Eufemia “Femia” Diaz still smiles with the memories of a job she had as a baker’s helper at Birkholm’s Bakery in Buellton.
“Everything tasted so good; we ate everything,” she smiles.
But the company’s bankruptcy left her without a job. So, 25 years ago, a friend suggested she try LVMC. After three interviews, she was hired as “housekeeping relief.” Eventually, she started working the night shift in the laundry, when it was located in a small area at the Comprehensive Care Center. For years, she worked alone, responsible for all the day’s laundry at the CCC. Eventually, with the arrival of EVS Director Deanna Hall, she was joined by a coworker.
Deanna recalls those years, when Femia took the time to not only wash the laundry of the 100 or so CCC residents, but to set out specific color-coordinated outfits for them as well.
Now, the laundry is located in several large rooms at the Champion Center, the former hospital site where Femia was born.
“I love my job,” says the mother of five and Lompoc High graduate. “I love working. It’s busy and everybody gets along. To me, it’s not even like working.”
Femia says her job stays interesting after 25 years because she and her coworkers rotate different tasks — between washing, unloading the dryer, sorting, and folding.
Now at 65, she doesn’t plan to retire soon.
“As long as I feel good, I’ll keep working.