I was very impressed with our Human Resources person, Jenny, who
managed to add a wonderful piece to our Quarterly Meeting. We are
informed of various pieces of business news at these meetings. We
gather around 200 people in one large conference room, most of us
sitting close to our boss and cluster together in our own groups. We
also find out which employees have reached a landmark in time
working at good ole’ Advance Auto Distribution Center # 23.
We like to see who receives their anniversary plaques and awards,
clapping for members in our group. One of “us” got a plaque along
with her fifteenth anniversary year packet (you get to order a gift for
yourself from a brochure. I chose for my fifth year this Spring, an
Electrolux vacuum cleaner.) This was my friend, Sandy, who once
upon a time was an EMT, that became an Advance Auto worker. She
is my coworker who also was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I wrote
about her and her partner, Suzie in “Another Love Story.”
I admire their longterm relationship and have been friends from when
Sandy had worked at the nursing home where I was the Activities
Director. Oh, Suzie doesn’t work here. Well, check out their story, if
you get a chance sometime! We all stood and yelled out, “Sandy, Sandy!”
It is a little like the auditorium in high school during different awards
ceremonies. We are sort of “juvenile” at our workplace!
At this meeting we discover if, or when, we will have a quarterly bonus
check based on our group performance rate and we sometimes have
This time the announcement was an awesome one!
Our fellow employees, one who is very close to me, Mary Jane, and
Robert (who I see more as we are “ships that pass in the night” since
he is a night shifter and I am a day shifter) were next told to come
forward. We all were wondering what was going on!
These two are part of our international group of fellow employees.
Mary Jane, married to state employee, David, has been in a few of my
stories that include the happy trio of women from the Philippines.
Robert, I have gotten to know from his friendly nature and on Fridays,
my group’s early days, I am there at 6 a.m. and he is leaving at 7 a.m.
We have only one day a week where our shifts overlap. Our group of bin
order fillers work usually, four days a week, from 7 a.m. until whenever
we finish our orders.
Robert has shared with me about his studying Business Administration
at the Columbus, Ohio branch of Ashley University. He has advanced to
taking his Master’s Degree coursework recently. He was born and raised
in Ghana, Africa. I have expressed encouragement and pride in his school
accomplishments. He has a wonderful, deep English sounding voice,
which reminds me of Morgan Freeman’s voice.
These two proud individuals stood up and walked to the front of the
room. They were then given the chance to tell us why they were there.
Both of them passed their United States Citizenship tests and are now,
I was so completely surprised since Mary Jane shares so much with me,
and she is the “mother hen” of May and Felda. None of these three had
told me about her taking the test. I knew awhile back that she was
studying but I had been remiss in not inquiring and she had not offered
her fine news!
It really helped all of us to cheer and congratulate them. We had a nice
Autumn reception after the news about our health care coverage going
up, our quarterly bonus may not arrive since we are not making the
best rate possible, that we have added a new business acquisition of
a company called “A.I.” (autoparts international) and around here it
is called “Carquest.”
Mary Jane, “M.J.” known affectionately in our department, was given
many hugs and handshakes. She said the test was very difficult. I was
surprised when I asked Robert in his receiving line how the test was
and he replied, “A piece of cake, Miss Robin!” Maybe he has more
test acumen or maybe he studied harder? Both were also given the
first treats from the fall decorated table with huge boxes of delicious
donuts and a choice of bottled water or poured apple cider.
I chose a wonderful maple long john (cream filled) and a cup of apple
cider after I warmly embraced both recipients of their citizenship and
wondered to my friend, Tammy (from the Fence Post Buddies story),
if my own grandparents were treated to such a nice and pleasant
reception? They both went through their naturalization process while
teenagers and met on a New York street corner, one from Sweden
and the other from Germany. It made me wish I could call them or
write them to ask how it felt on that proud day they became citizens!
Do you have a family member or friend who has been naturalized
and passed their United States citizenship test? I would love to hear
which countries they have come from. I am sure there are lots of
stories out there… Please share!