While You Were Sleeping: Working overnight for Publix

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) — While most people sleep, employees at Publix are hard at work. Because the stores are closed overnight, a lot of people don’t know what goes on.

Gary Hash, a Publix trucker, wakes up at 10:45 p.m. so he can clock in at midnight.

“This time schedule works well because the traffic is very light, it’s easy to maneuver through town,” he explained.

He begins his day in Lakeland, and drives a lot of the food we eat to stores throughout Tampa Bay. When he arrives at Publix in Britton Plaza in Tampa, employees there take over.

“I actually prefer the overnight shift because I feel I can get more product done,” said Jose Cardona, Publix employee. “The only thing that affects me the most is sometimes I lack sleep.”

But Cardova admits he’s usually the one keeping everyone else energized.

“If I see somebody is slowing down a little bit, I like to joke around to keep the momentum up,” he said.

Stephen McGinn comes in around 10 p.m. and admits he needs caffeine.

“I usually have a cup of coffee before I come to work, and depending on how my morning’s going, I’ll have an energy drink mid-shift to stay up for the last five hours,” he explained.

Overall, employees love working overnight because they say they’re able to be more productive.

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