Will Durst travels under the cover of darkness to reveal
the stories of a few of the twenty million Americans who work
Georgia Viewers meet Carol Lin, an anchorwoman for the
CNN morning news, who has to rise in the middle of the night
to get to work in time to prepare for the broadcast. Carol
says that although the television news world may seem glamorous,
it comes with stress, hardships, and even possible health
Las Vegas, Nevada Will visits the bustling city of
Las Vegas, which caters to those with twenty-four-hour needs.
Viewers will encounter all-night tanning salons, wedding chapels,
and even “day” care centers, all open to meet the demands
of a twenty-four-hour town.
Clara, CA Viewers meet Robert Lynch, an employee of Globex,
a high tech company located in Silicon Valley. Since ecommerce
happens around the clock, employees like Robert must be available
at any hour of the day or night to offer support services
for websites and lines that crash.
Francisco, CA At San Francisco General Hospital, Amy Petrarca
is a trauma nurse who thrives on the energy of the night shift
and the “organized chaos” of the emergency room. .
Interstate 95 Independent truckers Mike and Betty Casey
love the freedom that comes from working overnight, including
waking up in a different state every day. Mike says that the
hardest part of the night shift is staying awake during the
half hour before the sun comes up.
New York, NY Within the walls of a New York skyscraper,
viewers meet several night shift employees. Building maintenance
operator William Poole has worked nights since 1966, and declares
that he would protest rather than switch to days. Corina Ochoa,
an office cleaner, likes the night shift because it allows
her to take care of her children. Joey Reynolds, a radio host,
says that the night shift allows for more intimacy and quiet
energy on his late-night talk show.
St. Cloud, MN Ramona and Jim Rosinger are hard-working
dairy farmers in the heart of the Midwest. Ramona also works
a second job to supplement their farming income, and because
she enjoys the time she spends at work. Benefits such as health
insurance make the overnight shift at an e-commerce warehouse
attractive, even though Ramona often becomes exhausted by
the demands of the two jobs.
CA Dr. William Dement, Director of the Stanford Sleep
Disorders Clinic, explains the serious health issues related
to lack of sleep. He says that our twenty-four-hour work culture
is causing a national sleep debt crisis; he is on a crusade
to educate and alert people about the importance of sleep.
Brockton, MA Dorothy Stevens chose to work the night shift
as a warehouse shopper for streamline.com, an on-line grocery
store, so she could take care of her kids during the day. Although
she has tried other options, the night shift seems to work best
for her family.
Will Durst explains the problems that night shift employees
face trying to sleep during the day. The most important things
to avoid? Sunlight, caffeine, noise, and excitement.
Allentown, PA Theresa Phoenix is a single mom working
almost nonstop to get ahead in the new economy. Theresa works
the night shift as a chip inspector at Lucent, hoping to be
promoted soon to another job within the company. She also attends
the on-site university to get her MBA, leaving her little time
Durst revisits Carol Lin and Amy Petrarca as they wrap up their
shifts. They offer different views on what working the night
shift is really like.
once or twice while viewing to have students reflect on what they've
attitudes do these workers have towards their jobs? How are
they different from each other? What do they all have in common?
seems to make all these overnight jobs necessary?
do you think people mean when they talk about “the new economy”?
How much of the change in night work would you say is the
result of the development of this new economy?
whether students are confused about anything they've seen. Offer
them the opportunity to visit the Livelyhood
Web site and skim the summary of
"Night Shift" after watching the program.
Encourage students to list terms they’re unfamiliar with, and look
them up in the Glossary for People Who Work, or Know Someone Who
Does, located in Livelyhood’s
Digital Tool Kit. Also view the "Night
variety of resources are available for linking the content of the
show to particular curriculum areas, and helping students apply
the content to real-world situations relevant to their own lives.
Questions. These encourage students to analyze and think critically
about the situations and issues presented in the show.
You might begin by having students answer their own purpose-setting
are some of the advantages to working the night shift? some
of the drawbacks?
is the need for overnight employees increasing?
the experiences of these employees match your expectations of
what working the night shift would be like?
Continue by asking questions that will lead students to relate
what they've seen to their own lives:
of these jobs most appealed to you? Why?
you think you would ever choose to work the night shift? Why
or why not?
you think having services available twenty-four hours is worth
the cost to workers?
give students opportunities to explore these issues actively and
creatively, assign one or more of the cross-curricular activities
Activities. These offer a variety of projects for individual
students or small groups which extend concepts presented in
“Night Shift.” Some of these activities utilize other features
of the Livelyhood Website, such as the Lively Poll and the Posting
Areas. All activities are appropriate for students in grades
9–12. Some are suitable for younger students as well; others
are appropriate for adult students.