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Rider's Almanac Blog

On Off The Clock

On the Clock/Off the Clock: Michele Chouinard

| Thursday, September 24, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Lives: St. Paul
Job: Bus operator
Years of service: 14 years

How did you come to work at Metro Transit?
Before coming to Metro Transit, I juggled a few positions working as a safety trainer, a driver for a school bus company, and was a co-owner of a small charter bus company. While attempting to get that business off the ground,  I became a part-time weekend and holiday operator at Metro Transit. As problems grew for the charter bus company, I decided to sell my shares and go full time with Metro Transit. I made the right choice. I’m glad to be here. 

What is your favorite part about working for Metro Transit?  
I enjoy interacting with other bus operators in the garage. At Metro Transit, bus operators tend to look out for one another and are there for each other when they’re in need of help. Each garage has a bit of its own culture based on the operators who work there, which can change every quarter. I’ve enjoyed the differences in each of them. I’ve worked at three of the five garages: Heywood, South, and today I’m at East Metro. 

What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock?”
When I’m not steering a bus, I am stirring up batches of natural soaps and body butters. I first started making my own soaps years ago out of necessity. I have hypersensitive skin that goes with being a redhead and had difficulty finding commercial skin care products that weren’t irritating. Today, my sisters and I make soaps under the name Laughing Waters Soap & Skin Care in a studio in Cambridge. I envision turning the skin care line into a post-retirement job. But, I really enjoy my job, so I’m in no hurry to retire.