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Rider's Almanac Blog

Bus On Off The Clock

On the Clock/Off the Clock: Susan Mitchell

Posted by John Komarek | Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:28:00 AM

Lives: Eagan, MN
Job: Bus Operator
Garage: South
Years of service: 15

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?
After 15 years of being a nursing assistant, I noticed former coworkers driving the Metro Transit bus I took to work. They nudged me and told me to apply, but I wasn’t quite ready yet. I didn’t think I could handle such a big vehicle. The first time I mustered up the courage to apply, I went into Heywood and then promptly left. Thankfully, I returned a second time and finished the application. After being accepted into training, I was lucky to have a boss who was very understanding. He allowed me to continue working weekends at the hospital while I completed my training at Metro Transit.

What do you like the most about being “On the Clock”?
Surprisingly, I found myself loving driving Express buses, which many are coach style buses. These are the tallest and biggest looking buses in our fleet. My customers are always a pleasure to serve and it’s always great to hear when they’re happy with the ride, even if there’s traffic. I enjoy the opportunity to work a split shift: working early mornings and late afternoons for rush hours and having the midday to do errands when there’s little to no lines. To me, it’s also a great union job that provides good pay and benefits.

What are your favorite activities when you’re “Off the Clock”?
Since working at Metro Transit, I’ve grown a green thumb. In my first few years, I was having a hard time adjusting to the new job and its stresses. Thankfully, a fellow operator introduced me to gardening – something I never considered doing before. After every shift, I’d return home to the garage and then head out to the garden nearby. It was amazing, even after the first time weeding, I began to feel calmer. Since then, I’ve continued to garden around the garage, planting all kinds of flowers. My managers are happy to support my gardening and help with supplies and approval to improve areas around the garage.