Anyone who applies for a job at Metro knows (or should know) that many positions require employees to work shifts, commonly referred to as AM shift or ‘Days’, PM shift or ‘Evenings’, and Midnight shift or ‘Mids’. This can create numerous problems. Health and relationships may suffer. Employees may be forced to miss their children’s recitals, ball games, etc. They may have very little family time. They may miss government and group meetings, parties, holiday celebrations, etc.
In addition to the shift work (which I acknowledge is fairly common), many Metro employees are subjected to a bi-annual “shift pick”. The shift pick determines three very important things — where an employee will work; which days they will have off; and which shift they will work. An employee who lives and works in Maryland on AM shift may find themselves forced to work Mids in Virginia — 40 or 50 miles away from their home. Needless to say, people can’t move every 6 months so they are forced to grin and bear it. Sometimes they are able to settle into a fixed location and shift within a few years — other employees aren’t so lucky and may get ‘bumped’ from their work location even though they have 25+ years of seniority.
That’s something that isn’t mentioned when the mainstream media talk about how easy Metro employees have it. I wonder how many Washington Post or Washington Examiner employees would be willing to switch offices and work hours every 6 months? Miss holidays with their family and friends? Go from a 15 minute commute to a hour and a half commute?
It’s often next to impossible to point to a single or even primary cause of a divorce or breakup, but the nature of the job was and is certainly a factor in many Metro employees’ relationship and family problems. Odd hours; overtime (OT); and potentially changing shifts, work locations, and/or days off every six months will put a strain on almost any marriage.
The other factor is risk of injury or death. Far too many Metro employees have died on the job in the last few years. Last I heard, the NTSB had four (4) open investigations involving employee deaths at Metro.