Employee Of The Month Sad It's Already The 19th

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Issue 3624

Secretary Pretty Sure Vending-Machine Guy Is That Uncaptured Serial Rapist

MONROE, MI–Midwest Heating & Air Conditioning secretary Liz Boorstein said Monday she is "almost positive" that the United Vending Services worker who comes by once a month to refill the break-room snack machine is the serial rapist reported on the loose in the area. "Don't you go in there alone if he's in there," Boorstein, 40, warned co-worker Jen Rall. "He looks just like the guy in the police sketch they had on the news. And once, he gave me this really weird look when he was putting in the Kit-Kats." In May, Boorstein was "100 percent sure" that a small hole in one of the ladies' room stalls was the work of a "Midwest Heating & Air-Conditioning peeping tom."

Man Watching Cleopatra 2525 Has No Time To Read

MCALESTER, OK–Despite his great love of literature, Cleopatra 2525 viewer Kenneth Washburn doesn't have time to read, the 33-year-old McAlester resident reported Monday. "Sure, I'd love to curl up with a good book a lot more often," said Washburn as he watched Cleopatra, an exotic dancer cryogenically frozen in 2001 and accidentally thawed out in 2525 by two female warriors, race through a futuristic cityscape to evade a horde of murderous Betrayer robots. "But, unfortunately, between work and chores and everything else, there just isn't much time." Washburn then flipped over to E! Wild On The Mediterranean during a commercial break.

Local Play Well-Attended By Friends, Family

WOONSOCKET, RI–The Woonsocket Community Players' summer production of The Music Man drew 200 friends and relatives of the cast to the Woonsocket Community Center Monday. "Rebecca sang so beautifully," said Eunice Banks, grandmother of Rebecca Stevens, who played Marian in the production. "And everyone else did a wonderful job." Similar accolades were lavished on the play by the sister of the pianist, the college roommate of the actor playing Mayor Shinn, and Woonsocket Register editor Edward Roth, whose wife costumed the play.

Trouble Again In TV's Africa

ATLANTA–Once again, trouble is brewing in TV's Africa, it was reported Monday on CNN, the network that airs the long-running continent. "In last night's episode of Headline News, there was major civil unrest in Mozambique," said viewer Larry Cronin of Peekskill, NY. "One of the characters, this insane guy called General Abuye, was waving this huge machete in front of a burning village. It was crazy. But then there was this really sad part, where this whole refugee camp full of AIDS-infected orphans were starving. I wonder what'll happen tonight." Africa, TV's 17th-rated geographic area this season, has not been number one in the News Nielsens since 1985, the year the Bob Geldof-hosted "Live Aid Airlift" season finale drew a record 45 million viewers.

Leather-Jacketed Congressman Makes Up His Own Rules

WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Rep. Vinnie Abruzzo (I-NY), the greasy-haired, leather-jacketed legislator who joined Congress in January 1999, is fast earning a reputation as a man who makes up his own rules. "Just yesterday, Vinnie introduced H.R. 4673, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the establishment of medical security accounts for individuals who are 40 or older," said Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC). "When he did that, we were all like, 'Whoa, this guy's got his own set of laws he's making up here.' If we don't like it, I guess we could vote 'Nay,' but I don't know if that'd be such a good idea."

Dressing Up Your Dog As Boba Fett Is Something You Have To Devote A Weekend To

I've always thought of myself as a creative guy. Whenever my friends in the Star Wars novel-reading club schedule a Sunday-night Star Wars viewing party, I like to get into the spirit of things by dressing up in a theme outfit. And, of course, a big part of the excitement is dressing up my pet Cocker Spaniel, Nikto, as a character from the films or expanded universe, too.
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House and Home

Deadline For Prior User To Remove Clothes From Dryer Extended 5 Minutes

JOHNSON CITY, TN—Upon finding the machine in her apartment building’s laundry room completely untouched since she last stopped by, exasperated local woman Sandra Hermus reportedly mounted all her magnanimity Monday and extended the deadline for the previous user to remove their clothing from the dryer by five minutes.

Employee Of The Month Sad It's Already The 19th

FRANKLIN, TN–Jan Hervey, a housewares-department stocker and occasional cashier at the Plank Road Target, expressed sadness Wednesday over the rapidly approaching end to her reign as employee of the month.

Target stocker Jan Hervey proudly displays her Employee Of The Month certificate.

"Where has July gone?" asked Hervey, 33, speaking from the store's break room. "I can't believe it's already the 19th. Before you know it, I'll be just another employee again."

After nearly three years of unrecognized service to the store, Hervey was finally nominated for the prestigious award by second-shift manager Paula Cushman, who cited the 31-year-old mother of four's "helpful attitude" and "solid attendance record" on a Target Employee Of The Month recommendation form. On July 1, store manager Brian Steeber announced over the store's P.A. system that Hervey had been selected.

"I'd always dreamed that someday it would be my face looking down at all the Target guests from that plaque at the front of the store," said Hervey, whose husband and children celebrated the news by treating her to dinner at Old Country Buffet. "On July 1, that wonderful day finally came. When Brian announced it over the loudspeaker, everyone came running over to my register to congratulate me. I felt so special!"

"July 1," added Hervey with a sigh. "Just 18 days ago."

After the announcement was made, Hervey was asked to report to the service desk, where she posed for a Polaroid photo that was slipped into the Target Employee Of The Month plaque that hangs near the store entrance.

"I had no idea I'd be getting my picture taken that day, or I would have used the curling iron before I left for work," Hervey said. "How could I have known, though? It's just not the sort of thing you wake up in the morning and expect to have happen to you."

The tradition of employee of the month at Target store #4551 carries with it a rich history. Since regional management instituted the program in 1996, a different employee has received the accolade every month. The only time the award was not given out was August 1999, when the plaque was stolen by a group of teenagers and had to be replaced.

Hervey shows off the plaque that hangs near the entrance of Target store #4551.

In addition to having her name and month of honor permanently engraved on a brass plate on the plaque for future generations to see, Hervey received a coupon for a free foot-long hot dog and junior fries from the Target snack bar.

"I haven't used my meal coupon yet," she said. "I'm planning to hold on to it for a little while longer. That way, after my month is up, I'll still have a little taste of the big time left to enjoy."

Despite the fact that she "wouldn't give this up for anything in the world," Hervey admitted that being employee of the month "hasn't been all cookies and ice cream." The last three weeks, she said, have been a time of intense introspection.

"After all those years of wishing and hoping for something like this, the only place left to go is down," said Hervey, whose last honor came in 1983, when she was named Monroe High School Swing Choir Most Valuable Member. "You struggle so long to get that brass ring, and then, when it's in your hand, you get a sort of blank feeling. It's like, what now?"

Hervey, however, has made an effort to keep such feelings of doubt to herself and focus on setting a good example for her coworkers.

"When you become employee of the month, you're suddenly thrust into the limelight and an entire staff of 97 people is looking up to you as a role model. That's a tremendous responsibility," Hervey said. "Target expects a lot from its employees, but those expectations become that much greater when you're employee of the month."

"Then there are those few jealous individuals who would just love to see you make a wrong step," she continued. "It's very exhausting to be on your toes every second of every shift."

Determined to prove herself deserving of the award, Hervey has tried to raise the level of her performance even higher. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

"Jan's really been hustling lately, straightening out the rows of laundry baskets and re-folding every towel and washcloth in sight," said fellow housewares stocker Brenda Steeber. "It's been a real chore for me to find something to do. It would be a real bitch if they downsized our department's staff."