Perhaps no one understands Donald Vines’ value to the Pediatrics Chair Office better than co-worker Karen Brooks.
Vines, a senior mail clerk, is responsible for sorting and delivering the mail to more than 600 employees in 15 divisions in the Department of Pediatrics and seven sub-divisions located throughout campus. It’s a job that requires patience, persistence and a desire to be meticulous.
|Donald Vines, a senior mail clerk in the Pediatrics Chair Office, is the Employee of the Month for March.
“I had to do his job for a week; you have no idea how much I appreciate him,” Brooks says. “It’s a difficult job. It takes a lot of detail to know where everybody is, especially with people moving around in a department of 600. Just keeping up with everybody is a full-time job. And he does it and does it well.”
Vines’ dependability, reliability and positive attitude are just a few of the reasons he has been selected UAB’s Employee of the Month for March.
“I’m very surprised, but very happy to be selected,” says Vines. “I don’t know who nominated me. Everyone I work with is real nice, though, and I enjoy what I do.”
Jackie Freeman, supervisor of Office Operations in the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Office, says Vines always delivers the mail with a smile and a cheerful attitude. She says Vines inspires her and others for all he has overcome in his life. Vines has been hearing impaired since birth.
Glass half full
“Any time you ask Donald how he’s doing he always says, ‘Great,’” Freeman says. “In fact, one day he came into our office with a list of reasons why things are great in his life. He always sees the glass as half full. He is very loyal and dependable, and he has a heart of gold.”
Vines inspects every piece of mail for the correct postage and address completion. He also reminds everyone in the department of postal increases and will let his co-workers know if he believes a package may have too much or not enough postage.
“He has saved UAB much postage expense by preventing returned mail,” says Virginia Hawkins, an office associate in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. “He’ll pick up a letter and say, ‘I think you may need to add more postage to this one.’ Who would pay that close attention to details as Donald does?”
Vines’ daily trek takes him from the Ambulatory Care Center to the Administration Building, Liberty National Building, New Hillman, Children’s Harbor, Park Place and points in between.
“He knows this campus like the back of his hand and can tell you where any building is located,” says April Peterson, project coordinator in the Ambulatory Care Center.
Vines wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love working inside or outside,” he says.
Co-workers are thankful for Vines’ willingness to help and offer suggestions on how to make the mail flow more efficient. They also appreciate how much he looks out for them; he also strives to make sure everyone receives their mail even if they’ve transferred out of his department.
“If someone transfers from our office and their mail still comes here, he is so determined to make sure they get it,” Brooks says. “I think he goes beyond the call of duty to get the job done.”
If you know someone who should be Employee of the Month, nominate them. Send a letter of recommendation to Jason Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.uab.edu/eotm to learn more.