Monday, March 15, 2021 2:54:00 PM
Years of service: 7
Job: Operator/ATM training
Lives: Forest Lake
Garage: East Metro
How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?
In 2009, I graduated with a business degree. I knew I needed to get my foot in the door somewhere and I found myself at a big box retailer in Marshall, Minn. I became a manager trainee, but the job required me and my family to move to new stores when they opened. My bus operator father back in Florida suggested I look for a job at the area’s transit agency. Today, I’m a bus operator and am working to advance my career at transit in a management training program. This job helped me to settle down and support my family with better pay and benefits, too.
What are your favorite activities when you’re working or “On the Clock”?
I’ve discovered that this job isn’t for everyone, but I know it’s for me. I’m a people-person and being a bus operator puts you in contact with people all day long. You don’t really need to start a conversation because customers start them with you. It’s great to see people go through life transitions onboard. I get to see kids grow up and graduate and customers take new career paths. Coming from outside the area, this job also forced me to understand how to get around the city fast. Daily, customers would ask how to get from here to there, and I didn’t want to be the operator who couldn’t help. What I really enjoy now is that I’m in a training program for assistant transportation managers (ATM), which is still a people-focused job, but instead of customers, I’m learning how to help my fellow operators. I hope to someday become an ATM.
What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock”?
Working here helped me afford a dream of mine: to own a motorcycle. After a few years on the job, I purchased a Kawasaki ZX-10. This racing bike helps me de-stress after a hard day’s work. Just feeling the wind as a ride home – it’s like therapy. It also helped me connect with other employees here who ride, like operators Wilburt Brooks and Duane Moore. I also ride for fun and excitement – even in the middle of the winter. Recently, we attached added traction to our tires and headed up to Chisago to go riding on a frozen lake. At first, I was nervous, but it’s amazing after you feel how much traction you actually have and the space to make sharp turns.