Mike Turner hasn’t missed a day of work in 35 years.
In fact, a kidney stone couldn’t even blemish his remarkable record.
Turner, team lead for materials management, has been working at Truro’s local hospital since he was hired on a casual basis in the summer of 1983.
“One morning I got up and had a sharp pain in my lower back,” he recalled. “I thought, Oh! Oh! Kidney stone.’ I continued to get ready and went to work and the pain got worse. I went to the locker room and sat on a sofa and after a few minutes the pain went away. That night at supper I drank water and passed the stone.”
Turner got his first job at the hospital kitchen while he was still a student. He washed pots and delivered trays to patients. After five years, he got a job as a porter, and three years later he moved into shipping and receiving.
He makes sure things are running smoothly and the supplies that are needed are delivered. If something is on back order he finds a suitable substitute.
He began working at the new hospital – Colchester-East Hants Health Centre – six months before it opened, handling the receiving of supplies and contractors’ materials.
“I really enjoy it because it’s a good, clean place to work and the people I work with are great. I get to meet lots of people.”
His manager, Judy Maguire, is glad to have him as part of the team.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike for more than 20 years,” she said. “Mike has a huge impact on our NSHA supply chain operations team. His dedication and commitment to ensuring our patients’ needs are met have always been his number one priority and his optimistic approach models the way for others.”
Turner can’t explain the secret to his good health, and stellar work record.
“I don’t know why, but all through school, it was the same and I never missed time,” he said. “When I graduated the vice-principal, who had to deal with people missing time as part of the job, said, ‘I’m glad everyone’s not like Mike; I’d be out of a job.’”
Turner has an eight-year-old daughter, who also appears to have a strong immune system.
“A lot can happen, and if you’re too sick, you have to stay home,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate when it comes to health.”