Graveyard shift

A graveyard shift is a work shift that runs through the late night/early hours of the morning, most commonly covering the period between midnight and 8am. These shifts are typically very quiet, with staff who work them often having to be comfortable with working either entirely alone or interacting with only a small number of customers or fellow employees.

Where does the term “graveyard shift” come from? Its origins aren’t entirely clear, but some people believe that the term comes from a time when — back before medical practitioners were particularly good at telling whether someone was really dead or not — bells would be attached by long strings to the hands of the recently deceased inside their coffins, lest they woke up after being buried. Workers would then be employed to spend the night in the graveyard, both keeping watch for grave robbers and a keen ear open for the gentle ringing of a bell...

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