Solid Waste Employees Go Above and Beyond
December 2, 2016
Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry awarded six Solid Waste Management Department employees in recognition of their exceptional efforts to help recover a woman’s lost purse. This week’s Employees of the Week are Lawrence Burns, Martin Garcia, Nasario Gutierrez, Gilbert Maestas, Roger Saiz, and Robert Vigil.
On the evening of July 3rd, Bruce and JoAnn Dennison were unloading their vehicle in the dark. The next morning, they realized they had inadvertently misplaced JoAnn’s purse. They immediately scavenged their house looking for it, but to no avail. The only conclusion they could draw was that they had mistakenly thrown it away the night before.
Initially, the Dennisons got in their car and started looking for their Solid Waste truck driver who was assigned to their neighborhood. Unable to locate him, a Solid Waste Recycling truck driver connected the Dennisons with Nasario Gutierrez, residential collections foreman. Gutierrez then connected JoAnn with their assigned driver’s foreman Robert Vigil. Vigil then coordinated and directed the Dennisons to drive to the landfill to be escorted to the location of where their trash was dumped.
Once they arrived at the landfill, they were greeted by landfill attendant Lawrence Burns and landfill operator Roger Saiz, landfill foreman Gilbert Maestas, and safety specialist Martin Garcia with vests, gloves, forks, shovels, and a backhoe. Dennison described each employee as friendly, helpful, empathetic and more helpful and professional than expected. The employees went above and beyond their regularly-assigned duties by digging through nine to ten tons of trash and rubble to help find her purse. Despite their efforts, the purse could not be located, so the Dennisons decided to leave.
After hours of searching, Martin Garcia called JoAnn to explain the team could not find it, which helped the Dennisons to know that her purse had not been thrown away. When Bruce and JoAnn started to accept the reality that her purse, along with her ID and other personal items were lost, their neighbor called to report they had found it.
Luckily, the Dennisons were able to locate the purse and despite the fact that it was not mistakenly placed in the trash, the professionalism displayed by these six gentlemen is still worthy of recognition. These six men exemplify what it means to be public servants which makes each of them excellent candidates for this week’s Employees of the Week.