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Rider's Almanac Blog

In This Together

In this Together: Body Shop Supervisor Tony Parenteau

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, September 11, 2020 11:37:00 AM

srthuwAcross the organization, Metro Transit employees’ work has been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These "In This Together" Q&As illustrate how employees are adapting both on and off the clock. Read more interviews here 


How has the pandemic affected your day-to-day work? 

It's changed my entire job, actually. I've been put on temporary assignment as the body shop supervisor at the Overhaul Base. Previously, I worked in the non-revenue department with the trucks and vans used by our street crew. Now, I'm working on special projects almost daily. We've come up with new ways to keep our operators and customers safe like fabricating COVID-19 barriers from scratch and parts to help repair shelters across the system. Sometimes it's hard to source materials, but the body shop crew is talented and comes up with great solutions. I inherited a good crew who are helping me and the body shop succeed.   


What’s it like working through a pandemic? 

I'm always concerned about making sure people have what they need to stay safe and know the most up-to-date information about what's going on, especially with lots of changes happening daily. It's another layer of logistics for me, but that's my job: logistics. Everyone is taking it in stride and navigating the best they can. We'd all rather not have to do this, but that's our reality, and the crew has buckled down and continues to do a great job at moving forward. 


On the job, lots of us now wear face shields because certain masks fog up work glasses, which in certain situations can be dangerous. So there's always a workaround. Pandemic aside, I enjoy the challenge and how busy it keeps us. We can't stop the pandemic, but we can help fix things and help keep people safe.  


How has your life changed outside of work? 

Just like work, I have to navigate lots of changes at home, too. My wife would like to be at the office, but she's working from home now. My two daughters are returning to school, and we're working through what that means for college and high school. My oldest daughter is learning how to deal with all he changes in her new career as a teacher as well. When I do get the chance to get together with friends or my parents, we stay far apart and outside. I'm not worried about myself, but other people like my parents getting sick.