Q: Hi, Brianne! Thanks for taking a few minutes away from operating the baler on a very hot day to talk with me. When did you first start at Mr. K's, and what made you interested in the job?
Hi. It was in 2021. I was working in the kitchen at a restaurant, and I was tired of being inside. I wanted to be outside. I love being outside. Sometimes we [employees] complain about the heat and the rain, but outside, we can see everything. Gestures at the sky and all around.
Q: What do you like most about working here?
My co-workers. They are cool, nice and down-to-earth people who are easy to talk with and non-judgmental.
Q: What's the hardest thing about working here?
The heavy stuff. When the forklifts are being used somewhere and a big commercial load of electronic waste arrives, we have to drag and move it ourselves.
Q: What's something you'd like our customers to know?
It would really help if they could take the caps off their bottles and not have other rubbish in their bags. Before I worked here, I left the caps on, but thought, oh, it's their job to take them off. But then I started working here and it's so time consuming to have to take off all these caps, especially if we're really busy.
Above: Brianne and the baler.
Claire Cea, office manager, shared how she values Brianne being part of the team up front as cashier. When customers happen to get upset about something, her understated demeanor and practical approach reassure them as they see her calmly taking next steps to resolve the issue.
Brianne has also been a great help as a baler operator. "The baler is a big piece of equipment, and if it breaks, it can be down for a while," explained Claire. As baler operator, Brianne has demonstrated that not only can she operate the baler safely and responsibly, but also that she can work on her own, as the baler is in a rather isolated spot behind the building.
Asked what advice she might give to others thinking about working in recycling and possibly operating machinery, Brianne laughs and says, "Don't be afraid to get dirty!"