Breaking News
More () »

Zevely Zone celebrates San Diego's early risers who are up all night

While most people are sleeping, the graveyard shift is filled with life and hard working people.

SAN DIEGO — Zevely Zone segments air first at six o'clock in the morning, so I thought why not clock in early to celebrate San Diego's early risers. 

My alarm clock went off at 1 o'clock in the morning, I rolled out of bed feeling really tired but incredibly impressed by the people who work the graveyard shift. 

As I drove to work, the freeways were empty, but it was rush hour traffic on the conveyer belt at the UPS Package Hub in Chula Vista. That's where we found Joe Terzoli. "I've worked at UPS for 27 years," said Joe who was in a mood as bright as his safety vest. "We try to make it fun. There's no point coming in and being in a bad mood. 

The first thing I had to sort out was how sleep deprived UPS worker Terron Franklin was smiling under his mask. "Good morning!" announced Terron. "I am happy to be here, I have great co-workers. A great team around me."

Credit: CBS 8

Processing 36 million packages a year takes greatness. If Steve Garcia had a label it would read 'Hardworking Father'. "Every day, all day!" said Steve while processing packages. "My mantra is I have three little boys with mouths to feed so I have to wake up and make sure the benefits are good and the insurance is good." 

Most San Diegans are asleep at this hour. Which made me ask Dawn Gearhart when she sleeps? I go to bed by eight o'clock at night," said Dawn who was also smiling from ear to ear.  

Credit: CBS 8

In 2007, I aired a story on the graveyard shift at Disneyland and profiled the people who keep the amusement rides running when the guests go home. Although Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, the employees told me those hours are punishing and less than ideal. 

However they told me they gladly worked the shift because that was how they fed their families. I never forgot that story and respect their family first attitude.

Credit: CBS 8

Another spot where employees are up all night is Rudford's Restaurant in North Park. The diner opened in 1949, they are open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and the owner told me they've never locked the front door.

Credit: CBS 8

"Good morning," declared Jessica Flores. The waitress was delivering food during our visit. "Two hotcakes with the eggs," said Jessica the expecting mother who will soon deliver a baby. Yet, there she was on the graveyard shift living life on the sunny side up. "I love my city, I am from San Diego, and I really enjoy my community," said Jessica.  

RELATED: Disney's new 'Star Tours' takes News 8's Jeff Zevely to a new galaxy

Rudford busser, Nick Lemmon, can't explain it but serving others makes him feel like he's mopping up. "If I had an answer to that question I'd tell the world," said Nick.  

"Good morning," announced Tony Gomez. He's been a cook for forty years and he wanted to share his secret recipe. "I like this profession; I've been cooking my whole life. I love this job," said Tony.

RELATED: The forecast is about to change for CBS News 8's Natasha Stenbock

Perhaps the best part of staying up all night, is heading home while so many others are clocking in. "It's great," said UPS employee Terron Franklin. "Just caring you know. You have to care."

"I just enjoy what I do," said Jessica Flores.

 "Really I like the shift because I get so much done during the day," said Joe Terzoli.  

I started my day feeling like death, but quickly discovered loving what you do at any hour can work miracles in your life.

Watch more Zevely Zone content below:

Before You Leave, Check This Out