Twenty years after completing his service in the U.S. Army, Terence Brown found a career that fit his personality and experience at Metro Transit.
From 1990 to 1996, he served as combat engineer, and was hours away from being shipped to the Middle East during the Gulf War. “I had my bags packed, but within two hours of duty, I was told to stand down,” Brown said.
After completing his service, he became a loan consultant for a big bank. While lucrative, the stress of a sales job with quotas wore on him. The benefits were also lacking, and so was community.
His friend and cousin then told him about their jobs at Metro Transit and said he’d be a great fit. So, in 2016 he applied and hasn’t looked back since becoming a bus operator at Metro Transit.
Brown finds that his experience in the service prepared him for this career. “They helped me learn to adapt,” he said. “And it was eye opening when you met rich people, poor people, people from lots of different ethnicities, and we all had to work together.”
He sees the same spectrum of people inside garages and onboard buses. And most importantly, like an army unit, “there’s a lot of camaraderie and a community to support you.”
His training in the service also helped him “dress right” in a uniform and “be on time” for pulling the bus out of the garage – two important tasks operators need to master as they begin their careers at transit.
While Brown acknowledges he took a salary cut to take this “last stop” in his working life, he believes Metro Transit is the right choice for his personality and training.
“I’m a natural people person, and this job is about working with people,” he said.
Operator at a Glance:
Routes: Extra board and relief instructor
Family: Three kids
Military service: U.S. Army, 367th Engineer Battalion
Last rank: Corporal