What It’s Like Going to Work at 4am

Currently I’m a production assistant at KCCI 8 News in Des Moines, IA.  I work on the morning show from 4:00-9:00 am Monday through Thursday.  I’m also a full time college student at Drake University in Iowa.  I also live in a house with 34 other women.

When I told my mom and dad in June that I wanted to work at a news stations, they were enthusiastic.  They knew that I wanted to experience a live news show because my dream is to produce or direct the Today Show.  When I told them the time, they became a little worried.  How was I going to be able to balance work and school?

Fast forward to August when I was moving into my new home for the year, my sorority house.  I moved into a triple with two other girls that were aware of my unique work schedule.  One of them worked at the local hospital so she had some weird work hours too and the other was a pharmacy major and was always at the library studying.  I like to joke that the three of us win for the weirdest sleeping schedules.

The first Monday of school came quickly and rather than waking up with all the other girls I was up at 2:50am ready to take a shower.  I was pumped with so much adrenaline ready to work at a real news station!!  I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get ready in the morning so I thought getting up earlier was better.  Well I was ready to go by 3:30…and the news stations was only 10 minutes away.  Rather than sitting in my quiet house I headed to work, half an hour early.  I saw maybe two cars on the road to work.  It was beginning to sink in it was still the middle of the night for most people.

Once at work I was taught my responsibilities for the morning show.  It took a few weeks, but I soon got the hang of what speed the anchors wanted the teleprompters and when I should cue them.  I was loving my job!

Now we’re in the beginning of November and I’ve been working every Monday through Thursday 4:00am-9:00am since August.  I’ve learned a few tips and tricks on how I can get as much sleep as possible.  Ear plugs and a sleeping mask are a must, especially when you have roommates.  I try to be in bed 6:30pm every night, but usually end up procrastinating and hopping into by around 8:00pm.  I end up regretting that when I wake up the next day.  I’ve learned that hats are my best friend and everyone has learned that if I’m wearing a hat I probably haven’t showered.  I’ve learned to plan ahead and have my clothes and breakfast packed the night before work so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning.  I’ve learned that I can wake up at 3:35am and still get to work on time.  Although I have cut it close a few times.

I’ve learned that this experience is something I couldn’t picture my life without now.  I have begun to love the mornings and have learned how to manage my time.  I like to tell people that I do better when I’m busy. I prioritize my tasks better.  I love working at KCCI.

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