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No one knows the workplace like Erin Reid. Which says good things about Paradowski because she runs like, everything important. You know—our finances, anything HR, and I guess when you sit and think about it she always places in agency cook-offs. Erin is an occupational master, and it’s probably because she’s had every job in the book. You want proof? Hold onto your hats. You’re about to get acquainted with a contender for hardest-working person in America.
At the tender age of 12, Erin got her first job bagging penny candy at Keller’s Market across from her house. Her best recollection for pay was $3/hr. Then over summer as a 14-year-old, she painted fences and beautified parks for the Hollywood Youth Corps.
That fall, Erin weaseled her way into a job at McDonald’s—lying about her age using a season pass from Six Flags and her social security card. Some girls became jealous of her grill skills and ratted her out to the manager. Not to worry, because McDonald’s hired her back the minute she turned the legal 15.
For the next two years, Erin was the only employee to (wo)man all positions. The grill, the register and the drive-through window were all her domains. Why? As she puts it, when you continue to learn you will always have a job, you can always pick up shifts, and you will never be bored. Erin also realized numbers came easily to her at old Mickey D’s. She knew all the prices by heart and can quite eerily still remember that the Value Meal was $2.99 or $3.17 with tax.
Next on the resume of Erin Reid is a tanning salon/Pizza Hut combo. Indulging in the riches of the salon, she once tanned three times in a single day. Going home and realizing she hadn’t eaten, she promptly passed out in the bathroom. She remembers her brother thumping on the door, trying to wake her and screaming, “It’s that dang tanning!” Having had her fill of melatonin, Erin then worked at a Holiday Inn. For reasons she won’t disclose, that was the final straw. It was time for a real office job.
Why would Erin go into anything she already knew a bit about? That would be too easy. Instead, she found employment at St. Louis Auto Panel slinging quarter panels and delivering parts. Here, she was able to focus on her knack for numbers again. She asked if she could help with the accounting, and because she wanted to, she was given the opportunity.
Moving right along, we’ll follow Erin to her gig as a communication specialist, selling pager services. She gets pregnant with her daughter, Gwyn. With new priorities on the horizon, Erin returns to the comfort of her awesome boss at St. Louis Auto Panel and takes on a more traditional accounting job. The plan was to bring baby Gwyn to work, but after she was born, Erin couldn’t imagine a day without spending as much time with her as humanly possible. So when Gwyn turned 1, Erin got a job at her daycare. For two years, Gwyn’s schedule was Erin’s schedule and everything was peachy. Then, Erin got the itch to go back to school for business management. Forever a multitasker, she went to school full-time while working part-time gigs like answering phones at Bissinger’s, or as an assistant to the controller at St. Louis Behavioral Medicine. That’s about the time Paradowski and Erin crossed paths.
Today, there are only three people who have been at Paradowski longer. Erin is one of the few employees who can say they were hired by the founders. Alex Paradowski took a shining to Erin who’d interviewed for the accountant’s job. Although she didn’t have the experience required, he found her a position on the Account Management team instead. She didn’t know a single solitary thing about advertising, but a story she told Alex Paradowski sold him on her independence.
As the receptionist at St. Louis Behavioral Medicine, she had to both answer phones and pull medical files. The files were so far away from the phones that there was no way to hear them ring. When Erin heard the phone company’s solve was going to cost three grand, she bought a baby monitor for each room. For 30 bucks. Alex Paradowski just thought that was the smartest thing ever. And so Erin started as an account coordinator, got promoted to account manager, then finally settled into the role she’d always wanted: true blue accounting. Although like we mentioned, that job also makes her HR and a little bit of office manager so….
Erin Reid doesn’t sleep.
We all know that one person who calls out of work for a getting lemon juice in a papercut. And we also know the person who works to the point of not just mental, but physical exhaustion. I think by this time, you know which one of these folks Erin is. She once went to her first day of a Best Buy job (yes, another job I failed to mention) feeling extremely ill. She mentioned this to her new boss, but he begged that she at least try to get through training. She fainted three times in the first hour. Horrified at what he’d caused, he sent her home and let her take her first week on the job off, paid.
Today at work, I notice that Erin’s eyes are more piercingly blue than usual, and that it’s because she is white as a sheet. I ask what’s wrong, and she can barely speak but I get that she has some ridiculous tooth problem and is having emergency surgery later today. When I ask why she’s in the office, she mumbles something about having too much to do, how eating hot soup was the worst idea for her mouth pain, and shuffles away to her laptop.
So yeah, Erin Reid doesn’t play.