The Business Service Center, which shares a building with Didlake’s Opal Day Support Program, launders all of the mop heads and rags used at Didlake’s custodial contract sites. Gloria’s job is to count the cleaned rags and mop heads and put them in containers to be returned to the contract sites. Gloria, who has an intellectual disability, uses tape strips to help her keep track as she counts the items into sets of 10 and puts them in containers that are color-coded by contract site. On an average day, she counts 4,000-5,000 items.
“I’ve worked with her for 15 years and she hasn’t slowed down a bit in all those years. She’s a great worker and is very easy to get along with,” said Karen Lambert, Project Supervisor II, Business Service Center.
Gloria has worked at Didlake since she graduated high school in the 1980s. Earlier in her career at the Business Service Center, she filled plastic four- and eight- ounce bottles with cleaning chemicals, and sealed, labeled and boxed the bottles for distribution to contract sites. She also trained other employees for that operation. Another job she did at the center was sealing envelopes, affixing return labels and mailing monthly newsletters for a local equine magazine. Prior to joining the Business Service Center, Gloria worked in Didlake’s mailroom and at a contract site providing recycling services at Lockheed Martin.
After all these years, Gloria keeps coming back to work because she likes getting out of the house, earning her own money, doing her job counting and seeing her former co-workers every day. Her job provides “a means to earn my own money and help take care of myself and my son,” she says.
Gloria lives with her son, and her brother and his wife. They enjoy taking walks together in the neighborhood. Gloria says she also enjoys going shopping and watching TV and movies, particularly Halloween and other holiday movies.