A 62-Year Employee

billiejean

 

Note: I’m not sharing the person’s name I’m writing about on purpose out of respect for her (my coworkers will know who she is). It shouldn’t matter though. This is pretty amazing. The photo is of her from a 1954 company newsletter promoting a Red Cross campaign.

This week I was assigned something via DuPont corporate headquarters that captured my heart 5,000%. The company recently decided to honor employees who have been with the company for more than 50 years (bravo DuPont). I was asked to interview and write an article about one such employee at the Old Hickory site. Not only does said employee have 50 years of service, she has a whopping 62 years of service. Let that marinate on your brain a second. SIXTY-TWO YEARS. Easy interview right? No. Not necessarily. Not easy because she is a very humble person who doesn’t want any attention thrown her way. She was hesitant to do the interview but told the Human Resource manager she’d do the interview if I was the one to interview her. ME! What an honor! Let me just say, I’m a bit taken aback by her humility because if I ever attain any kind of 62-year commitment, there will be neon signs involved.

So, this week, I sat down with her and we talked. It was positively delightful and left me longing for a time when the world was less complicated (yes, I would delight in a typewriter with a manual return). With a work ethic that is still impeccable to this day, if all employees were like her the company would be unstoppable. It should be no surprise that when I asked her what change in the workplace she likes the most, technology was the answer. Not so obvious is what she doesn’t like. She doesn’t like the change in dress code. When she started with DuPont, all women wore dresses or skirts and men wore dress pants and ties. These days if I dress nice, people think I’m going to a funeral.

If you do the math, you can kind of figure out how old she may be (I didn’t ask). When I asked her what keeps her going, she said exercise (she walks an hour 3-4 times a week and she’s not slow), eat well (she eats a lot of fruit), and get plenty of rest. I just hope when I’m her age I have at least 10% of her spunk.

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