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Sandra the prized breadwinner


Sandra the prized breadwinner

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WHAT DOES it take to be repeatedly recognised as the most valuable employee?

For Sandra Reid it is hard work, selfless dedication and a genuine love of her job.

The 48-year-old Regent Hill, Pine, St Michael resident has been recognised as Purity Bakeries’ employee of the year not once, not twice, but four times, with her last three awards coming in successive years.

In addition, she has numerous other accolades such as perfect attendance and star employee of the quarter.

Not bad for 13 years of work.

Reid has all her 25 awards proudly on display on a table in her living room at home.

With a tough childhood, she said she has no intention of taking anything for granted.

“I grew up poor and I am still no rich girl so I don’t let any legal opportunity pass to put money in my pocket. Plus, I really love my job and when you look around and see how many people are out of work; I appreciate my job even more,” she said.

Reid has no children but takes good care of her mother, who she said struggled hard to raise all of her children.

She said the price she paid for success was long days and nights with little rest or personal time.

Work ethic

“I have had 11 years of perfect attendance and I can count on my hands the number of sick days I have taken. I often work on my off days when they need me – they call and I’m gone – and I stay on after my work hours to help,” she said.

Reid’s career has involved many jobs at Purity. She started as a general worker, packaging bread before learning to operate the machinery and moving on to rack counting, giving an account of the bread produced for the day. In 2009, she won her first employee of the year award and swiftly seized the opportunity for advancement, successfully applying for the post of senior general worker.

“I had to work the trucks, sometimes three or four a night. Sometimes my shift started at 6 a.m and I would be now leaving work at 12 a.m or 1 a.m the next day. While doing that, I learned cashier work and also did merchandising where I would go to the supermarkets and pack shelves with the bread – plus make deliveries,” she said.

Reid said she often used to do the work of three or four people so it was no surprise when she won employee of the year in 2012 followed by the same in 2013 and 2014.

“I really wanted that hat-trick because I am the first Purity worker to do it,” she said proudly.

Travel overseas

It has not all been hard work, however. She said the gains from all those awards were trips overseas which she said she took with her boyfriend. She said she opts more for the Caribbean cruises than flights to Europe and North America.

As such, she has seen Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua, St Lucia, Dominica and St Maarten.

Her next cruise will take her to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico.

As much as she loves the opportunity to see other places, there is no place like home for Sandra.

“Thanks to Purity I have seen some beautiful places but Barbados is still a gem in comparison to a lot of them,” she said.

These days, Reid is a mobile retailer. Since February, she has been driving a Purity van, selling pastries to various customers. On one of her stops at Courtesy Garage, staff there praised her, asking Purity not to send anyone else.

“It is excellent, I get to interact with our customers and learn how to deal with people. So far, so good,” she said.

As for the future, Reid said that was not something anyone could predict but she planned to continue doing what she was doing as well as she could do it.

“After God, I want to thank all my supervisors, past and present, for helping me achieve all these trophies; I want to thank my boyfriend who supports me and also all our customers.

“I love my job and as long as I have my health, I will continue to do it to the best of my ability,” she said.

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