The night-shift and the student

My current summer job is working overnight concierge/security shifts at a quiet North York condo building, and I must say that I could not imagine a part-time job that compliments my life as a student any better than this does.

In this little blog post, I’ll share with you all how I successfully manipulated the security industry into paying me for doing schoolwork (I’m just kidding, everything I write about in here is completely ethical, and I’ll explain more later).

How I got the gig

Obtaining an Ontario security license is the first step I took in securing this job (cringes viciously). I made an investment of about $300 in total to cover the costs of my week-long online course as well as application and provincial examination fees, which is reasonable when you consider how efficient working in this industry can be.

Once I got myself a license and started applying for jobs, I found that companies tend to have an abundance of night-shift opportunities.

There are tons of job-postings on websites like Indeed, and big companies like GARDAWORLD and The Forest Hill Group are always hiring. I applied with my resume online and in person at their head offices in Toronto.

Not-so-surprisingly… nothing happens at night-time

The amount of free time that I had during my night shifts was indeed shocking. But one can only stream Netflix and YouTube for so many hours before thinking of the possibilities of “killing two birds with one stone”.

So I found myself working on schoolwork during my 3-11pm evening shifts during the school year, as well as my personal creative projects during my 11pm-7am summer shifts.

An image of an empty condo building lobby from the perspective of a security desk.
Behold the ghost-town that is the lobby of a condo mostly populated by elderly folks at 11pm at night.

But isn’t that… stealing?

Not really. Security supervisors and property managers at all of the buildings that I have worked at are absolutely OK with guards passing the time however they wish, as long as we do not neglect our responsibilities (which, for night guards, tend to be very few).

Is it safe?

Threats to personal safety tend to be a bit of a misconception people have about working in security. I have worked jobs at fast food places as well as clothing stores, and aggressive customers and verbal harassment are definitely a bigger concern in these part-time jobs that are commonly picked up by students.

Security guards are not expected to be heroes. So when anything serious happens (like, I don’t know, a fire alarm or a break in) we are expected to do next to nothing until the police, firefighters, or any other qualified professionals show up. Our job is just to dial 911 when stuff hits the fan, just like any good citizen should.

And for the record, having worked this job for more than a year I can honestly tell you that I have never once had to dial 911. So yes, the job is pretty safe.

The ideal job for the student

When I started working evening and night shifts in security, I found myself with a lot more free time to rest, go out with friends, or just chill at home and watch anime or something.

The overwhelming takeaway from this experience is to make an effort to create time where it seems to be non-existent.

 

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