Armed with nothing more than a beige cap, the night labbies watch over the vast drone of computers that occupy AB1. Hours are spent on the graveyard shift, waiting for the printers to go haywire and tirelessly staring at their computer screens. All-nighters and insomniacs alike sometimes strike up occasional conversations with the night labbies, but generally they remain unknown to the student population.
“It’s a lot better than other jobs I’ve had,” sophomore Katherine Homsi, computer science major said. “The pay is not that great, but we get paid to not do much. Basically we’re trained to load paper, load toner and fix printer jams.”
The night shift requires a tremendous schedule adjustment, completely throwing off sleep in order to be alert during the zombie-like after hours of AB1.
“It didn’t fit into my life, naturally,” Homsi said. “I have to go to bed between two and four in the afternoon if I don’t want to fall asleep during my shift. That’s why I pick morning classes, so I can get home sooner. After a while you get to wander around like you’re stoned.”
Despite the usual stale flow of time during the night shift, the labbies get to deal with interesting situations when the students present them. A thursday night could produce a room full of inebriated people or a slow tuesday night could reap a handful of frustrated computer illiterates.
“Occasionally people come in drunk but they usually mind themselves,” Homsi said. “It’s kind of amusing. I’ve never had trouble, but I’ve heard stories of people who give the labbies trouble. There’s this one woman nicknamed ‘Bulldog’ who gives the day labbies a lot of trouble. The problem is that they ask us questions we can’t really answer, like how to install a program they brought in. We’re not authorized to do a lot of things.”
The life of a night labbie can be very difficult at times, especially to balance out a schedule. However, someone has to do it.
“You have to give up a lot,” Homsi said. “You can’t go to parties, you have limited video game and tv privileges. I mean, you could always do both, but it would take a toll on your grades, your health or even your sanity. It’s a sacrifice, but I’ve got bills to pay.”