It Takes Two: Faces of Hawaiʻi Workers With Multiple Jobs

Sep 3, 2018

Two jobs keeps Honolulu bartender Jason Maxwell working round the clock. One of those jobs is tending bar at the Moana Terrace Bar & Grill in Waikiki.
Credit Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

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

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

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

“Iʻll 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. Heʻs 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 Hawaiʻi residents to afford the cost of living here.

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

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

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.
Credit Billie Hiraishi

“I work at the Zippyʻs as a cashier, graveyard shift. I finish 6ʻoclock 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.

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

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

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

“Thereʻs no place better to live than Hawaiʻi. I grew up on the mainland, you know. I feel safer here,” says Holcom, “My kids go out and do their thing. Iʻm 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.