I usually park at Park and Go when I leave out of Metro Airport. That was the case last week when I flew to Alabama to spend a few days with Wayne State’s football team.
My bus driver was very friendly and our trip got extended when someone called to say my lights did not go out on my car.
“I’ve worked 147 consecutive days,” he said.
By my calculations his last off day was sometimes in July. He told me he’s been on a seven-day shift since summer. He works nights two days a week and the afternoon shift the rest of the time. That is maddening. We all need a couple days to recharge our batteries.
But my guy was telling me he needs the hours to make ends meet. He charged up a credit card. He needs to make house and car payments and he is trying to get out of debt. The only way to do it, he said, was to work and work and work. Besides, if he is working he can’t go out and spend money.
There are not that many people who work every day for this long. However, you can bet there are people doing everything they can to get some extra hours. I ran into a police woman who was happy she was getting over time during the holiday to buy gifts. She said without it the Christmas tree would be pretty lean.
I complain that I do not get days off. I am humping two jobs that don’t always allow for that. But I’ve never gone any more than a couple of weeks without a day off. The bus drive doesn’t plan on taking any time off soon. He will probably work right through the holidays and end his streak when he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
“You got to do what you got to do,” he said.
I gave him a $5 tip and wished him well. By my calculations I’ve worked nine consecutive days and I need a day off. I understand his circumstance but I’ve known people who work even though they don’t need the extra time. They love what they do. I love my jobs too but time with family and friends is important too.
I hope my bus driving friend at least takes Christmas off. But I bet he is out there driving that yellow bus, picking up people from the airport and adding on to his Cal Ripken Jr. like streak.