Are You a Morning Person?

Forgive me, nurses, for I have sinned. I thought I had the day off, when in fact I was scheduled to work. Has this ever happened to you?

I was still in my jammies drinking coffee when the phone rang. It was my colleague from work, the charge nurse.

Late for Work (Oh No!) by jparadisi
Late for Work (Oh No!) by jparadisi

“Are you alright?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine, why?” I responded.

“Because we were expecting you here 20 minutes ago.”

Holy carp! I checked my schedule while still on the phone. It indicated I had the day off, but with all the changes taking place in our unit it was quite possible I picked up an incomplete schedule in error. Whatever, it didn’t matter. I was missing in action. I got there ASAP.

My co-workers generously chose to laugh about my mistake. The schedule was full, and they would have been short-staffed without me.

As I’ve previously written, as of September 2013, my coworkers and I have a new employer. During the transition we were assigned new employee training classes and team building meetings, besides working our regularly scheduled shifts. Some of the classes or meetings were held at our workplace; others on the campus of our new employer.

The week following my schedule error,  I was slated for a third Electronic Health Record (EHR) training class at 8:00 a.m. on the other campus. This time I arrived early, and waited for the classroom to be unlocked. At 7:54, no one had opened the door. No classmates had arrived either. Worried, I called work to find out if something had changed.

“The class is at 9:00,” I was informed by the charge nurse.


In my defense, the two previous EHR classes had started at 8 am.

I am optimistic about the job change, but clearly it shook my routine, highlighting the ironic humor I found in one of the team-building meetings I attended.

The meeting’s facilitator taped colored pieces of paper on a wall of the conference room. On each piece was written one of the phrases below:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Unsure
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree.

This particular meeting started at 7:00 a.m.

The facilitator instructed everyone to stand under the piece of paper describing his or her answer to the questions she asked.

The first question was, “Are you a morning person?”

I ran to take my place under the piece of paper reading Strongly Disagree, while thinking, “You’re asking me this at 7:00 in the morning? Couldn’t I have phoned in my answer?” After this past week, I’m pretty sure my co-workers already know I’m not a morning person.

How about you? Have you ever accidentally missed a shift? Does significant change to routine increase your mistakes, too? Any tips for managing?