Grave Shift Security

By Barbara Jones

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the strip-goers during the after hours? What happens after the bar gives out that last call? What are the benefits of working in Las Vegas? How would his job differ if he was located in a different city?

One person who you could talk to about this is my friend, Matt Millett. He is not only a graveyard shift security guard at the Venetian, but he is also a student at our very own university. He has been working as a security guard since he turned 23, and as you will soon read, there has hardly been a dull moment throughout his career at the Venetian. His favorite part about his job is that he gets to see the “behind-the scenes look at the strip and all of the workers and tourists.”

Well as you read on, Matt, will be able to divulge to you the very answers to those questions.

Barbara: So Matt, what do you do for a living?

Matt: I’m a security guard at The Venetian [Casino]

Barbara: Can you describe to me what your usual, normal shift is like?

Matt: Hah! There is nothing usual or normal about my shifts…[as he shakes his head and laughs]

Barbara: Can you expand on that last statement?

Matt: My “usual, normal” [as he makes the air quotes] shift is a graveyard shift, which is filled with everything but the norm. At first, I was kind of bummed that my boss was making me take the graveyard shifts, but after a couple of shifts, I actually started to look forward to them…they actually turned into my own personal TV shows!

Barbara: Why have they turned into your own personal TV shows? You must see a lot of interesting things!

Matt: I have seen everything in the book. Do you ever see those people wearing those animal or character costumes? I’m sorry. That was a dumb question. Of course you have seen them…this is Vegas! Well one night, in the middle of the Venetian, I literally stumbled upon them while they were laying in a dog-pile. They were surrounded by drinks! Talk about taking a childhood story or character or whatever and putting a spin on it! I’ve also seen an Elvis and a Michael Jackson impersonator get into a fight. That was an interesting night. I never imagined that I would have to break up a fight between those two [laughs]. I have also had people try to bribe me to let them jump into the canal. The bribes? Everything from sexual acts to having the person offer to bear my children.

Barbara: During your graveyard shifts, what times are you usually making your rounds and what does that entail?

Matt: Well my shift usually starts at around…well it actually ranges from 12 [a.m.] to 8 [a.m.], or 1[a.m.] to 9[a.m.], or some time around then. I’m usually required to constantly walk around and make sure that everything is in order and that no one is causing any trouble. Things start to get really interesting around 4 or 5 in the morning. That’s when people are stumbling around wasted out of their minds, doing that “walk of shame”, and looking like hot messes.

Barbara: You see the strip when it’s at its prime and when it’s winding down. What are some of the key differences?

Matt: when the night is at its prime, everyone is looking for a good time and at that happy-go-lucky drunk stage. Everyone is having a great time with their friends. When things are winding down? Now that’s a different story…this is when people are beyond that happy-go-lucky stage. Both guys and girls are trying to figure out who that stranger they are with is, and if they have hooked up or not. They are also trying to figure out where their hotel room even is! Sometimes, you see that guy trying to pick up a girl and get her to go back with him to his room, even if it is 4 o’clock in the morning. Or they’re even trying to figure out where their shoes are! You don’t even know how many people I’ve seen walking around barefoot. Oh, and a really good way to tell when it’s winding down time? When you see people doing that infamous I’m-drunk-but-trying-hard-to-not-look-drunk-walk. It is even better when it’s a guy trying to pick up that one last girl while doing that walk.

Barbara: I know that you moved here from Colorado a few years back, but did you also do security over there?

Matt: I did! And, oh man, is it different. It is seriously like night and day. Back in Colorado, I worked in a tiny dive bar, and it did not compare to the Venetian at all. Yeah, we had our drunks and crazy stories, but the main difference is that in Colorado we had a last call. Do people in Vegas even know what that is? Here [Las Vegas], people will stumble out of the casino and be surprised that the sun is up and that it is 10 in the morning. In Colorado, that is unheard of! Besides that, you just have your basic differences: sizes of work places, the clientele, and the environment.

Barbara: How are the clientele different?

Matt: Well, here [Las Vegas], you see celebrities. I have seen Pit Bull, Brad Pit, Paris Hilton, and so many more. Unfortunately, I don’t have any interesting stories to go along with my name dropping [laughs]. I have just seen them around.

Barbara: Do you prefer working on the strip, at the Venetian?

Matt: I really do! More to see, and more to experience! I also get much better benefits here. I also have more job security, and I am not bored for my entire shift. There is always something to check on or some fight to prevent or even break up. This job has also opened my eyes up. Coming from a small city, I never expected to see even half of the things which I have seen. This job has definitely helped me grow as a person and become more open-minded and accepting of different cultures and people.

Barbara: So even though you are around a bunch of drunks and ridiculous scenarios, you still love working in Las Vegas?

Matt: Definitely. Like I said, it is definitely eye opening and life changing. Honestly, if I stayed in Colorado, I would not be who I am today or where I am today. I love my job, I love working in Las Vegas, and I definitely love having such an entertaining job! Where else would you be able to work a graveyard shift and not have to just watch the paint dry?

And that my friends, is just an excerpt of what Matt had to share with us. Even though the after-hours may not be the classiest, you should definitely go out and experience it at least once in your life. But if you do choose to participate, make sure not to lose your shoes! Las Vegas must really be a great place to work, since even the graveyard security guard loves his job.


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