44 Years, No Sick Days: Retiring Postal Worker Has Impeccable Attendance Record

Could you imagine working for 44 years with no sick days? While the circumstance probably sounds more plausible to the American worker than the European one, it still seems impressively long of a time to never call in with the flu, a sprain, or a very bad cold.

But Detroit postal worker Deborah Ford has indeed done the very, very difficult. The retiring USPS worker worked a straight 44 years without ever calling in sick, using vacation days to attend doctor’s appointments if need be.

And Ford also had another strategy to achieve her 44 years with no sick days. When the now 64-year-old retiree felt unwell, she says she’d “shake it off” and work through it instead of resting at home. A show of strength, to be sure — but we would also like to take this opportunity to remind contagious folk that, if you can stay home, you should, lest you infect your colleagues and reduce productivity for the whole office.

Ford referred to an old Post Office adage in discussing her amazing record of 44 years with no sick days. The Detroit Free Press quotes the resident as saying:

“You know what we say — rain, sleet or snow, [can’t stop the U.S. mail] and that’s what I live by. I’m coming in.”

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Postal Service district manager Chuck Howe had nothing but praise for Ford at her retirement bash, and the Lansing State Journal reports:

“As Ford stood with a dozen co-workers at a send-off luncheon in downtown Detroit’s main post office — 1401 W. Fort — Howe handed the woman in a purple sweater a retirement proclamation that cited her for never missing a day of work — ‘enabling you to retire with a sick-leave balance of 4,508 hours,’ Howe said.”

Of her achievement of 44 years with no sick days, Ford says “a positive attitude” helped her achieve the milestone.