Audmar – Working in NYC

Audmar Charles, born and raised in Port au Prince, Haiti, came to the United States in 1979 in hopes for an economic opportunity. By the looks of his work history, it seems as if it was more of a mission than just a hope. As a 23 year old ambitious young man, Audmar wasted no time and chased as many job offers as possible. Now 56 years of age, Audmar has the same ambitious attitude, as he puts it “Everyone comes to America for a better life economically, so there’s no time to waste”.

Knowing that Brooklyn and Manhattan have the most job opportunities, Audmar settled on Empire Blvd. in Brooklyn. Between 1970 and 2014 Audmar has been though 5 long term jobs. The first 3 jobs he had were located in Queens and Elizabeth New Jersey. They were well off jobs that were kept for a range of 5 to 7 years but he was determined to do better! “I wanted a job in the city with a better pay” said Audmar.

He knew a better paying job meant a license or a degree of some sort and that’s when he set his mind on getting as many licenses in the shortest amount of time. With the help of close friends he received information on attaining a taxi license and went to the TLC location. He followed the requirements, took the seminar class, passed the test, and then was issued a TLC license. “Being a successful taxi is not easy” says Audmar “If you don’t own your own taxi and license you’re out”. As difficult as it is, Audmar has been at this occupation for 24 years, being the owner of a license and has people working for him as cab drivers.

It doesn’t stop just then. Ten years into his growing taxi business, Audmar adds another profession to his resume.  With a friend’s help, Audmar met with the Board of Education and got licensed as a Para –Teacher Assistant.

With that, for the past 14 years Audmar has been a Para Teacher Assistant by day and A Taxi driver by night! His day starts at 9 AM and ends at 1AM. From 9 AM to 5:30 PM, he works at P.S. 399 as an assistant teacher for junior high students. Since he is not an actual teacher he does not have any course preparations to do before coming in every morning but he does need to be fully understanding of the subject being tough in case he needs to brief students who are falling behind. After seven hours of kids and books, Audmar leaves Brooklyn and heads to Manhattan for his second job.

In each of his jobs Audmar is surrounded by a lot of different people and various personalities. “Sometimes the people’s personalities are the worst part of the job” he says, “it can either make your day or break it”.   Whether it’s putting up with kids or battling traffic, Audmar is always practicing his self-control because “It’s so easy to just loose it sometimes”. Audmar’s method of relaxation is music. When he is not a pastor at his church, he brings his religion and its tunes along to work. He always listens to soulful music in the car and gets lost in it when stuck in traffic; even in a classroom setting, Audmar is always humming.

From an outsider’s point of view, I can say that Audmar has completed his mission to its entirety! I don’t know how high his income is but between the thriving business that he was able to build and the well-off teaching job that he seems to enjoy , I think it’s safe to say that Audmar has explored many job opportunities and didn’t  stop until he found the occupations that he is most content with! I think Audmar agreed with me when he said said “Yes, I can’t believe I’m going to get a good retirement”!