Working Before the Dawn

Heating up green tea in a microwave at 4 a.m. on the second floor of Buzzard Hall is how Jenny Thompson needs to start her day. Thompson, a building service worker at Eastern Illinois University, begins her workday when the only students still awake are toiling away in their books or stumbling home from a late night out. Thompson, one of four BSWs who work the 4 to 11:30 a.m. shift in Buzzard, has worked in there since Summer 2011. Now, she moves through the offices and hallways with precision and swiftness. Only momentarily stopping to wipe a black scuffmark from the tile floor with her foot when she spots them.