Across the organization, Metro Transit employees’ work has been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These "In These Together" Q&As illustrate how employees are adapting both on and off the clock. Read more interviews here.
Machelle "Mickey" Albert, Bus Operator
How has the pandemic affected your day-to-day work?
When the pandemic began, I stayed on the job but there were fewer operators around the driver's room. Some of the new protocols, like wiping down a bus before beginning your shift, were easy to get used to. This was something I've been doing since I became a bus operator, so it was habit. Adding a face mask was initially difficult for me, but after a while I've gotten used to it.
What’s it like working through a pandemic?
During the pandemic, it got a little lonely at times because there were fewer co-workers to talk to during downtime. When we moved into the new Heywood driver's room, I contacted my co-workers and helped move their belongings from their old lockers to their new ones, which helped me keep in contact with people I wasn't seeing on a daily basis.
The pandemic also brought new types of mutual aid work. I was one of a few bus operators who picked up and drove quarantined people who arrived at the airport home back in March. These people were stuck at the airport for a month just waiting to see if they'd develop COVID-19. I have to admit I was a little nervous, but when I saw the smiles and the relief on their faces, it was worth it.
How has your life changed outside of work?
I've been able to put more money toward my goal of home ownership. Right now, my oldest daughter and I live in the same apartment building and are just down the hall from each other. We take turns hosting dinners, which also include my son. I'd love to invite my dad, but can't due to his underlying conditions. I recently visited him to give him more masks and hand sanitizer, but will continue to limit my contact until it's safe.
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