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Working for a Living

Bay Weekly’s Labor Day Parade of Success Stories

Labor Day is perfectly placed as an end note to summer. Change is in the air, riding shorter days, clearer air and cooler nights. The rhythms of human time are changing, too, with vacations over and kids back in school.
    Such synchronicity makes us forgetful that this national holiday celebrates working people and our hard-won rewards — from the weekend to child-labor laws.
    You may not walk in a parade this Labor Day, but much of this life you’ll likely spend working for a living. Work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year from when you’re 20 or 25 to 60 or 65, and 80,000 hours of your life are on the job.
    With figures like that, it’s a good thing that wages are seldom work’s only reward.
    For Bay Weekly’s 2015 Labor Day, 20 of our Chesapeake neighbors told us how they find pride in their work.

–Sandra Olivetti Martin, Bay Weekly editor

Darryl Beverly

Meat Manager, Christopher’s Fine Foods, Churchton
    I have 24 years of experience and am responsible for meat cutting, scheduling and ordering.
    I simply love coming to work each day. I have seen this industry evolve from butchering a half a cow to Cryvac packaging of meat to pre-cut packaging. I take great pride in knowing I have the skills to butcher that hanging half cow, while the younger cutters wouldn’t know where to begin. The simple joy of my work is my greatest satisfaction.

–Peggy Traband

Debbie Boateng

Prepared Food Manager and Loss Prevention Manager, Christopher’s Fine Foods, Churchton
    I retired from Safeway with 25 years of service; now I’ve been four-plus years at Christopher’s.
    I enjoy people coming by to wave and share a smile. I look forward to special requests and take pride in sharing joy with everyone. There is a local farmer, a recent widower, who visits each week, asking for my help with his lunch and dinner planning.
    When I asked another customer how I could help, he said he wanted to help me. “What do you need?” he asked.
    I replied that I’m a simple person with all my needs fulfilled, but if he insisted, how about a million dollars?
    “Real or Monopoly money?” he replied.
    When I admitted I wanted real money, he said he’d have to work on that.
    Later a customer invited me and a co-worker to sit in his beautiful red convertible while he took our picture. I figure I just got the first installment of my million.

–Peggy Traband

Dena Brown

Server, Steak and Shake, Millersville; former service advisor, Jiffy Lube
    Last year at Jiffy Lube, a man came in to fill out a job application, then asked to use the bathroom. After he had been in there a while we became concerned and knocked on the door. There was no response, so we broke down the door to find the fellow unconscious with a needle in his arm. He wasn’t breathing, so I performed CPR until EMS arrived. We later heard he made it. I’d taken a first aid class, including CPR, after my six-year-old hurt himself. Glad I did.

–Bob Melamud

Mike Carter

Annapolis Tours and Crawls
     I got the idea 13 years ago to combine history with ghost tours. I literally wrote the book on it: Haunted Annapolis, 2011.
      Our Twisted Historians are cross-trained. You never know when someone will want to know more about a particular ghost or ask What’s that thing on top of the capitol dome?
      I think it’s a social experience; total strangers often become friends.
      I’m proud that we have changed the way these tours are done; half the tour companies in the country copy us now. We don’t dress up in costume. We think the history and storytelling speaks for itself.

–Thomas C. Hall