When a Woman Loves Her Job
Loretta’s story originally appeared in the fall newsletter, Sky Lines, distributed by One Sky Community Services, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
For Loretta Falzarano, work is nothing short of delightful. “She bolts through the door each day and can’t wait to put on her apron!” says Tom Benson, her Career Resource Specialist through Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU).
At the Goodwill store in Portsmouth, NH, Loretta hangs and counts pre-sorted garments five days a week, in preparation for labeling. “She’s an exceptional worker,” says the Portsmouth store manager. “She literally runs into work!” And it can be tricky to get Loretta to leave at the end of her shift, according to Tom Benson. Stalling for time, Loretta continues to reach for the rack, insisting, “just one more hanger!”
Loretta was institutionalized at age three in the Laconia State School, where she lived for nearly three decades. In the past fourteen years, she has lived with a family in Greenland, NH. Her job suits her to a ‘T’, according to home provider Deb Melanson. “It’s great for Loretta because she loves routine. She enjoys the staff and her co-workers. If I unexpectedly poke my head in during her shift, she shakes her head and waves me away, indicating, ‘No, no, I’m working!’”
Loretta started her job at Goodwill seven years ago. Today, she performs many tasks independently, while continuing to develop skills. She is currently learning how to arrange the clothing she hangs in groups of eighty. “All staff have production quotas,” explains Assistant Manager George Pappedamas. “We hold employees to the standards and Loretta is no exception. She’s expected to excel.”
According to Tom Benson, Loretta’s work ethic is remarkable. “She’s expected to hang 320 articles of clothing in four hours and she always does more. The person who’s pricing after her can’t keep up!” Of the staff at the Portsmouth store, only one or two have worked as long as Loretta has.
Among her co-workers, Loretta is well-loved. “She has a great attitude,” says Benson. “She’s always smiling and happy.” Employee of the Month recognition is awarded to her once or twice a year.