Mike conducts antenna maintenance for the U.S. Air Force at the top of a tower in Elkhorn. Photo courtesy of Mike R.
Growing up in San Diego, Mike R. never thought he would join the military.
However, when he got married and had a son, Mike says the military afforded him an opportunity to better provide for his family.
“I was working part time at Toys ‘R’ Us and it wasn’t enough,” he says. “I started looking into the military, and the Air Force was the most agreeable of the branches.”
After being stationed in Florida, North Carolina, California, England, and Turkey, Mike moved to Omaha in 2019 to work at Offutt Air Force Base as a cable and antenna systems technician.
As Mike approaches retirement from the Air Force, he says he started looking for additional income, which led him to Omaha LoCo Delivery.
“I was looking to make some extra money and save up before I get out,” Mike says. “I saw the [LoCo] job posting on Facebook, and it looked interesting.”
After submitting a driver application in February, Mike completed his first shift in March. Since he started with LoCo, he says he has enjoyed making deliveries.
A former Amazon Flex delivery driver, Mike says his experience was very different from LoCo. At Amazon, he felt like just a number.
“They have your schedule down to the minute where you feel like a cog in the machine,” Mike says. “It feels very sterile and corporate. With LoCo, when I’m talking to the dispatchers, I know who they are and have rapport with them.”
Mike takes a photo at a beach at San Diego. Photo courtesy of Mike R.
Mike says he also appreciates that LoCo pays drivers set wages, as opposed to companies that pay per task.
“At LoCo, you can work your hours and know what you’re going to make,” he says. “That’s comforting to know.”
Along with the extra income, Mike says he likes that LoCo offers flexible schedules. When he’s not working, he spends his time learning about primitive skills, such as using a slingshot, hunting edible plants, and making medicine from natural herbs.
Mike says he developed this interest from watching Survivorman and similar shows when he was younger.
“It appealed to me,” he says, “learning about how people used to live and trying to be able to do some of the things we used to have to do.”
While LoCo isn’t his only focus, Mike says he enjoys supporting a local start-up.
“I really like that it’s a co-operative,” he says. “I like the idea of keeping the profits local.”
(Mike requested to be called by his first name for this article)