August 6, 2003 2:42 AM

I am afflicted with occasional bouts of insomnia. They are nothing serious, they just manifest as me finding myself at 1:30 in the morning thinking: "Wow. I'm not at all tired, am I" when I have to be at work the next day. This is one of those nights. If you are a cow-orker and reading this tomorrow morning, you may wish to wait until I have had a few cups of tea before approaching me.

I am not a morning person. I'm not even entirely convinced I'm a day person. I still miss working nights, even if that did entirely put paid to any chance I might have had of developing a social-life at university. I enjoyed being awake at 3am, and really liked having the days free to go out and get things done while the shops were open.

Years ago, when I worked tech-support (my first full-time job), there were three shifts. Two people worked 7am--4pm, one worked 10am--7pm and one worked 11pm--8pm. When I moved from tech-support to programming, it was expected that I would fall into a more traditional 9--6 schedule, but that never really eventuated. Instead I ended up turning up some time between 10am and 11am, and considering my official working day done nine hours after that.

Eventually, the three of us working in the web-hacking department were pointedly asked to come in earlier. We compromised, and set up a rota whereby at least one of us would be in by 9am on any particular day to be available to answer phones and technical questions, but that was our one concession to timeliness. We got our job done, we worked the requisite number of hours. So what.

That sort of thing is less applicable in my current job, where there's much more of a need for me to be there at the same time as everyone else, and everyone else seems to turn up at ungodly hours of the morning. It still has echoes, however, in the way I never quite manage to hit that elusive 9am.

Previously: Rent-A-Girlfriend

Next: Defending Wheel-Reinvention