This is something I've thought about extensively, in my two-and-a-half years as a Night Receptionist. So I bring you...
THE NIGHT RECEPTIONIST FAQ
1) Q: What time do you have to be here until?
A: 7:00 am. We get here at 11:45 pm. Some people split shifts, so one person works from 11:45 to 3:30am and then someone else works from 3:30 to 7:00, but most people end up working whole shifts.
2) Q: Oh my god, doesn't this job suck?
A: Actually, not really. Sometimes, if you're cranky or have a headache or are just plain tired, the hours seem to drag. But generally it's a great job, especially if you have a laptop-- you can do your homework, read, watch TV, play on the internet, watch movies, really do whatever you want as long as you're alert and by the door.
3) Q: When do you sleep?!
A: Whenever we can. A lot of people only work when the don't have class the next day, or don't have class until 12:40 or later. Most, I think, work all night, sleep for a few hours, go to class, then take a nap when they get home. You get used to it, and it's really not hard if you manage you time right.
4) Q: What do you get paid for this?
A: I'm pretty sure that the starting rate is $6.50 (it was $6.25 when I was hired, ya whippersnappers). Of course, if you transfer to NR from a different West Circle job (the caf, maintanence, etc.) you can generally keep that rate. And anyway, isn't that kind of a rude thing to ask?
5) Q: I don't have my ID, but I live here. Can I still get in?
A: You sure can! The NR can look you up in the housing book and then sign you in. No biggie.
6) Q: I don't have my ID. Can I just open my mailbox for you and prove I live here?
A: No. If you live here, your name is in the housing book, and you can (and must be) signed in.
7) Q: I don't live here. Can I get in?
A: No. Not even if you live in another building in West Circle. After midnight, anyone who doesn't live in a building has to be signed in by a resident.
8) Q: I don't live here, and I have absolutely no form of picture ID on me. Can I get in?
A: No. Not even if you have a resident who wants to sign you in. All guests need to have picture ID if they want to come in after hours.
9) Q: I lost my keys! Can I get into my room after midnight?
A: You sure can! The NR supervisor can get a spare key and unlock your door. A warning, though-- if you're in Campbell it might take a few minutes, because the NR supervisors are stationed in Yakeley and that's a bit of a walk. But we can let you in. Note: we can't check you out a key that you can hang onto-- you need to wait for the desk to open in the morning for that.
10) Q: Hey, you're locking up and it's only 11:50! You're not supposed to lock the doors until midnight! WTF?!
A: No, we start checking IDs at midnight. We come in to work at 11:45, clock in and get our keys and walkie-talkies. At 11:50, we lock the doors. At 12:00, we begin to check IDs. The extra time is because it takes a few minutes to walk all the way around the buildings and lock every single door and get the scanner set up.
11) Q: How come someone unpropped the door that I propped open? And why did that person take my ID number when they saw me do it?
A: It's all there in Spartan Life, that booklet that you threw out at the beginning of the year. Propping doors is against University Regulations; specifically, General Student Regulations 2.01 (Protection of Individuals), 4.07 (Protection of Property), 5.02 and 5.07 (Protection of University Functions and Services), Undergraduate Hall Residence Hall Regulations 2.1 (Safety of the Individual and Community), 6.3 (Identification of Individuals), and 8.3 (Visitors). Basically, propping doors endangers everyone who lives and works in the building, because then any crazy can just walk off the street and into a building where people are sleeping. It's rare, but it can happen. It has happened. If you break any University Regulation, then you can be subject to "judicial action." I've heard rumors of $50 fines. NR supervisors are instructed to get the ID number of anyone found propping a door. Repeat offenders will be punished... somehow.
12) Q: I can't even prop a door to smoke?
A: Nope. But if you come to the front door, where the NR sits, then you can smoke out there and walk right back in again.
13) Q: Why do you do [insert any of the functions of an NR]? It's stupid!
A: Because it's our job. If we didn't follow the rules, we would pretty much get paid to do nothing at all. Or, more likely, get fired for doing nothing at all. We do what we do because it's Policy, and far be it from us to take justice into our own hands. Anyone who you see taking your ID can't make any changes to the system, or at least not any more than you can. Probably the closest person who has any control over these things is Jim Dolan, the CLaM Complex Director. His office is next to the Landon front desk.
And you would not believe how often we get asked these questions, especially the first couple. Some nights I just want to hang a sign around my neck that says "We work until seven. No, it doesn't suck. I sleep whenever I can."
I hope this list is helpful. Any NRs (past or present) are welcome to add to it!
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