The Night Shift at MC

By Haley Burnside, Asst. Editor

In the city that never sleeps, there need to be people who stay awake through the night to keep it running. At Manhattan College, a whole team of employees are responsible for just that.

Whether it’s the first floor of Horan or the front desk at O’Malley library, a diligent worker can be found at all hours of the night.

Raquel Centeno, who works in the Thomas Hall C-Store long after most of the staff at MC clock out and return home, says it is not difficult for her to work at night.

“It’s not too bad. I’ve been doing night shifts for like a year now. I’m here from 3 to 1 in the morning, so it’s usually pretty calm,” said Centeno.

When asked how she keeps herself awake during a long night shift, she laughed.

“I don’t even know sometimes. I just keep snacking if I start to zone out,” said Centeno. “That, and I try not to sit down for too long. Some nights we get lots of students in here, so you get to talk to people. That really helps.”

In the quiet library, staying awake and alert throughout the night is a little more challenging. Debra Green, who has only worked the night shift a few times, notes that certain times of year can be more exciting at night.

“It is usually quiet except during finals and midterms. In those weeks there are plenty of people coming and going that it doesn’t really feel late,” said Green.

She did not find it difficult to stay awake during night shifts.

“I talk to students or get on the computer,” said Green “It’s easier than you would think to stay awake, especially if you get plenty of rest during the day.”

Public Safety officials all have some experience working security during the night shift hours from midnight to eight in the morning. Some, like Public Safety employee Denzel Francois, prefer the late hours.

“[Working at night] is quite the opposite of rough,” said Francois as he sat at the desk at the first floor of Lee Hall. “When you’re working in the nighttime, you get sufficient rest in the daytime. Plus it gives me more time with my daughter during the day. It’s a perfect schedule for me.”

As an experienced night shift employee, Francois had some immediate strategies on hand for staying awake through the night.

“People may look at it as ‘wow, you’re staying up all night, how do you sleep?’ But you do get sleep. I have a regimen at home for balancing sleep and being with my family,” said Francois. “It’s just a matter of proper scheduling and proper eating. The diet is definitely important.”

Like the other employees, he attributed interacting with students to helping keeping him awake as well.

“It definitely helps to have students come through and talk to you. Usually during exam weeks there’s a lot of people coming back from the library late at night. Talking to them keeps you from getting bored.”