WTAMU students work graveyard shifts

Feature. Art by Chris Brockman.
Feature. Art by Chris Brockman.

Is working from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., also known as the night shift or the Graveyard shift, worth working?

Currently working Walmart’s night shift is Ramiro Juan Navarro, junior Computer Information Systems Major.

“[It’s been] almost 3 months working this shift and there are those days that I’m just too tired,” Navarro said. “I take my books to the break room and read whenever I get the chance. On my days off, all I do is study.”

The long hours and nights have been affecting Navarro, but he has no choice than to keep working this shift for now. He felt confident that he was able to handle this. Staying up late has made working the graveyard shift an easy decision for Navarro.

“I thought I would be fine at first since I would get little to no sleep before I took this job, but it’s just a different toll that it takes on your body,” Nicole Hudgens, a graduate sports management student, said. “Sure, it pays more working this shift but honestly, it was not worth it.”

Hudgens said that the night shift really had a big impact on her studies and sleeping schedule. At first, she had scheduled her time perfectly on when to study. However, throughout the day, this method shifted into exhaustion.

“It just seems like your body doesn’t shut down and rest during the day,” Hudgens said. “Everything is backward and it feels like living in another planet. I was sleeping every chance I got.”

According to the Department of Labor, The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t require extra pay for night shifts; it is of a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee. In most companies though, night shift workers get paid more than daytime workers. According to students who have taken this position, on average it usually pays a little more than regular day shifts.

“The night shift did pay a little more than regular day shifts,” Juan Gallardo, Master Student Business Administration major, said. “I took the job because I couldn’t afford not to have a full time job and this was the only shift that worked with my schedule perfectly. I did this for 5 years and I can say it was not worth it.”

“It was difficult to stay awake all the time, especially when you were running on two hours of sleep or sometimes even no sleep,” Gallardo said.

“Don’t do it,” Hudgens said. “You have no social life because you will be sleeping while others are going about their lives.”

To students with no choice and have to take the night shift, Hudgens has some advice.

“I was told to get black curtains and that may help you adjust to sleeping; it never worked for me. Try scheduling your classes later in the afternoon so there is more time for sleeping,” Hudgens said.

“If you’re going to get a night shift position, try to get it on campus. At least on campus jobs are flexible,” Gallardo said.

“I don’t recommend the job at all, because it’s tough to stay awake,” Navarro says. “I’m just trying to stay as long as I can because I have to pay my bills.”