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I enjoy parking close to the office
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I think one of the best things about being the CEO of a large Fortune 500 company, aside from the millions of dollars, penthouse apartments, private jet, personal chef and golden umbrella would be the reserved parking space.

I say this after recently being honored as January’s employee of the month here at the Southern Standard. While winning the coveted prize does not entail a cash bonus, honorary banquet, or celebratory dance, it does provide one thing.

Aside from bragging rights and the certificate which I am proudly displaying on my desk, it provides the employee of the month a parking space right out front with my name and title of being the honoree right there for everyone to see. Sometimes, if it’s warm enough outside, I just lean against my car in the parking place and wave to people coming into the paper.

“Hi there. That’s me,” I point over my shoulder. “Duane Sherrill – employee of the month for January.”
This, as you would expect, gets some odd looks and I’ve been encouraged to cease and desist from being all creepy out front of the Standard office. But hey, I really like my parking space.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m in good shape and I’m able to walk vast distances without getting winded. And, the employee parking lot is located just a few steps from the front door, just down a small set of stairs in the gravel area. So, it’s not like I’m having to run a marathon from my regular parking place to my office.
The timing of the honor could not have been better given the weather we just had. Ice, snow and freezing wind turned the employee parking lot into an invitation to get stuck on the ice or to bust one’s butt walking up the steps from the parking lot. Instead, I glided into the golden spot and walked a clear path to the front door. Ah, the privileges that go with being employee of the month.

I won the award once before, about two and a half years ago and celebrated by getting a new car to park in the space. Don’t worry, I resisted the urge to trade in again this time as I’m still making payments from the last purchase.

But now there is quickly coming an issue. My reign as employee of the month is almost over. And, with that, someone else will inherit MY coveted parking spot. Sure, I can keep my employee of the month certificate, maybe even have it framed and placed on the wall – like one such winner here did. But, that would be a bit braggadocios so instead I’ll pack it away with my tons of other awards.

February is my birth month yet it won’t be as happy as January given I’ll have to bid goodbye to my spot. Unless, seeing February is a short month anyway and anyone who got the award would be shorted, they decide to extend my reign for another month.

Hint, hint. It’s the right thing to do for everyone.

Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.