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Posts in Category: On Off The Clock

On Off The Clock

On/Off the Clock with Elaine Warren 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Friday, February 01, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Job: Principal Administrative Specialist, Transit Police

Years of Service: 5

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?

After 30 years as a store alterations manager for bridal, couture and men’s and women’s clothing, the company I worked for was sold. I thought it was an opportunity to do something different. I was informed of a temporary administrative position at the Metro Transit Police Department.

My father and spouse were in corrections, so I had a little knowledge of what this could be. I kind of went out on a wing and a prayer hoping it would transition into something permanent, and here   am five years later, Principal Administrative Specialist at West Command (Minneapolis).

What is your favorite part about working for Metro Transit?

I’m most likely your first point of contact when you come to West Command. I like the diversity of my job responsibilities here, dealing with people from many aspects of life or business in and outside of Metro Transit. I especially like the camaraderie of the police family. This is an awesome group of folks who have great care and concern for each other. That makes it a pleasure to work here. 

What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or are “Off the Clock”?

I like to volunteer with Transit Police and at other events where I can be creative. For the last four years, I’ve worked with a few other seamstresses to alter garments for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival royalty. We spent the weekend in a hotel room with our sewing machines, working around the clock to get them ready. (Above, Warren makes alterations to a dress worn by Alison Gunter, the 2019 Saint Paul Winter Carnival's Queen of the Snows.)

I also volunteer with Operation Glass Slipper, which provides prom gowns and accessories at no charge to high school girls throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin who would be unable to afford them. At the organization’s annual Princess Event in mid-March, more than 1,000 girls are outfitted for prom with the help of hundreds of volunteer Fairy Godmothers like me who make alterations. I also enjoy Latin dancing and family time. I have two sets of twin grandchildren!

Ride free to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival continues through Sunday, Feb. 3, with events at Kellogg Mall Park, Union Depot and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. With a downloadable pass, visitors can ride Metro Transit for free from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Learn more and download a free ride pass

On Off The Clock

On/Off the Clock with CJ Bahan 

Posted by John Komarek | Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:21:00 PM

Name: CJ Bahan
Lives: Minneapolis
Job: Electro-Mechanical Technician
Years of Service: 3

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?

Approximately three years ago when I moved to the Twin Cities region to be with my girlfriend, I found a job at Metro Transit. I like to say that I dumb-lucked into this great career. I have a fancy sounding job title, but the way I see it, it’s a lot simpler to explain: I fix light rail vehicles (LRVs).

Where are you from originally? Tell us a little bit about your background.

I’m originally from the city of Jacksonville, Illinois, which is in the southern part of the state. However, I’ve lived and worked all over the country and abroad. I’ve been a mechanic for over 20 years.  This profession has taken me around the world, working on everything from oilfield equipment, trucks, military vehicles, and, most recently, farm equipment.

What is your favorite part about working for Metro Transit?

My favorite part of working for Metro Transit, aside from living in the greatest city in the Upper Midwest, is that I find it personally rewarding to work in the public sector in a “green” career. Every day, when I fix an electric light rail vehicle, I know that I’m helping lower our carbon footprint.

What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or are “Off the Clock”?

My favorite activities include bicycling, lake swimming, canoeing, camping, crossfit, cross country skiing, ice skating, and doing all kinds of odd-ball physical challenges (many times to support good causes). I’ve biked the Tour de Cure, Lake Alice 100, Tour de Pines, Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride, Tour de Tonka, and several other tours that were less than 100 miles. Generally, I enjoy all manner of outdoors-y type stuff that takes me on awesome adventures in Minnesota and beyond!

My latest adventure, however, was in water. This past summer, I trained on lake swimming, which obviously would turn into an epic road trip/camping trip where my girlfriend and I would swim in all five Great Lakes. Crossed off the bucket list, and next year, I’ll find another adventure.

On Off The Clock

On/Off the Clock with Samantha Wicks 

Posted by John Komarek | Wednesday, October 24, 2018 1:16:00 PM

Name: Samantha Wicks
Lives: Saint Paul
Job: Mechanic-Technician, East Metro Garage
Years of Service: 2

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?

I was in South Korea serving in the Air Force as a mechanic. My term of service was coming to an end, so I scoured the Internet for another mechanic job. I found MetroTransit had openings and applied.

Currently, I’m a general-purpose mechanic at East Garage. On any given day I can be doing anything from shocks and bellows, troubleshooting DINEX modules, road calls, or covering bay service. Every day is different.

Where are you from originally? Tell us a little bit about your background.

I’m from Anoka, MN. I went to college for law enforcement but found that most positions required prior military experience and was a highly competitive job market for those with that experience. In the meantime, I started towing and became fascinated by how vehicles work. I wasn’t inclined to take out more loans for college, so I decided to join the Air Force as a special vehicle mechanic. During active duty, I went to college part-time and earned my Associates of Science in Vehicle Maintenance. During my service, I lived in California, Texas, North Carolina, and South Korea.

What is your favorite part about working for Metro Transit?

My fellow mechanics. I work with some real awesome guys and we have some great supervision/management. Morale is important in any working environment and we manage to get the job done and have fun while we do it.

What are your favorite activities when you’re working or “On the Clock”?

As a general-purpose mechanic, I love that every day is different. Every service job I’m called on requires me to put on a different hat to solve the issue. It requires not only skill, but ingenuity. Also, while I work, I love “punishing” the guys at my neighboring hoists with my “horrible taste” in music. It’s fun to razz each other on the job in good fun. It’s great for morale.

What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock”?

As one of the few female mechanics not only at MetroTransit, but in the state, I do what I can to help empower women. As one of the few female mechanics at Metro Transit, I know what it’s like to be looked at differently. Women are just as capable as men to do hands-on technical work and I hope I can inspire other women. Outside of my job, I enjoy teaching women how to do technical jobs and to be self-reliant.

This October, I’ll be teaching a clinic for women about how to install a spare tire in West Saint Paul.

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