August 24, 2011 – The Fort Valley State University Department of Plant Operations’ team member Annie McClendon is a year older this month. A special luncheon prepared by coworkers was held to celebrate the occasion in the Wilson-Roberts Building break room recently. Surrounded by balloons, streamers, a huge cake and showers of well wishes, “Miss Annie”—as she is affectionately called—was all smiles and mum about her age.
While the campus community sleeps, the easy going, 5’2” mother of four and grandmother is wide awake and works the 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift. The hours are grueling and the job is no easy task, but her poise and calm demeanor provides a clean environment Wildcats have enjoyed for over two decades.
In this week’s “Just Do You”, intern Horace C. Holloman, III met the Montezuma Ga. native to discuss her FVSU experiences and future plans after retiring at the end of the year.
How long have you been at Fort Valley State?
In November, I will have worked at Fort Valley State for 21 years.
What is it about your job that made you stay so long?
I enjoy my job. I like being around the students and I love the people I work with. I’m going to retire soon and will miss everybody but I know I’ll get over it.
What is a typical day like for you?
I work in the new gym and the student center; so daily, I clean the hallways, and check the outside. I make sure [both areas] are clear of trash. I clean the stools and all the mirrors. I go through the bleachers in the gym and clear trash and check the mirrors for spider webs. Oh! (laughs) I forgot about my office, I clean out the bathrooms and vacuum and mop.
That seems like a lot, how do you manage getting up every day and doing the work?
I enjoy getting up every morning and coming to work. I love being around people and meeting students. They see me from day to day, we talk and some of them even call me “momma” once they get to know me.
Are you a mom to some of the students?
Yes. I always talk to them and am nice to them. Some of my co-workers call me mom too.
At the beginning of the school year, what kind of advice do you offer students?
I tell them to get their work done, go to class and it’ll pay off one day.
There’s a student on the football team who is among your favorites.
He’s so nice. He always greets me with ‘hey, Miss Annie’ and gives me a hug. He’s from Atlanta. There’s another from Virginia who’s nice too. I see them when they come to weight room. They’re around all the time.
Everybody says you have your hair looking good all the time. Why?
I just like to be neat. I get it fixed every two weeks to look nice. Appearance is important.
What qualities do you possess that have allowed you to work at the same job for 20 years?
Well, I’m always at work on time. Anything they ask of me I always do, and I never back talk my supervisor. I’ve never been fired from a job because I do what I have to do with no questions asked.
You’re retiring in a few months. What will you do?
By retiring, I’ll get a chance to travel more; and visit my people. I’ll get a chance to sleep late.
Where will you travel?
I’m in a church choir. We go to different places every year. When I come back home, I’ll get to rest. It’ll probably be in the summer when I start traveling.
I’m still wondering what will you do with the time you have during the day.
I’ll find something to do. I have kids around. I can visit them.
What do you do for fun?
I go to church and I’m in the church choir so I go to practice. The best part about retiring is that I’ll be able to attend bible study more because right now, I’ve haven’t been in a while. I’ll get a chance to be with the Lord more.
Are you happy or sad about the upcoming transition?
FVSU marketing director Vickie Oldham contributed to the story.
“Just Do You” is a periodic column that features profiles of FVSU staff, faculty and students. If you’d like to recommend the next JDY feature, contact Vickie Oldham at (478) 825-6319 or email@example.com.