Postal Worker Retires After 44 Years With No Sick Days

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By: / January 29, 2013

The U.S. Post Service recently honored one of its hardest working employees of all time. Ms. Deborah Ford retired this week with a perfect attendance record for all of her 44 years on the job. That means she didn’t take a single sick day throughout her career.

The 64-year-old was just days short of clocking in 11,000 workdays.

“You know what we say — rain, sleet or snow” can’t stop the U.S. mail, she told Detroit TV station WDIV-TV. “And that’s what I live by. I’m coming in,” said Ford, who used vacation time for doctor’s appointments. And whenever she didn’t feel well, “I’d shake it off,” she said.

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Chuck Howe, the Postal Service manager who oversees the Detroit district and its more than 13,000 employees in Michigan’s eastern half, called Ford’s service “amazing and remarkable.”

Ford’s accomplishment isn’t enough to gain her entry into the record books, however. She’s beaten by Mildred “Millie” Parsons, who started working at the FBI when she was 25, and retired in 2002, almost 63 years later, without taking a single sick day.

While not taking a sick day for decades is impressive, many American workers don’t have the luxury of paid sick days to begin with. Thirty-eight percent of private sector employees lack any paid sick days, according to the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Twenty-five percent of full-time workers have to sacrifice a day’s wages when they’re sick in bed, as do 73 percent of part-time workers.