Employee Appreciation Day

March 7th is Employee Appreciation Day! I consider myself lucky to work with some pretty amazing people. My team, my peers, my boss, my client group. So many great folks.

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Nowadays, people change jobs more frequently.  But not everyone. I was happy to celebrate a decade at my job last month. Even cooler was getting to take my Nana to a dinner last weekend to celebrate her fifteen year anniversary with Presbyterian Hospital. Here are some fun facts.

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– My Nana Rose is 81 years old. She was born in 1932. Yes she still works.

– Johnny Cash and Elizabeth Taylor were also born in 1932.

– Radio was the primary form of entertainment, the first Tarzan movie came out, and news was transmitted through radio and print newspapers.

– It was the height of The Great Depression and speaking of employment, unemployment was very high.

– The 8th of 12 children, Rose completed school through eighth grade. As many did at the time, she went to work to help support the family.

– Working for approximately 68 years, she’s held a number of jobs, paid and unpaid. Ironing, cleaning houses, being a stay at home mom to six kids, electronics manufacturing, cafeteria worker, catering, receptionist.

– Rose got her GED in the mid eighties. I remember we had a graduation party for her.

So last week’s dinner honored employees of Pres celebrating 10, 15, 20, 25+. The four main honorees were inducted into the 40+ Club. 40 years. Who does that?

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There were many themes from the night. Change, technology, work ethic. Even the CEO Jim Hinton was celebrating 30 years and honoring his daughter who just started.

When I think of the changes and the different technologies Nana has seen and the work ethic I have always seen her demonstrate, I’m just amazed. Even starting her part time gig at the Patient Information Desk just fifteen years ago, things were different.

I chuckle everytime she threatens to quit because of some online training. And when her team will do anything to keep her. She’s always called upon and counted on. She arrives early and gets to know people. Volunteers, doctors, nurses, security, janitors, clergy, you name it, Nana knows them. She’s relied upon for her bilingual skills. She gets frustrated like any employee. Teen moms, driver education classes, people who don’t know the last name ofthe pearson they’re there to see. But she still provides great customer service and deals with the public when many don’t have the patience to. Using a computer, answering the phone, helping people in person. In English and Spanish.

How do I know? Because people always tell us. You’re grandmother is so wonderful. We love Rose. We do too.

I’ve never worked in a hospital, but I imagine it isn’t easy. There’s a lot going on. 24/7. Births and deaths. Checkups, surgeries, procedures, training, appointments. Health and illness.

Mr. Hinton mentioned new systems and sacrifices. He discussed character, commitment and integrity. I know Nana has learned new systems and made sacrifices. Email, patient databases, intranet, online banking. I remember showing her how to use an ATM as a kid. And now she checks her Facebook everyday. Btw, the status from last weekend got 79 likes and 28 comments. I can’t even begin to get into the sacrifices I know she’s made. Her character, commitment and integrity are unparalleled.

Our date was fun. We dressed up. Nana said I could have a drink. The photographer thought we were mother and daughter. Nana said she should have worn red. I asked her if it was her signature color. She said yeah. The bartender took a blurry picture of us. And we took Nana’s first selfie.

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Pres has been around 105 years. They served 670,000 New Mexicans last year. I was one of them. So was my baby. I was born there thirty four years ago, although mom and Nana disagree on which floor. Nana knows she won’t join the 40+ Club. She’ll retire at some point. Maybe soon, she’s been threatening for years. This will be her second retirement.

If it’s not obvious, I could not be more proud of my Nana and feel lucky to know her and call her mine. I cannot think of a better person to appreciate on Employee Appreciation Day.  She’s the picture of hard work, determination, and love of family.

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And of course, we appreciate Nana on regular days. For meatloaf and mashed potatoes (me), cold remedies, holiday cards, chile (Allan), a warm pot of coffee (PC), breakfast burritos (Roy), bacon and cuddles (Cyan), a warning to cuidao, casino freebies, lawn chairs for each great grandkid, TP/PT (Meg), and on and on.

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