Employee of the Month

If you are looking for professional inspiration, look no further than Astrid Thoening of Parsippany, New Jersey.
On Thursday, September 24th, Astrid went to work as she has been doing for the Thornton Insurance Company for 37 years handling financial records, payroll and typing documents and contracts. This day was a little different. Astrid was showered with roses, chocolates and cards to celebrate her birthday.

It is not uncommon for us to work on our birthday. It is another way to get cake. Who can say no to cake. Mmmmmm cake. Sorry I was sidetracked. Unfortunately, there was a lack in creativity on the birthday cards. Not through any fault of Astrid’s friends and family but the card makers themselves.

You see, Hallmark, American Greetings and many others do not see a revenue driven value in handling a diverse assortment of Happy 100th Birthday cards. Yes, Astrid Thoening, born September 24, 1909 turned 100 and is still and active contributing member of the workforce.

“It’s another day — it’s hard to explain,” Thoenig said of turning 100. “I don’t feel old, and I don’t think old.”
When asked about how technology has evolved and what she has done to move from pen and ink to the computer age, Astrid said “Thinking young” was her key to understanding new technology and going with the flow.

This type of work ethic does lead to its fair share of problems. Her son wants to retire.
“I’m 67, and one of our jokes is: ‘How can I retire before my mother does?'” John Thornton said. He says his mother is a meticulous worker, reviewing contracts, preparing the payroll, making sure bills are paid, and is always pleasant company (AP).

She works with her son and grandson and could not be happier about coming into work each and every day, interacting with her family, the clients and the staff. Physically, Astrid feels wonderful and is looking forward to continue to work.

As you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or fear the recession will not end, remember Astrid.

She witnessed the Great Depression, The Gas Shortage, World War I, World War II, Korean War, the turmoil of the 60’s, The Rise of Communism, Vietnam, The Gulf War, The words of Truman, FDR and IKE, Talking Films, and the pandemic of 1918 and 1919 that killed 30 to 50 million worldwide including her sister and father in a matter of hours.

Astrid knows we will persevere as should you.

Let us raise a glass and say “Cheers” to Astrid Thoening, our Employee of the Century.

This piece was written in 2009.  In 2013, Forbes wrote 7 Life Secrets of Centenarians and Astrid, at 103 years old was still coming to work each day.

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