Almost everybody knows that Parker has been in business for 80 years. After all, we tout that fact on our website, our Facebook page and anywhere else we can. What most people do not know is that our Shipping Supervisor, Jean Williams, has been with us for over half of those 80 years — 46 years next month to be exact.
“Miss Jean,” as those of us within the Parker family call her, joined Parker in August of 1965. At that time, Parker was still owned by Earl Parker, whose father founded the company in 1931. According to “Miss Jean,” Parker still sold other types of uniforms when she joined such as doctors lab coats, nursing uniforms and caps, dentist coats, and drill team uniforms. Parker famously provided the uniforms for the first Houston Oilers Cheerleaders.
Miss Jean always laughs when she tells the story of how she joined Parker. In 1965, Parker shared a building with Alamo Linen. Miss Jean first went to work for Alamo for exactly one day. After deciding it was too hot at Alamo (keep in mind it was August in Houston), she came home and told her mom she would not be returning. Miss Jean’s mom worked as an assembler at Parker and suggested the she instead apply for a job next door at Parker. Apparently, we were better at keeping our facility cooled. The next day, Miss Jean applied for and received a job working in inspections and pressing. And the rest is history.
Obviously few people remain with the same company for 10 years anymore, let alone 46. Miss Jean says the secret to a long life with an employer is being willing to “go with flow” and to persevere through difficult times. After all she says, there will always be challenges, no matter where you work. When we asked Miss Jean what she likes best about working at Parker, she said she has loved getting to know all the new people over the years, especially the young people. For those of us at Parker who have gotten to know Miss Jean, we can say with much enthusiasm that the feeling is mutual. Congratulations Miss Jean on a job well done. We look forward to many more years working with you!