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It Takes Two: Faces of Hawai?i Workers With Multiple Jobs

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Labor Day is meant to be a day of rest for workers across the country. But some Hawai?i residents will actually spend it working not just one but two jobs. HPR’s Ku?uwehi Hiraishi reports.

After working his 9-to-5 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott, Honolulu bartender Jason Maxwell does something thousands of Hawai?i residents do each day: head to a second job.

Credit Ku'uwehi Hiraishi
Maxwell chats up customers at the Moana Terrace Bar & Grill in Waikiki.

“I?ll have an hour to go shower and change and start at The Modern from 6pm to 2am or 3am depending on when I get out,” says Maxwell.

A couple of hours of sleep then back to the Marriott. He?s lucky if he gets a half-day off to spend with his 2-year-old daughter Alex. Multiple jobs is what it takes for a number of Hawai?i residents to afford the cost of living here.

“So I mean of course I can eat, I can pay rent. But I can?t buy a house. I mean I want to buy a place. Certaintly can?t do that,” says Maxwell, “And I?ve been doing two jobs, I?ve been doing multiple jobs since I moved here in 2002.”

At one point housekeeper Maria Teresa Cainguitan was working three jobs to get by.

Credit Billie Hiraishi
Maxwell is wrapping up his 9-to-5 shift at the Waikiki Beach Marriott. He'll have one hour to shower and change for his second job at The Modern Honolulu from 6pm to 2am.

“I work at the Zippy?s as a cashier, graveyard shift. I finish 6?oclock in the morning and then after that I come here to Waikiki Beach Marriott to work as a housekeeper for eight hours, from 8am to 4pm. Then I work at the McDonalds Fort Street Mall as a cashier,” says Cainguitan.

Holding multiple jobs is just the unfortunate cost of living here says Lahaina resident Andre Holcom.

“I see myself working two jobs until I kick the bucket,” says Holcom.

He spends more time working at the Sheraton Maui and Royal Lahaina Resort than he does with his family of six.

Credit Ku'uwehi Hiraishi
Pau hana time at the Moana Terrace Bar & Grill in Waikiki.

“You know it takes a toll on my family life, I mean cause we?re always at work either myself or my wife,” says Holcom, “You know it seems like my kids were just babies last week and now they?re in high school.”

But Holcom says he does it to give his kids the kind of upbringing they deserve.

“There?s no place better to live than Hawai?i. I grew up on the mainland, you know. I feel safer here,” says Holcom, “My kids go out and do their thing. I?m not worried about them not coming home. So it is worth living here for the safety I feel living here.”

Even if that safety comes at a price.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at
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