never quit

“Things can get ugly when we have to give the vendors a fine or close them down.”

September 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

Roshini Mahabal, Public Health Sanitarian 2, Health Services Employees Local 768 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera  Public Health Sanitarians are in the field five days a week. Every day we work in a different borough. We get assigned our routes for the week on Friday, when we do our paper work. We do inspections of restaurants and food carts. There’s another unit that covers special populations like jails and schools. I used to work in the schools unit and I enjoyed it. The schools are less stressful because the cafeterias are really clean and organized. The schools will get a notice if there’s a violation, but they don’t pay fines like restaurants and street vendors. I inspect the mobile vendors on the street to see if they have their current permit. A permit is good for one year. I check also to see that their cart is the appropriate distance from the curb, and check for the [More...]

“My job boils down to one issue: public safety.”

September 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

Eric Lancelot, Traffic Device Maintainer, Local 1455    Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I work with about 11 others on the Department of Transportation’s Night Paint Operation crew. My job boils down to one issue: public safety. We paint the yellow and white traffic lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes, speed bumps and put down lines for all the parades and races and the New York City Marathon. We painted the boxes in Times Square that restrict street peddlers to reduce harassment of tourists. People thanked us because it makes a big difference. Public safety is critical. Without traffic lanes or crosswalks, people would drive crazily. My work protects everyone — drivers, pedestrians, children crossing the street, the elderly, and the disabled. People are always staring at their phones even while crossing the street, so DOT had the Look! safety campaign and Vision Zero worker safety zones. [More...]

“Disasters are avoided because of the job my co-workers and I do”

September 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

Odell Horton, Fire Protection Inspector, Local 2507     Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera People never really think about the tragedies that don’t happen and the lives that aren’t put at risk. Disasters are avoided because of the job my co-workers and I do as Fire Protection Inspectors. New York City is constructing some of the tallest buildings in the world, and we make sure those buildings are up to all safety standards. This helps incidents from happening, and also means that if there ever is an emergency such as a fire, our uniformed Firefighters in the FDNY can safely do their job and save lives. We are at an all-time low for deaths caused by fires right now. I have always had an interest in public safety. Before joining the FDNY over 22 years ago, I was a journeyman plumber by trade. As a plumber, we protect the health of the nation. Transitioning into a role protecting the [More...]

“We are proud of what we do. We have seen the water get so much cleaner since the ’70s.”

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

William Edgar, Captain, Marine Workers Local 2906 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I love the water. I grew up in the Bronx near Throggs Neck. There was a private beach with a lifeguard and teenagers used to all have boats. My father and I fished on the grounds of SUNY Maritime College, where I ended up majoring in meteorology and oceanography. I started working at the Dept. of Environmental Protection on Feb. 29, 1988. Getting a job with the city was one of the best things you could do at the time. I have a very good job working in the harbor. I came in as a Mariner and worked my way up to 3rd Mate and was promoted to Captain. The Captain is responsible for the whole ship. I pilot the ship. I work with some very great people. The crew has a Captain, a Mate, two Mariners, a Chief Engineer and an Assistant Engineer. We all get along well. There are five ships in service. Being able to [More...]

The Night Shift

July 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

Lt. Frank Borello, EMS Lieutenant Local 3621 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I would tell any person considering a career with Emergency Medical Services that it’s a great job because you have an opportunity to impact someone’s life in a positive way. I’ve helped deliver 13 babies, intervened with people having cardiac arrest and diabetic emergencies. It’s such a rewarding experience. One time a man was having a massive stroke. He couldn’t move the right side of his body and was having trouble speaking. He was combative and in denial. But that happens often. People have the right to make that decision and refuse to be taken to the hospital. It’s unpredictable what might happen when you show up. But his wife was with him, so she convinced him to let us take him to the hospital. He’s a business owner and one of his employees noticed he was acting strange and called 911. I spent [More...]

The Night Shift

July 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

Leslie Hurd, Computer Associate Level 3 Local 2627 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I started working for the hospital system in 1978 at the central office in Manhattan. It was a good time to get the job. My kids were young, and working at night made it easier for me to help my wife. I still work for the central office, but I am now at its corporate data center at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. They were setting up the computer system at the time I came to work here. We had to teach the staff how to use the computer to input patient information and discharge them. Everything prior to that was done manually. We take care of the payroll system and we also do W-2 cards. We process and print the paychecks, which are sent downtown to be sorted out. You are talking about close to 30,000 checks! We have used the same IBM 4000 mainframe for 30 years. It’s obsolete. We are always the last to [More...]

The Night Shift

July 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

Denise Figueroa, Interpreter Local 1070 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera As a Night Court Interpreter in Bronx County Criminal Court Arraignments. I translate for persons of interest who have a language barrier so they understand the system. For nearly 28 years, I’ve been the link between the justice system and non-English speaking litigants. Since 2012, I’ve worked in Night Court — each borough has one. As a Spanish Interpreter, I assist by translating for people arrested for domestic violence, jumping the subway turnstile, traffic infractions, homicide, and other crimes. They must be arraigned within 24 hours. I don’t just assist arrested people; I translate for their family members, the police, Corrections Officers, the district attorney, lawyers, court officers, court reporters, clerks and the judge. My work helps them understand court proceedings, search warrants, orders of [More...]