In my last column I mentioned that several staff members here at Wayne Township would be retiring in the coming months. I’d like to tell you about three of them today.
Bonnie Freeman has worked for the Wayne Township Trustee Office since 1990. She was in the accounting department for several years before becoming head of the switchboard operations. After 27 years she is the longest serving staff member here. I asked her what she would miss the most after retirement and she quickly said, “The people—the clients and my co-workers.” She plans to rest for the first six months or so, but she says she will probably start volunteering for another helping agency.
Doug Metzger, who is retiring after six and a half years with us, agrees that working with people-staff members, workfare clients and others who come to the township for assistance-has been the high point of his job here. Doug has worked in maintenance—both indoor and outdoor-since becoming employed at our office. He himself started out in our workfare department and through hard work made his way up to being self-supporting and now is on his way to full retirement. Doug prides himself in understanding what it’s like for the clients who have come to the township and request assistance, and he enjoys working alongside them.
Pam Holder has been at the Trustee’s office since 1994. Seventeen of those years were spent greeting the folks coming in at the front desk and also doing what we call Intake—that is a preliminary review of client’s applications and other paperwork in preparation for their appointment with an investigator. More recently Pam has worked with clients in our workfare and employment departments. She, too, says that after retirement it’s the people she will miss most of all. Yes, she will miss her co-workers, but most of all she will miss working with clients who come to us often when they are at a most vulnerable time in their lives. Both Bonnie and Pam have had to handle some tense and emotional situations working here, and they are proud of what they have learned to do in those situations.
What I am most proud of is that all the members of my staff are “people persons.” This is a phrase I see often on the resumes of people looking for a job. Those applicants must know that is the trait I want most in a worker, because it really is necessary in the work we do here.
Bonnie, Doug and Pam will be taking over 56 years of experience with them when they leave later this year. They will be missed, but I wish each of them an enjoyable and well-deserved retirement. They may rest for a little while, but I expect it won’t be long before they will take up their vocation again of helping other people. It’s a hard habit to break.
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