JOPLIN, Mo. — She started out studying criminology in college – a resume that would take some big twists and turns before landing as a kind of micro-Uber.
Liz Easton, Shuttle Driver, said, “I’m the shuttle driver for Freeman Hospital.”
Which Liz Easton says is a great job for someone who loves being around people.
“I drive to your car, ask if need assistance to the door. If you need a ride back, I’m happy to get you, that’s what I do all day.”
Some people are happy, others are anxious. Some need her help more than others.
“I’ve driven around for probably 30 minutes with someone with dementia – but I reassured him it’s just not a big deal and that I enjoyed his company.”
The best she says is the pregnant moms whose time has come. Liz genuinely enjoys what she does – but this wasn’t her first pick for a job, or even the second. In college, she was studying criminology, when the family business offered a great opportunity.
“My family had finance companies and wanted to open a branch in Joplin; it was just too good to pass up so I switched directions with that and did that for 22 years.”
But Liz says she was starting to get burned out when the next door opened. She baked cupcakes to help out a friend.
“Her friends asked who did the baking – and I literally backed into it.”
It was the start of Cupcakes by Liz – and iconic sweet shop in Joplin for several years. She was doing what she loved – and sometimes a lot of it.
“70 hour weeks a lot of times especially during weddings.”
Countless cupcakes later, the job would take a toll on her body.
“I literally wore the thumb joints out.”
Prompting a couple of hand reconstruction surgeries.
“I’m not allowed to go back to what I did before.”
She passed her baking duties to a friend. But it didn’t take long for her to want something new – ending up with the offer from Freeman Health System.
“And they said we want to pay you to drive a golf cart and I said are you kidding me?”
Liz trusts her faith in God to take the next step, and warns anyone just starting out not to worry.
“You may change your mind a few times, try out some different classes, volunteer.”