I have met and talked with many people in my years here at Eminence. There are very few that I have met that are as knowledgeable of their department as Patty Thurmond. Some people see a task at a “street level” view and some see a task from “30,000ft.” Patty can do both. And that is part of what makes her such a vital part of the Eminence Speaker workforce. Patty works in the Press Room at Eminence under the supervision of Garrett Gambrel. Garret recognizes Patty’s contributions to the company as such:
“Patty is an upbeat, hard worker with a great attitude. She is a huge asset for the department as well as the organization. She shows concern for quality and takes pride in a job well done. She knows how to motivate others and increase production. I never have to worry if she is working which makes my job easier. She is a great person, definitely an original.”
As this month’s Employee Spotlight, I sat down with Patty for an interview.
JM: What brought you to work at Eminence and how long have you been here?
PT: I’ve been here for 8 years and I was hired through Kelley Temporary Services. I was working at another place but I was about to have an addition to my family so I needed a more stable environment. Beverly Payton told me about the opening here so I applied.
JM: Most people who have been at Eminence for any length of time have worked in multiple departments. Is this true of you?
PT: Yes, I actually started out working in the Packing Department. I worked there for a few months and also worked on the Box Line. We had a short time of layoffs here at the plant and during that time the supervisor over the Press Room and Paint Line asked that I be transferred to their department. I was transferred and have been there ever since!
JM: The Press Room is a place with many different jobs. What does a normal day look like for you?
PT: I’ve been trained on every job in the department. Some days might require hanging parts on the paint line and other days I may be running a press. It really just depends on the needs of the day.
JM: I know that Eminence prescribes to the “continuous improvement” paradigm; how have things changed or improved since you’ve been here?
PT: Our Standard Operating Procedures have improved quite a bit. They are readily available at every work station for review if you need it. Our training processes have gotten better and there is much more knowledge about the products we produce. Workers are more aware of the costs associated with scrap and really try to keep from having any.
JM: What is your favorite part of working in the Press Room?
PT: It’s the people. I am a people person. I can work with just about anybody. We are more like family than co-workers. When you work with good people you enjoy coming to work. They are all very encouraging and helpful. It’s a good place to work.
JM: How do you get people to that point in their work environment? How does a person become “family” in the workplace?
PT: I think you have to get the workers to like their job. When people enjoy what they are doing, they get along better. A lot of people get frustrated with a job and then give up. If you want a job, stay here, work, and ask questions. The ones who ask questions are generally the ones who end up staying with us.
JM: What do you think are some of the better things about working for Eminence?
PT: I like that we have the profit sharing program. I also think it’s nice that they will fund some of your college tuition if you want to go to school. I also enjoyed the Kentucky Headhunters concert. I thought that was really neat how they kept that a secret and then surprised us with the concert. It was a great concert that we got to see for free!
JM: Any final thoughts for our readers?
PT: In the past 8 years I’ve seen anywhere from 10-14 thousand parts assembled in a day. Even though things have gone down in the economy, we’re still going strong! We take pride in our work! And this is a great place to work. It’s a people place and that’s the best thing overall.
JM: Thanks for your time, Patty.