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Positively Beaming: 26 Years Later, Sarah Still Loves Her Job.

By Jason Carpenter - January 17, 2017 Rhode Island Employment Disabiities
Sarah has been an employee of Ocean State Job Lot for 26 years. She works four days a week, averaging 14 hours per week. When she first started working, she had a job coach. Now she is completely independent on the job. Each shift, Sarah cleans the break rooms, bathrooms, peg walls, water fountain and registers. She is also responsible for putting away merchandise that has been returned.

During the April 2016 Take Your Legislator To Work Event, Sarah and her supervisor, Bruce, provided an overview of Sarah's responsibilities and her exceptional performance to four legislators (Rep. Teresa Tanzi, Rep. Kathleen Fogarty, Rep. Robert Nardolillo, Rep Carol Hagan McEntee). Sarah shared that she finds it rewarding to have a job and feels happy going to work. Sarah expressed that it is nice to have money for vacations and activities, like going bowling or going out to eat with friends. Bruce added that Sarah "is a good worker. She's always punctual and very thorough. Once she learns a new task, she is independent and requires no follow up." Bruce also commented on Sarah's reliability. He never has to worry about Sarah's attendance, because she is always on time and asks for time off well in advance.

Sarah was in her element when it came to fielding questions from the legislators. She spoke about everything from her experiences and choices regarding public transportation to the importance of the relationships she has with co-workers and her supervisor. Sarah was positively beaming with joy as she described a surprise celebration, complete with song and cake, presented to her by her co-workers in the break room.

Following the question and answer session, Sarah provided a detailed tour for the legislators, demonstrating the pride she takes in her job and remarkable knowledge of the store's layout and product placement. Sarah made a point during the tour to introduce her co-workers, who she thoroughly enjoys. Sarah closed the event by thanking everyone for coming and guiding the legislators to the registers where they purchased items found along the tour.

(Originally published in the APSE Employees That Matter Newsletter, January 2017)

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