Across 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?
Transit police officers have hundreds of face-to-face contacts every day, from helping folks with directions, to connecting with our regular riders, to more directed police services, such as inspecting fares, taking calls for service, or helping those less fortunate find shelter and more. The pandemic has certainly cut down on how many people we interact with daily, but it hasn’t really affected our drive to help those in need and be a positive presence in our community. I still get out of my squad car every day and speak with as many bus operators as I can along Nicollet Mall to see how they are doing. The only thing that’s really changed or has been affected is that I now make those connections throughout our community wearing a mask and gloves.
What’s it like working through a pandemic?
It was difficult at first, trying to find a happy medium with a new, never seen before dynamic. I had to rethink how I communicate with people, now that I have to wear a mask and gloves and practice safety guidelines, such as social distancing. I didn’t fully understand the scope of how we communicate with the use of expressions to get our point across or to show empathy. It’s not so easy to do that wearing a mask and staying six feet apart. It was tough not being able to give a reassuring pat on the back when it was really needed. But, like any obstacle, you find ways around it. I think everyone has adapted to the “new normal,” which has helped tremendously with how I do my job.
How has your life changed outside of work?
I haven’t let my home life become negatively affected too much. The positive that I’ve taken from this experience is that I have the opportunity to spend more quality time at home with my family. We’ve been able to take more walks with our dogs, take more bike rides, do more cooking at home and have more dinners together. We’ve taken this opportunity to become closer together as a family.