What day is it?

Rick Ryckeley's picture

I’ll be the first to admit it’s been a long time since I’ve known what day of the week it was. And for once, the guys at the fire department won’t laugh at me because of a story. If they’re honest, they’ll admit that they lose track of days as often as I do.

Now being confused isn’t a new state for me; just ask some of the guys I work with, but this time my befuddlement has nothing to do with getting older. It has to do with every day being Friday. Confused? Well, welcome to my world.

For the last 25 years, I’ve been a firefighter, and during my career there have been two constants. First, I’ve had the honor of working side by side with some of the best individuals alive. And second, I’ve worked 24 hours straight and then had two days off. It’s like every day you go to work is a Friday and then you had the weekend.

It was great at first, but as the years passed, the other days of the week began to blur and lose meaning. Because for me every work day was a Friday, I had to come up with a system. Just ask The Wife, I always have a system for everything.

It’s rather ingenious yet simple. The days of the week have very different meanings to children. All I had to do is think like a child. See, I told you it was simple.

For example, Tuesdays were always trash days when we lived at 110 Flamingo Street. Trash days now are still on Tuesdays so I think I can remember that day. If garbage is piled up everywhere, then it must be Tuesday — one day down and six to go.

Old Mrs. Crabtree was my third grade teacher at Mt. Olive Elementary School. On Wednesdays she collected money at the door if we wanted an extra corn dog for lunch. They were always half price.

Corn Dog Wednesdays are long gone, but there’s half-price food every Wednesdays at many grocery stores around town. I don’t know if corn dogs are on sale, but they should be. As for Mrs. Crabtree, I bet she’s still collecting money standing in a doorway somewhere.

Next up: Friday.

Friday was both Test Day and Game Night at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. If I did poorly on a test, there was always the game during which to vent frustration.

And if I did well on a test ... well, let’s just say I vented a lot.

Football days are far behind me, but remembering Fridays is still easy. It’s the one day a week I go to work.

Saturdays and Sundays haven’t changed much from being a kid to being an adult. Except for one of us kids having to cut the grass, both are days to rest and spend with family.

Sundays are a little different now that I’m grown. I don’t have to wash behind my ears before church if I don’t want to, and I’m not eating Aunt Esters’ Meatloaf Surprise.

Unfortunately, the grass still needs to be cut and The Boy’s too busy with school so it’s left up to me. Sometimes when things change they actually stay the same.

Mondays are perhaps the easiest days of the week for me to remember. I say that because it’s the “Running Late-Can’t Decide What To Wear-Can’t Get the Kids Up Out of Bed” day.

However, now that I’m no longer a kid and The Boy is grown, it has changed to the “Running Late-Can’t Decide What To Wear-Can’t Get the Lazy Husband Up Out of Bed” day.

And that only leaves Thursdays.

Thursdays are special days for me. It’s the day of the week I asked a young lady to marry me. At the base of a thundering waterfall in Tennessee, she said yes, or at least that’s what I think she said. I really couldn’t hear her answer. Don’t tell her that or Thursdays could take on an entirely different meaning.

Now that I’ve mastered the days of the week, it’s time to look at time. You should see the system I’ve invented to keep track of it, but that’s a story for another time.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, has been a firefighter for more than two decades and a columnist for The Citizen since 2001. His email is saferick@bellsouth.net.]

BHH
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Joined: 02/11/2011
You have to refigure now.

You've got your schedule all wrong.

BHH
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Surprise, you're working two days and off one.

Unless you work from midnight to midnight you will find when you start looking at time that you work 16 or 17 hours one day and 7 or 8 hrs the next (depending on the time you report for duty) and then you are off one day before going back to work. Don't fool yourself or anyone else into seeing it differently.

roundabout
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Joined: 01/01/2011
BHH

Real clear, are you a fireman?

BHH
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Joined: 02/11/2011
Retired

In 2005 after 30 yrs. Dekalb County.

roundabout
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Rick

Do you work one day then off two; then, work one day then off two again, etc.,

I understand the twenty-four on, forty-eight off plans, but this can not be a continuing schedule. In six days you would work two days and be off four days!

If the two worked were considered as being six days each or 12 days work that would be imbalanced the other way!

Why are Firemen and Policemen work schedules a secret?

Mot of us can understand them!