Hate Sleep? Need a job? Don’t qualify for work study? Need Money? All aboard the Night Desk Aid Struggle Bus! If you’re a night desk aid you know from first-hand experience that the struggle is so real.
1. Coffee is your best friend.
It’s essential for survival. You drink more than Lorelai and Rory Gilmore combined. Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Dunkin’ Donuts; pick your poison, but don’t add too many shots of espresso or you may find that your fingers start twitching or your heart feels like it’s palpitating.
2. Your other best friends are the RAs in your building.
Suffering together is better than suffering alone.
3. Morning classes will kill you.
Working 12 a.m.- 8 a.m. and then going to class and actually expecting yourself to function beyond the ability to appear coherent? Yeah...No. Not happening. Oh, and don’t try to take a nap between getting off at 8 and class at 9. You know once you hit the pillows, there’s no going back.
4.You’re expected to read people’s minds.
You frequently peer up from your laptop to find residents standing at your window, creepily staring at you and throwing their ID’s through your slot. Sometimes you’re very tempted to just stare back, but instead, you just do your job and say, “hello, how may I help you?”.
5. You can recite university policies on command.
You know everything from visitation hours to emergency situation procedure.
6. You know all of the RDs, ARDs, and GAs on campus and you love them.
These people are saints. You know they’re always just one call away and there for you when you need them. They fix all the problems, and like you, they also work long, ridiculous hours to keep the campus safe.
7. A laptop, snacks and a blanket are in your bag of essentials.
There’s a certain point in the morning when it gets really cold in your box (probably because it’s freezing outside), the after party in the lobby disperses, and you’re no longer able to function enough to do homework. At this point, there’s nothing better than binge-watching your latest Netflix favorite and eating cookies all snuggled up in your favorite fleece blanket.
8. Your fellow night desk aids become your best friends.
You’ve seen it all together. You kill cockroaches together. You clean vomit off of ID card readers together. You tell each other your life stories at 5:00 a.m.
9. Forget making plans anytime before 3:00 pm for the day after your shift.
10. Your catchphrase is “Sorry I was sleeping”.
Because most of your friends aren’t nocturnal like you, you miss a lot of opportunities to spend time with them because you're asleep. Sometimes they get annoyed, but they didn't have to stay up all night so you give them sass.
11. You have nightmares about being trapped inside plexiglass boxes.
You’ve associated so many traumatic, disgusting, and chaotic experiences with the plexiglass box that just looking at one off duty gives you anxiety.
12. You grow a thick skin.
Not all residents understand that the policies you enforce as a desk aid are in place in order to keep them safe. A lot of residents just think you want to make their lives miserable by enforcing the rules, so you learn to not take insults personally.
13. You learn to have a lot of patience and compassion for people.
Even though some residents are very rude and disrespectful, the majority are lovely people. Sometimes you have to fight the urge to give their attitude right back to them because we are taught to advocate for our residents. We learn to be the nicest and most helpful people to everyone no matter how they treat us in return. We just hope one day they’ll catch on.
15. St. Paddy’s Day Weekend and Halloween are the worst three nights of your life.
Three words: Parties. Puke. Police.
16. You witness a lot of super-awkward situations.
Break-ups, make out sessions, intoxicated people running into doors, and temper tantrums.
17.You swear people take you for a complete idiot.
Short, blonde girl named Nicole swipes in at 1:20. You have green hair and you’re six foot two, oh and you’re a guy, but you’re also Nicole. Likely story.
18. Your other catch phrase is “Ummm do you even go here?”.
Just go to bed. You don't live here.
19. You wonder why people willingly are awake past 2.
20. You can sleep in broad daylight no problem.
When you’ve been up upwards of 20 hours, you sleep anywhere, anytime, anyway as soon as your head hits the pillow or sand...
21.Your sleep schedule is so messed up.
You find yourself struggling to fall asleep at a normal time on nights when you’re off duty because your body gets used to sleeping in the day and being awake at night.
22. You learn that freshman+parties+alcohol=no no no.
Everybody knows that freshman are known for illegally drinking, and specifically binge drinking. Without knowing their limits they often end up getting themselves into big pickles and you get used to the ever lingering odors of vodka, pizza, and vomit.
23. You love all the housekeepers and maintenance staff.
They're always so pleasant and helpful. #lifesavers
24. Concealer is your best friend.
The bags under your eyes aren’t designer. They’re chronic.
25. A lot of residents love you and a lot of residents hate you.
Because you’re always nice or because you didn’t let them violate university policy. You’re just doing your job either way.
26. You hate writing desk incident reports.
Incidents often last for hours and the last thing you want to do after handing a traumatic/stressful situation is to write a detailed report about it, but you have to because it’s super important, so you do.
27. When you really want to tell all your friends the crazy stuff that goes on at your job, but you’re sworn to secrecy.
Guests are not welcomed in the box nor are you allowed to share desk incidents due to the respect of the privacy of our residents and #confidentiality.
28. Your favorite time of the day is 8:00 a.m.
Cause that’s when you finally can sleep.