Finals not the only challenge for third-shift UPS student workers

By on November 29, 2015

By Nick Amon–

The end of the fall semester is approaching closer and closer as each day passes. Finals, of course, are soon to follow, along with the hours of dreadful studying for classes we don’t know why we signed up for in the first place. The holiday season follows pretty abruptly after finals, and next thing you know, we’re crashing into the spring semester. All of this seems pretty routine, wouldn’t you say? Well, let me provide you with a little insight on the ending semester and upcoming holidays through the perspective of a different breed of people: the third shifters at UPS.

As a current third shift employee at UPS, I can comfortably say this is probably one of my least favorite times of the year. Sure, I still get to enjoy the holidays like the next person, but there’s just something about seeing a Christmas tree after you’ve worked at UPS for three years that just makes you want to curl up in a ball and forget about the holiday season altogether. You see, while many students look at finals as their last speed bump of the semester before the cruising towards home cooked meals and mistletoe, there’s those of us who know what the holiday season really means, and I can assure you its not as pretty as the Christmas decorations plastered in your home.

I am not only a full-time student at U of L cramming for finals, but I am also a UPS employee charged with ensuring your holiday gifts arrive on time. Because of the time of year and my job, I might as well be taking my finals while simultaneously putting on my three layers of clothing to protect me from the often below freezing temperatures I’ll be facing at work right afterwards.

Unfortunately, all the jackets in the world still can’t protect me from having to work strenuous hours during the busiest shipping time of the year, but hey, at least I’m graduating without any debt right? At least that’s what I murmur inside my head throughout the entire month of December to keep me from going insane between finals and peak season at UPS.

The campus community should be aware what it’s like to be a UPSer during peak season and finals. However, UPS is a great place to work for students. This is especially true for those of us who plan on making a career there one day, or just plan on graduating without having to sell their soul to the devil (aka, taking out student loans.)

Regardless of all the “woe me” I’ve sprinkled within this explanation into a third shift employee’s life during the end of the semester, it can be done. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve heard people tell me, “I just couldn’t do that” or “I just couldn’t handle third shift and school at the same time.” Believe me, just as many other UPSers would tell you, it’s definitely possible.

Moral of the story, next time you hear a fellow classmate of yours bring up their long night at UPS slaving away lifting packages all night so the crappy Christmas present you bought your mom makes it to her on time, cut them some slack.

Once the madness of finals fades away for you, some of us start lacing up our boots in the a.m. hours of a cold December night. The madness has only begun.

About Nick Amon

Nick Amon is the Opinion Editor for The Louisville Cardinal, all views and opinions are of his own. If you have an opinion of your own that you'd like to see in The Cardinal, email him at namon@louisvillecardinal.com

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