There is an old Jewish proverb that says, “I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.” That idea is foreign to most of us. We typically want to lighten the load, do less, and keep ourselves from being tied down or committed to something for very long. But hardly ever does the person asking for lighter burdens accomplish much. If the truth be told, no one ever really goes looking for burdens; they usually find you. Similarly, in the workplace, we typically don’t go looking for extra things to add to our daily routines. But nevertheless, extra things find us.
From my own experience of working in production here, you will be hard pressed to find someone more able and willing to shoulder a tough workload than April Suter. April is extremely knowledgeable about everything with regards to our production departments. Her knowledge comes not from simply being told how to do something, but from hours of hard work doing the various jobs.
Her current supervisor is Vickie Truman. Vickie has this to say of April: “I have known April since elementary school. She is the same person today as she was then; caring and loyal. She is a great coworker and a person that you know will be your friend forever. We don’t come by people like her every day. She is hard working, dependable, and has a great attitude. Anyone that has worked with April will have nothing but good things to say. She is a huge asset to Eminence Speaker. She knows everything about the Final Assembly line and assists in all the jobs. I see her in a leadership role in the future. She definitely makes my job easier and I am glad to call her my coworker and Friend.”
JM: April, let’s start with your pre-Eminence days. What did you do before you came to work at Eminence?
AS: I was a manager at the Save-A-Step Convenient Mart for a while and then went to work at the old Brunswick plant here in Eminence. I worked there for 5 years, until they closed the doors.
JM: That sounds like a familiar story. I’ve heard several folks here talk about their time at Brunswick.
AS: When I started working here at Eminence, I recognized a lot of faces from there.
JM: So, how long have you been here?
AS: It will be 7 years in April. I had been hoping to work here for quite a while. I heard that they were hiring and put in my application. I was hired straight in.
JM: What departments have you worked in?
AS: Primarily, just the Final Assembly lines. I have helped out in other departments but my primary work has always been in final assembly. We used to have a position here called “Floater” that was basically a person that could fill any job when someone was out or would work on certain orders that required special, pre-production work. I was one of our Floaters. I still do basically the same thing now, just without the title.
JM: So what does a normal day look like for you?
AS: Whatever the schedule brings is what I do. I may be applying silicone to the surround of the speakers or working on spider-spacers in the morning, then applying acrylic to the finished speaker at the end of the line later in the day. If someone needs help, I try to be there to help keep the line running smoothly. I enjoy my job! I like the moving around and learning new things as they come.
JM: Since we received profit sharing checks today, where do you see the greatest improvement in helping with profits?
AS: I think that the scrap reduction process is the best thing we’ve done. We’ve recycled and reused a lot of things that previously were just thrown away.
JM: What principles do you work by when it comes to the quality of the product?
AS: Our principle is, “If we won’t buy it, we don’t expect others to buy it.” People here really do care about what they make and they are proud of it. We hope our customers can tell that we care. It takes people that care to make a good product. Vickie is a good supervisor who looks for people who care to have on her team. If you are willing to learn, she will teach you. She will work with you and help if you’re struggling.
JM: So after 7 years, what are your general thoughts about the working here?
AS: It’s a good company. I enjoy working here more than anywhere I’ve been. It’s a good place to work. The people are friendly. We have our bad days like anyone else, but for the most part, the people are great to work with. The hours and insurance are great, too.
JM: Thanks for coming in to talk with me today, April!