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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Monday, Dec. 13, 1999 ]

Employees find themselves working on New Year's Eve

Collegian Staff Writer

For some employees of State College businesses, the coming of a new year offers the opportunity to get off work early and celebrate. But others might find themselves manning the cash register or switchboard when the clock strikes midnight.

With winter break fast approaching, many Penn State students will be leaving State College for the holidays. As a result, many businesses are closing early Dec. 31.

One such business is Wal-Mart, 1665 N. Atherton Place. Normally a 24-hour location, it and all other Wal-Marts will close at 6 p.m.

At least one business attributed its early closing time to its employees.

"We did it out of respect for our employees, and we respect their desires to spend the night with their families," said Mike Negra, president of Mike's Video Inc. "We didn't have a request from our employees. We beat them to the punch."

But a few area businesses have opted to maintain regular working hours on New Year's Eve.

Blockbuster Video, 1101 N. Atherton St., will stay open until its usual midnight closing time.

At least one Uni-Mart location will be open 24 hours Dec. 31. Darlene Moyer, manager of the Uni-Mart at 151 S. Garner St., said her store would be staffed around the clock and found little problem with getting employees to work on New Year's Eve.

"I don't have many college students working here," Moyer said. "It's mostly older people." But she added when she first began working there, she did have trouble getting people to work on New Year's Eve.

Cory Beck expects more difficulties in getting employees to work that night. A floor manager at Ye Olde College Diner, 126 W. College Ave., Beck anticipates a few problems in having enough workers.

"A lot of people are going home for the holidays," Beck said. "It's going to be a busy night, but we should be all right."

One type of business expected to remain open is the State College bar scene. While some will attempt to ring in the new year, others — such as the Sports Cafe & Grille, 244 W. College Ave. — will treat it as a normal Friday night.

Finding employees willing to work has not been much of a problem, as least for Luis Cinfuentes, manager at Sports Cafe & Grille.

"A couple employees aren't doing anything," Cinfuentes said, "so they requested to work."

While businesses are closing down for New Year's Eve, public safety organizations must remain open. Included is the Centre County Office of Emergency Communications, 420 Holmes St., in Bellefonte.

The 911 Center will be fully staffed in anticipation of the new year, said the center's director, Daniel Tancibok. But despite having to spend the holidays away from their families, Tancibok expects his employees to behave professionally.

"Certainly, they're disappointed," Tancibok said. "But they're professionals and understand there are no holidays. It's the nature of the job."

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Updated: 1999-12-11  13:56:54   -4
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Created: 1999-12-11  13:35:23   -4