This weekend a lot of folks will stay up until midnight to celebrate the start of 2017. For many of them it will be the first time they've stayed up so late all year. They'll suffer for it too - for a lot of them it will be an exhausting test of endurance that will have lasting repercussions over the next several days. But the millions of shift workers in this country will observe the struggles of these midnight newcomers with some amount of mirth, thinking, "welcome to our world."
The US Bureau of Labor Services (BLS) last surveyed the work schedules of the national labor force over a decade ago, with the most recent reports (PDF) dating from 2004. At that time, workers on the night shift or otherwise working outside of the traditional 8am - 6pm hours made up 27.5% of the population, a number relatively consistent with surveys of prior years. It is only reasonable to guess that this number would have gone up in the 12 years since the last survey. To give you a benchmark, 28.8% of Chicago residents identified as Hispanic in the 2010 census.
Night owls can be found in many industries, from manufacturing and health care to IT and transportation. There are waiters and bartenders, cab drivers and security guards, hotel staff and performing artists. There are folks who work nights because they have no other option, and others who do so by choice for the higher pay rates or to have time during the day to spend with their kids. Still others, myself included, have medical conditions that prevent them from keeping to a consistent daytime schedule. The unifying factor though is that these are low paying and/or entry-level workers - a group that also makes up a large percent of the renting population.
But even with this large number of people working non-traditional hours, the CRLTO still specifies that a landlord can only enter an apartment between the hours of 8am and 8pm unless a tenant specifically requests another time. This means that for many renters, every interaction with their landlord requires them to stay up into the middle of their 'night.' If you have to sacrifice sleep, no matter what your schedule, you are compromising your health, your ability to drive, and your ability to perform at your best.
Even though Chicago is a 24 hour city, certain industries are definitely daytime only. Real estate is one of them, another is construction. Chances are if you're dealing with a landlord you're going to be interacting with workers in one of those two industries: either your apartment is being shown to others or something has broken and you're waiting on repairs. The noise and invasiveness of both industries mean that they are likely to remain daytime only unless a major change in awareness occurs. However, if you are a night owl by choice or by force, there are workarounds that can help you to find an apartment that suits your lifestyle. Here's how to find them: Continue reading Apartment Hunting for Night Owls