Each month we highlight operators and other employees for their exceptional customer service. This month we would like to recognize Gus Schmitter for decisively handling what could have been a turbulent situation on his bus.
“A customer (who was African-American) boarded the bus and as he passed down the aisle, another customer told him to go to the back of the bus. I could hardly believe my ears, and wasn't quite sure who had made the comment, as I had been listening to the radio. This driver stopped and firmly but calmly told the customer who made the comment to get off, which he did. Apparently, this is a pattern of behavior for the customer who was reprimanded, and I wanted to commend the driver for standing up to racist behavior.”
After receiving the commendation, we wanted to know more about Gus, and he graciously agreed to answer a few of our questions.
- How long have you driven for RTD, and have you always been a bus driver?
- I've been driving since December 2010. I've always been a driver, and I am content driving until I retire.
- What were you in a previous life?
- I feel I was probably a hawk.
- What do you like best about your job?
- It has given me the ability to provide a good and reliable life for my family.
- If you could listen to music while working, what type?
- I love music of all genres. I have a very extensive Pandora collection.
- If you could deck out your bus, what style?
- I want to, one day, turn a bus into a motor home. But that would only work for me and mine.
- If you could change your uniform color, what color?
- I love the uniforms they wear in Hawaii.
- What type of service would you drive if given the choice and/or favorite service to drive or operate?
- I've come to the opinion that all of the routes are relatively the same. The thing that is important to me is the time I get to spend with my wife and children.