Saturday, August 11, 2012

One In A Millie!

The Divine
Miz M!

No one quite knows when Millie Fowler first came to the Credit Union – our records don’t go back that far.

All I know for sure is Millie was here when I arrived; she was already here when everybody else arrived, too! Millie may have founded the Credit Union for all I know, but without a doubt, Millie Fowler is one of the foundation stones upon which the Credit Union has been built.

Before any of you get too upset with me for making people feel old, would like to note that Millie and I are in the same age bracket – we are now both over “the speed limit”. Actually,
come to think of it, we’re both at that point in life where if we “drove our age”… we’d both be frequently stopped and ticketed… which would not be a good thing for Millie. As I understand it, Millie already has quite a driving record on Bald Head Island – some sort of golf cart recklessness. And, Millie was not only charged for the accident and assessed damages; she was also fined for creating endless, hysterical laughter among her granddaughters!

I did take a look at Millie’s initial employment application with the Credit Union – had to handle it carefully – parchment becomes somewhat brittle with the passage of time. Had always thought Millie was from Raleigh – she had led me to believe she was a truly sophisticated, urban dweller.  Was surprised that Millie is actually from one of Raleigh’s “outer suburbs” – Fuquay Varina!  Truth be told, Millie really grew up in Fuquay Springs, years before the monumental Fuquay/Varina merger – a transaction which created, at best back then, a very small “two horse town”. Suspect there’s actually a good bit of country in Ms. Fowler – as with most of us!

Millie grew up in Fuquay with three sisters and a brother – Clara, Mary, Sherry, Jimmy.  And reared three daughters of her own – Allison, Betsy, and Susan. There are now six grandchildren… and by the way Patrick, Millie keeps counting on you for that first great, great grandchild. Not to put any pressure on you Patrick, or to publicly embarrass you… but just get on with it, will you!!

Thought one comment on Millie’s original employment application – in response to the question “Are you a U.S. citizen?” – was refreshing. Her response to the question was: “Yes, I have lived in the U.S. my entire life except for the six months I lived in Charleston, South Carolina…” Guess that’s why they call parts of South Carolina “the Low Country”.

Millie Fowler was always done whatever it takes to help the organization. Millie has always been ready to fill the gap, to help test new ideas, to teach others the “how and why”. Millie
is one of our “icons” at the Credit Union – one of those core, foundation stones who other employees always knew to call, “when you really, really needed help”. And, Millie was never too busy to help you, she was always calm and reassuring. Millie “got you through the crisis” and through that process of nurturing and caring became a mentor to many of her co-workers… and a friend for life. Millie was there at your mother’s funeral, your daughter’s wedding, at the birth of your first grandchild. Millie was always there “when it really mattered”.

Millie was also always great fun to work with. There is a good bit of mischievousness, perhaps wickedness, in that sly smile. The classic story on Millie is her appearance at work one day with a mis-matched set of shoes. She took the heat and ribbing for “her lapse” for only a brief minute – then drew herself up to her full 5’3” height and announced: “You’re wrong, I wore the correct
shoes today! In fact, I’ll have you know that I liked these shoes so much that I actually bought two pair! I have the other matching set at home!”

Not sure about Millie’s plans for retirement, but quite sure they involve Josie (her cat), shop-til-you-drop excursions, and regular visits to Trader Joe’s – perhaps for the “two buck Chuck”? But we all wish her well!

And, lastly, how do you know if a person is truly a great foundation stone employee? There is always one very sure sign…

A truly great employee is always on a first name basis with the entire organization. At the Credit Union there will always be only one “Vivian”, one “Hilda”, one “Patty”, one “LaRue”, one “Woody”, one “Danny”. “First name folks” are very, very special people who are not only on a first name basis with the organization, but are also on a first name basis with living, with you, with me, …with life!

There will always be only one Millie at the Credit Union; there can never be another and we all love you for that! 

Millie Fowler, after 48 years, you will be most sorely missed...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NO!!! Don't let her go!!!