It's My Job: For your convenienceFargo man works graveyard shift at Petro
For some people, 6:30 a.m. might seem a little early to be cracking wise to customers at a convenience store. But George Schultz schmoozes with his morning regulars at Petro Serve USA in Fargo like he’s been at it all night – because he has.
For some people, 6:30 a.m. might seem a little early to be cracking wise to customers at a convenience store.
But George Schultz schmoozes with his morning regulars at Petro Serve USA in Fargo like he’s been at it all night – because he has.
“I guarantee ’em. They’re winners,” he tells a customer buying Powerball tickets. “I’d put ’em in a safety deposit box. That’s how good they are.”
The 47-year-old Fargo resident has worked the graveyard shift at convenience stores for about 13 of the past 15 years.
He worked the midnight to 8 a.m. shift for years but lately has been working 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the store on South University Drive.
The Forum chatted with Schultz toward the end of his shift Thursday.
Do you get a lot of customer traffic during your shift?
There’s a lot of cleaning and stuff to stay busy and all that stuff. I just don’t have to go at a record pace. But with the cappuccino machine and hot dog (machine), there’s always enough to keep busy. You can find something to do if you’re looking for it.
Who comes in here during those hours?
I don’t get much of a bar rush, just a few people here and there. Years ago, I worked at Holiday downtown … Now, that was interesting. I worked the graveyard shift down there. But most people here are just driving, so even if they have a little bit of a buzz, they’re not too bad. It’s a pretty friendly crowd at night.
Are you a night owl?
Oh yeah, I’m a night person. I’m up at night even with days off. I function better at night. Definitely nocturnal.
Is it a challenge to stay awake?
No. … I don’t sit down at all during my break. I drink a lot of Diet Dew, and I never sit down. Since I’ve worked here, I think I’ve maybe sat down twice. Some people get here, and … they sit down for a half-hour before they even start their shift, and they wonder why they can’t wake up. It’s like, really? I just keep movin’.
What’s the best part about working this job, this shift?
I just get paid to clean and listen to ESPN radio and stuff like that, and George Noory (of “Coast to Coast”) sometimes. I kind of go back and forth, because those UFO guys get old after a while.
What’s the worst part about this job?
When people are here, you’re here (behind the counter), you can’t be out doing stuff, so they say, “Oh, this job must be boring.” I mean, it’s like, I don’t sit right here all the time.
What’s it like working through snowstorms?
I know, like tonight when it snows, I’m going to be busy, because Fargo Public Schools and others have (charge) accounts here. So if it snows tonight, I’m going to be running to the till all night long. And different companies that do snow removal, because we’re open all night, they have accounts here, so when it snows, we’re really busy at night.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528
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