I stuck around after hours one evening to chat with three of the four members of the the newly formed night crew while they unloaded trucks in the back of the Fresh Harvest warehouse. The team assembled this summer in response to the increased hours placed on drivers and the packing team due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Their work might be unseen, but the impact of their nightly efforts can be felt by every member of the FH team. Hsa Eh, Hay, and Hay Hay shared a little about who they are, what they do every evening, and why working the night shift is a good fit for them.

Hay Hay, Hsa Eh, and Hay (From Left to Right)

Hsa Eh: Are we about to be famous? 

Joe: It’s highly likely. Why don’t you start by introducing yourself to all the Fresh Harvest customers out there.

Hsa: I’m Hsa. I’m in 12th grade and I’ll be 18 as of December 1st. I play shortstop on the baseball team at my school, Stone Mountain High. But…they canceled the season. 

Hay: Yeah, I’m on the same team, I’m a catcher and also in 12th grade. 

Hsa: He’s the best. We met and became friends back in middle school. 

Hsa Eh

Joe: Hay Hay, how about you? 

Hay Hay: I’m Hay Hay and I was also a baseball player at Stone Mountain High School. I played second base but I graduated last year and am taking college classes now.

Joe: You guys used to work on the early morning packing crew, so where did this night crew idea come from?

Hsa: We noticed that things were a little disorganized every morning. The returned bins, ice, the brown paper, and foils were ending up everywhere in the warehouse. We just thought it would be a lot easier for the morning shift and the drivers if we organized all this stuff at night. 


Hay: Now the drivers can just pull up and go home because we clean up all the empty bins, foils, and ice. It used to be that they had to unload everything themselves and organize it. But they were working really long days already. 

Hay Hay: Yeah but sometimes the drivers don’t show us any love. They’ll pull up and we open the back of the truck and everything is all over the place. Some drivers organize their stuff better than others, but not all of them…Like the other night, I opened the doors on truck thirteen and from front to back, floor to ceiling it was just stacked with empty bins. Ooohh…I don’t even want to think about it. 

Hay: But when it’s real bad like that, we just get Baby to do it. 

Joe: Who’s Baby? 

Hay: He’s the other guy on our crew. You’ve never met him because he comes in at night. We call him Da Poe, which means baby in Karen, our native language. 

Hay Hay

Joe: Do you speak Karen or English to each other?

Hsa: English. It’s a lot easier because we basically grew up here. We are all from Thailand, but our families are originally from Burma. We’ve all been here over 10 years now. 

Joe: What language do you guys speak at home? 

Hay: Mostly English. But when we speak to our parents its in Karen.

Joe: Hay Hay, I’ve got to sit down and interview you and your parents sometime. It took me about a month to realize all three of you work at Fresh Harvest! Do you and your parents talk about work when you get home?

Hay Hay: NO. When I get home I go down to my cave room and start playing War Zone. I usually stay awake until they go to work around 3:30a and then I fall asleep. When they come back I wake up and get ready for work.

The Night Crew (minus Baby)

Joe: Does the night crew eat dinner together? 

Hsa: Hay always prepares food for us, for every shift. 

Hay: Yep, every day. I usually make eggs and hot dogs. Or chicken.

Joe: What a guy! Shoot me straight here. Do you guys every play basketball on the hoop out there when you’re supposed to be working?

Hay Hay: No! Ok, sometimes. But sometimes the drivers come back really late, like 10pm. So we might play a little basketball while we wait. 

Joe: Sounds like nice break! So to wrap this up, what does working at night allow you guys the freedom to do?

Hay Hay: We don’t have to wake up at 3:30 any more! Most of the time we work from around 6pm until 11. Which is great because we are all taking classes now. In fact, I just finished my midterm today and I made a 95.