Our People in Profile: Mike Turner hasn't missed a day of work in 35 years

Mike Turner celebrates 35 years without missing a day of work

Everyone at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre knows Mike Turner.

As the team lead for materials management walks through the halls and talks about his milestone of 35 years without missing a day of work, warm greetings of "Hey Mike" come from everyone who sees him. He's not just the ironman with the incredible attendance streak, he's the heart and soul of the place  the kind of co-worker that goes above and beyond to get the job done.

As he celebrates his remarkable feat of not missing a day of work in 35 years, he took the time to share a little about his career at Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA):

What was your start date?

I was hired on as a casual in 1983 on August 8. It was my first job.

Were you born and raised in Truro?

Yeah. My first job at the hospital was at the old hospital and it was in the kitchen in the dietary department as a utility worker. I was washing pots and I delivered trays up to the patients. I was on that for five years and then I got a job as a porter and I did that for three years and then I got on as stores and I’ve been here ever since.

What gets you out of bed every morning to come do this job for 35 years?

I don’t know, I just like coming to work. Meeting with staff and the patients on a daily basis. I really enjoy it.

What’s the secret to your attendance streak?

I don’t really know what the secret is, but I’ve been very lucky because I also went through all of school and never missed a day. I got a standing ovation on my graduation and the vice-principal got up and said, "I’m glad everyone’s not like Mike; I’d be out of a job."

What was the closest you ever came to missing a day?

One morning I got up I remember it vividly I had a sharp pain in my lower back. I said “Uh-oh ... kidney stone." So I went to work that morning and when I got to work it was getting worse. So I went down to the locker room and I sat on the couch and I leaned over and in 10 minutes it went away. So I worked all that day, and honestly, I went home that night, had some supper and a glass of water because they always say drink lots of water. I passed it. That was my closest call.

Is there a single memory that stands out for you over the last 35 years at work?

It’s all the great people I’ve met, really. Truly the staff have been excellent. I really love coming to work.

Do you have any advice for people starting a career in healthcare?

I would just say keep positive, keep your head down and do your work and things will go great.