NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While many of us spent Christmas Day unwrapping presents and sitting by the fire, for others, the day was just business as usual.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, it may not have been the most wonderful time of the year for those who had to go to work.
“I’m broke. I got bills to pay,” said driver Alpa Sow.
“I do what I got to do to put food on the table. It is what it is,” said NYC Demo contractor Ishmael Chan.
From emergency workers such as police officers and firefighters to hospitality and retail staff, working on Christmas sometimes just comes with the job.
“There’s a deadline for the job to be completed, so I have to complete that deadline on time,” said NYC Demo contractor Byron Martial.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, Michael Murphy oversees all of QuickChek’s 153 stores.
“I’ve always believed if I’m going to ask somebody to do something, I should do it,” he said.
This was Murphy’s 42nd Christmas working, and he said customers appreciate the fact that the stores are open.
“You’ve got to be here on holidays, you know. And it’s part of the convenience store business,” he said.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver Luccine Pope has been driving the same route in Brooklyn for the last seven years, and he said he worked on Christmas every single one of them.
“It’s a blessing to be able to help people and do the job that I do, even though it’s stressful,” Pope said. “In the end it’s worth it.”
And it is especially worth it when the end comes with a little something special – a little overtime pay, and going home to food.
Just a block away from Pope’s last pickup stop is the Brooklyn Bridge Bistro on Tillary Street in Brooklyn. Step in and you can feel the Christmas spirit, even among some of the staff – such as manager Shen Dee.
“Since my family isn’t here, it feels less lonely,” Dee said. “It’s nice to provide service and hospitality to other people who are visiting New York City.”
Dee said the restaurant had been packed since 7 a.m. Christmas Day, and she was expecting it to stay that way until 11 p.m.
“Everyone wants some wine and beer to end their Christmas night, right?” she said.
Thirty-eight percent of Americans said they have taken a work call or meeting on Christmas Day, according to a survey by West Unified Communications Services.