From dusk to dawn: Day shift workers

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Peter R.O. Danielson
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs
Across the globe, Airmen work constantly to complete essential Air Force missions. But, even with this 24-hour on-the-job mentality, there are still jobs here that have business hours similar to a civilian work week.

When night-shift workers struggle to fall asleep with the rising sun, day-shift workers pull on boots or low quarters, grab a cup of coffee, and head into work.

And despite sleepy eyes and frosty windows that come with frigid mornings, those going into work for the day shift love it.

"I like being in synch with the rest of the world," said Tech. Sgt. Shelley Seibert-Leister, 55th Dental Squadron's non-commissioned officer in charge of dental records and reception. "My kids and husband are at work and school at the same time and the shift allows me more family time at night."

"The evening is a great time to gather families that have been apart all day for work and school," said Senior Airman Jason Chiles, a radio frequencies technician for the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron. "With any other shift, I'd miss that."

Airmen Chiles said the consistent 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift means his days off aren't spent in bed, and activities are set during his normal active hours.

"I love that I can have a normal sleep schedule," said Airman Chiles.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Dewey, a network infrastructure systems craftsman for the 55th Contracting Squadron, said he enjoys working during the day because he is able to coordinate with other offices around base.

"I'm glad I don't work nights, because I wouldn't be able to finish things because other offices would be closed," said Sergeant Seibert-Leister.

"At the same time, trying to get personal appointments taken care of when everybody is open the same hours I'm working is tough," said Sergeant Dewey.

Sergeant Dewey also dislikes the early starts he makes for his 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. compressed work schedule.

"I have a 45-minute commute," said Sergeant Dewey. "It can sometimes make for a long day."

"I would probably get more sleep if I worked at night, and would have time during the day to handle my family errands," said Sergeant Seibert-Leister.

Sergeant Seibert-Leister works from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday every week.

"If my shift was different, it'd be less of a hassle getting paper work accomplished," said Sergeant Seibert-Leister. "The phones wouldn't ring, and there'd be less distractions from important tasks."

"I do like the additional time from the compressed work schedule," said Sergeant Dewey. "A little extra uninterrupted time goes a long way."

Despite these minor objections, most day-shift workers like their schedules and would keep it if offered a different shift.

"I might dream about sleeping in on these cold mornings, but I couldn't give up everything else," said Airman Chiles.

(Editor's Note: This is the first in a three-part series)