Thursday, March 23, 2006

When work is over. . . .

Todays post is somewhat of a cheat. I read this story in the times today and thought it was wonderful and should be shared with all of you. It's long but worth reading. . . . . this is Arthur

IF THE US economy had more workers like Arthur Winston then George Bush would not fret so much about spiralling social security and medicare bills.
Mr Winston retired from his job as a bus maintenance worker in Los Angeles yesterday. It was his 100th birthday and, in a 90-year working career, he has had only one day off — when his wife died in 1988.

Nine years ago, he received a Congressional citation from President Clinton as America’s “Employee of the Century”. In the same year LA’s transport authority renamed its South Bay bus depot the “Arthur Winston division”.
But still he carried on working, reporting at 6am each day to supervise cleaning and refuelling of the city’s buses, so that he could support his family. His wife and four children are now all dead. “It wasn’t heavy work, that’s the main thing,” Mr Winston said yesterday.

Sergio Rubalcava, a fellow worker, said that Mr Winston began each work day by bending over to touch his toes to demonstrate that he was fit: “He’s incredible”.
Mr Winston’s story is one of black America over the past century. Born in Oklahoma, he began picking cotton when he was 10. When droughts and storms ruined several crop seasons, his family headed west and in 1924 he found work as a janitor with a railway company.

Apart from a four-year stint parking cars, he has been working in public transport in the city ever since. The job he had really wanted was driving a bus, not cleaning it. But black people were not allowed such careers in the 1920s.
Dana Coffey, a bus service manager, said that Mr Winston had shown what hard work and dedication could accomplish. “Whenever someone complains the work is too hard, the hours too long, I tell them to go see Arthur,” she said. “No one has ever heard Arthur complain.”

Mr Winston said: “Don’t get me wrong. I had my bad days, but there was no use just laying around the house, so I came in.” How will he cope with retirement? “I’m kind of nervous,” he replied. “But I won’t be sitting down, no sir. Man my age sits down, he might not get up. I’m too smart to sit down..”

1 comment:

ernie said...

aww thats well lovely. i could properly take him home!! (in the non dodgy sense, just to play scrabble with obviously!)

everyone should be like that... i hope i live til im 100.

Rachel x