The graveyard shift

NPHS junior is the night manager at McDonald’s

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The graveyard shift

Junior Will Kramer working the night shift at McDonald’s. “I like the challenge of running around and covering three positions, but inside you’re mentally screaming,” he said.

Junior Will Kramer working the night shift at McDonald’s. “I like the challenge of running around and covering three positions, but inside you’re mentally screaming,” he said.

Sophia Walsh

Junior Will Kramer working the night shift at McDonald’s. “I like the challenge of running around and covering three positions, but inside you’re mentally screaming,” he said.

Sophia Walsh

Sophia Walsh

Junior Will Kramer working the night shift at McDonald’s. “I like the challenge of running around and covering three positions, but inside you’re mentally screaming,” he said.

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Junior Will Kramer works the graveyard shift from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. at the McDonald’s in North Platte. “I work at least five nights a week and usually go in on one of my days off to help out,” he said. In addition to being a night manager, he is also a full time student.

“I usually sleep on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday,” he said.”

— Will Kramer

Kramer working the night shift and looking at the orders coming in on Oct. 18.

Kramer getting a basket to fry french fries during his shift.

 

He works to help provide for himself and his family. “I haven’t always had the best life, and I’m trying to improve that right now,” Kramer said. “And, money is how you do that.” 

Kramer said that generally, night managers don’t last very long. “They’ll see that it’s stressful and they burn out from doing the same thing every night,” he said. However, he was the exception, and has been working at McDonald’s for around one year and eight months. “Every night at some point, I’m overwhelmed. and when they mess up I’m the one responsible,” he said, “but I just kept going and never quit.” 

Kramer is the only minor employed at McDonald’s allowed to work past 10 p.m. “I generally stay later than 4 a.m. because of cleaning stuff; the latest I’ve had to stay is 8 a.m.” 

Even though Kramer never stopped, that doesn’t mean it has been easy for him. “The job is brutal… going that long without sleeping puts you in a different state of mind,” he said. The longest that Kramer has gone without sleeping is five days. “One day doesn’t faze me anymore; after two days I’m dragging a little and can’t think straight; in three days you feel numb; and by the fourth or fifth day, you don’t remember much of anything,” he said. 

With the hours Kramer works, it is difficult to engage in other activities. “I make time after I get back from work and before I go to school to do homework,” he said.

With the challenges, come the benefits. The money Kramer has made is used to split the cost of groceries, buying a car, paying for an apartment, and helps pay for his mom’s medical treatments for her familial hypercholesterolemia. “There are a lot of days that I don’t want to do it, but I don’t have a lot of other options… for me it’s worth it but I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone,” he said. 

Even though Kramer has accustomed to his schedule, he wishes things could be different sometimes. “[If I wasn’t working], I would probably be playing football and hanging out with friends more.” He wishes he could be a normal teenager. “I’d be a lot more like an actual high schooler, and I would do what normal high schoolers do,” he said.

Although this is Kramer’s lifestyle now, he doesn’t intend on doing it forever. He plans on going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after high school graduation. “Life’s not the same for everyone and it’s not fair, but my life’s getting better everyday I’m at it,” he said. Even though he isn’t in ideal circumstances, Kramer believes it has taught him many lessons. “It teaches you to compromise on a lot of things, and that you need to face challenges to get where you want to be,” he said. 

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