Lives: St. Paul
Years of service: 6
Family: 3 children
How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?
Before coming to transit, my career followed a few paths. I started as a social worker, then opened a LGBTQ bar to serve my community. It was a great adventure, but the Great Recession forced me to close in 2008 and I lost everything. To make up for it, I earned a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and worked in North Dakota during the oil boom. The work was long, hard, and stressful. It also separated me from my family, and as a non-binary person, I felt very isolated. I eventually came back to the Twin Cities and found work as a truck driver. Then after watching a bus, it dawned on me to apply to Metro Transit – instead of hauling product, I could haul people. As someone with a degree in social work, I prefer working with people. This desire eventually led me to apply and become a transit supervisor, where I can help both operators and customers.
What do you like the most about being "On the Clock"?
I like that there's room for growth here. I started as a bus operator and eventually worked my way into becoming a transit supervisor. As a transit supervisor, I travel around in a van to support our operators on the road with a host of issues. As someone who truly enjoys working with people, it's a great position for me. I begin a shift with this question, "What can I do to help today?" As someone who used to be a bus operator, I know how hard the job can be and that at times you can feel isolated. Having someone who knows what it's like and can assist when things go wrong is invaluable. While I don't hope for bad things to happen, I'm glad that as a transit supervisor, I'm able to use my social worker skills to help people during or after an issue occurs.
What are your favorite activities when you're "Off the Clock"?
Years ago, one of my daughters helped raised chickens at her elementary school. She became very interested in it and eventually we brought chickens to our home in Midway. We raised three to four chickens at a time. Until you have a chicken, you don't realize how social these birds are and how they each have different personalities. During the high times, they lay an egg once a day. That would give us far too many eggs to eat ourselves. So, we'd give many to friends and neighbors. Today, my two daughters have left for college, but my home hasn't become an empty nest. I continue to raise chickens in my backyard with the help of my foster child.