This article was written by Jamyn Wilson.
While you were sleeping, he was pulling out people’s hair from shower drains. While you were sleeping, he was sweeping between workout equipment, then dusting and mopping. While you were sleeping, he was cleaning and sanitizing water fountains with people’s spit still left inside.
McKay Peterson, a sophomore studying psychology, is one of the many students who work hard during the early hours of the morning while you and I are sleeping.
Have you ever wondered how the campus remains sparkly clean everyday? It does not clean itself. Many students work tirelessly through the night to keep it clean for our enjoyment.
At 11:30 p.m., Peterson has just started his job, 30 minutes before curfew. He and his staff clean the John W. Hart Fitness Center, the racquetball courts, the four locker rooms, the bathrooms and the swimming pool.
Constantly running through the back of his mind is his nice, warm bed that waits for him, Peterson said.
Peterson does not get to fall asleep when he gets tired at night, like you and I might. Instead, he sanitizes all the bathrooms, showers and workout equipment that thousands of students will use the next day.
“It takes a toll on my body the following day,” Peterson said. “Throughout the day, I feel my body lagging and getting tired.”
Peterson started his nighttime custodial job in Winter 2017. However, the workload and sleep schedule seem to be hitting him hard.
“This will probably be my last semester,” Peterson said.
Afua Opoku Darkwaah, a freshman hoping to be accepted into the nursing program, works the 4 a.m. shift. His body has adjusted to the time, although he said it is still difficult for him to wake up while the town is sleeping.
The most rewarding part for Darkwaah is “keeping and seeing the building clean.”
Although the hours are not ideal for college students, he said his job can be really fun because of his co-workers, who just so happen to be his closest friends.
“People get this job by word of mouth. It’s who you know. I was able to get a lot of my friends this job, and now we all work together.”
One of the most physically demanding parts of his job is not only the time which he works, but the constant movement.
“Moving from room to room, instead of just staying in the same room cleaning, is hard,” Peterson said.
It is not like Peterson and his coworkers can just sit still and clean. The constant motion at 2 a.m., is demanding.
Peterson works 15 hours a week. He said he is grateful for the income that helps him get through college. However, it might not be worth the loss of sleep.
While you were sleeping, he finished his last task of taking the trash out filled with vomit. While you were sleeping he was finally able to lay his head down at 3 a.m.–while another employee’s alarm goes off to start their 4 – 7 a.m. shift. All, while you were still sleeping.