes on and jump in the car. Drive to the airport which takes 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic

When buttering my measly toast, I am thinking of pancakes that I will no doubt eat later on!! (Like I did today)

When buttering my measly toast, I am thinking of pancakes that I will no doubt eat later on!! (Like I did today)


Park car in staff car park, walk to the terminal and, time permitting, stop for a tea/hot chocolate/maybe coffee depending on how horrendously I slept the night before. It’s not easy going to bed at 7 or 8 when the rest of the house is just having dinner!

The coffee at the airport looks NOTHING like this, but it 100% does the job!!

The coffee at the airport looks NOTHING like this, but it 100% does the job!!


Swipe on for my shift, put my bag in my locker, check the airport briefing file and wait for the rest of the team, supervisors and airport manager to brief us on the flights/events of the day.


While waiting, check my staff notification to see my “tasks” for my shift. This could be assigned to a counter (checkin), a host (in the terminal helping customers with the kiosks and automatic bag drop machines or being the head of Queue or Premium Security, which involves greeting passengers into the terminal and advising which line to proceed through to security.

4:00am sharp

Commence work, ready at my station to go with a big smile and extra coat of lipstick Let the customer service begin!


Check my tasks again, and move onto next assigned task. Also usually we go for a 10 minute break at some stage, too.


Seeing as I am a host this morning, I assist passengers who require special services such as a wheelchair or mobility aid through security and to their gate/lounge. This can be hard work as the wheelchairs can be quite cumbersome, and sometimes a bit heavy!


Check the tubs at the automatic bag drops, ensure they are stocked up, if they’re not, fill them up and continue to assist customers


Keep serving, keep smiling! Usually, if needed, I will extend my shift and stay back an extra few hours. I am due to finish at 9am but seeing as my team needs the help, I will stay back until 12:30pm.


Half an hour “lunch” meal break

Friday night movie night in my dinner break at work!

Friday night movie night in my dinner break at work!


Assist the Arrivals and Boarding staff with boarding a flight, see if any of the lounges require assistance during the busy peak period.


Home time! I swipe off, walk to my car and kick off my shoes. I have just worked an 8 and a half hour day (average business day length) all before most people have had lunch! I will go home, have a shower and a rest and then maybe do some exercise or enjoy my afternoon before I have to prepare my uniform, lunch and go to bed again after dinner for work at 4:00am tomorrow, again!

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Lovely Justine and I on her flying visit to Perth

Not to worry, all of these early starts aren’t for nothing. Soon I will have staff travel benefits again and I cannot wait to jet away for weekends/ little trips to Dubai (time permitting). In the meantime, by best friend and I are heading to Sydney to watch Taylor Swift perform in her 1989 world tour. YAY!

Cannot. Wait. Just can't even!!

Cannot. Wait. Just can’t even!!

From a non- work perspective, I have been to the Melbourne Cup race day, hosted my lovely friend Justine on her Perth layover, and baby sat and baked a lot this week. Everything in moderation 🙂

The boys looking sharp at the races :)

The boys looking sharp at the races 🙂

Race Day! Complete with handmade REAL flower crown :)

Race Day! Complete with handmade REAL flower crown 🙂

p.s less strict image and uniform rules ensure I can have my hair the colour(s) that I like it…ie more natural!



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Ironwoman (my mum) and I at fitness classes. I love the flexibility of these hours, it means I can (try) keep fit!

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Weekends off mean time spent at the beach with my main man + eggs 😀

Rest well, travel safe! Taylor x

8 thoughts on “Surviving Shift Work

  1. Loved the post! Fascinating to learn about a different aspect of the airline industry. Really enjoyed the vivid description and pictures!

  2. funny how, even if on different sides of the world, we all have IKEA glasses on our tables 😛
    kisses from Bergamo 🙂

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