URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Everyone knows about your typical nine to five type of job, but imagine doing that almost your whole life at just one place. That is the story for one woman in Urbana.
Melinda Jenkins is the chef at Clark Lindsey retirement community, and she has walked into the same doors everyday since 1978.
“They had a new job position posted, and they said, well, if you’re interested why don’t you apply for it…and it’s all history since then,” says Jenkins.
That was 40 years ago, but Jenkins is still making history. She is the only Clark Lindsey employee to ever reach that many years of work with them. Jenkins says they made it more than easy to stay at one place for so long.
“If you are willing to give 110 [percent], they are willing to back you up 120 percent…and I truly mean that,” she says.
Co-workers and residents threw her a big party to honor her anniversary, and they say they cannot think of anyone that is more deserving of it.
“She has been here 5:30 in the morning, five days a week for the last 40 years…and always on time…never calls off,” says Clark Lindsey supervisor Jason Rice. “It’s her care for the residents that really drives her.”
They celebrated Jenkins with plenty of food, and did not forget about her favorite—smoothies. They say without her, things could not run the way they do.
“Her job is vital. If for some reason Melinda wasn’t here, we have 80 residents in our health center that wouldn’t have breakfast,” says Rice.
And after all these years, Jenkins only needs a few words to describe the relationships she has built at work: “open arms and love.”