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Rider's Almanac Blog

In this Together: Robin Gerdesmeier

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, July 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM

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

Robin Gerdesmeier, Dispatcher

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

When the pandemic first came, dispatchers were swamped due to calls from operators who wouldn't be coming in for their shift. We're the first point of contact before an operator begins a shift and we fill shifts when they are vacant. With lots of vacant shifts, I worked hard to fill them so our customers who need transit weren't left stranded.

Once the service reductions came, however, finding operators to fill trips became less of an issue and that part of my job returned to a bit of normalcy. Now, I spend more time trying to set my operators up for success by making sure they have all the disinfectant they need to wipe down their workstation and farebox before pulling out.

What’s it like working through a pandemic?

Even though these are unprecedented times, I always make sure to come in with a positive attitude, not just for myself, but for the people around me who are still working. We continue to wash our hands, wear masks, and socially distance ourselves to help lower the chances of spreading the virus.

There are 350 operators here at East Metro, and I know almost all of them by name and employee number. They're like family to me, and I hope no one gets it. I'll keep coming into work to do my job, and do what I can to help slow the spread.

How has your life changed outside of work?

Like everyone else, I wear a mask and wash my hands often when I go out in public. But I go out less than I used to, have stopped clearance hunting inside stores and only rarely see my 75-year-old parents, always outside and at a distance. We try to keep in touch with video chat, but I wouldn't call that seeing my mom -- she usually has the camera pointed at her forehead! While I wish we could see each other more, it's for the best that I do what I can to lower their chances of catching the virus.

Learn more about Metro Transit's response to COVID-19

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Metro Transit is playing an essential role in the region's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider showing your support for our essential workers by: