IM’s Carr has more than 15 years’ experience
ELKINS — Verna “Marie” Carr, who has been working in The Inter-Mountain’s press room and mailroom for more than 15 years, said she believes the COVID-19 pandemic has bonded her and her co-workers closer together.
“I started here in 2004,” she said. “I was a driver first, for about four months. My paper delivery route covered a little bit of Buckhannon, Belington, Jimtown, I had a pretty good-sized route. I like working in the pressroom better, though.”
Carr gradually worked her way up the mailroom ladder, gaining more skills and responsibilities along the way.
“At first I was just hand inserting, and when the inserting machine came I started jogging and flying on the machine. And now I run the machine,” she said with a laugh, referring to the machine that places inserts and coupons inside the daily copies of the newspaper. “You learn something new every time you run it. Because it’s never the same twice.”
Carr said she finds her job rewarding.
“I enjoy the people I work with. It’s like family back there,” she said.
“When Super Storm Sandy hit here in 2012 and the electricity was out, we had to do things by hand, because the machines couldn’t run. We had to learn to tie things up by hand. It was different, because we were so used to using the machines,” she said.
“They brought in some big lights on poles for us so we could see in the press room while the electric was out, but most of the time we just opened up the garage doors and used the sunlight.”
The current pandemic has had a surprising effect on those working in the mailroom and pressroom, Carr said.
“COVID-19 has had an effect in the press room, because we have to be more mindful of how close we get to everybody,” she noted. “It seems like that’s going to be the new norm anymore. We’ve become so conscious of health and social distancing now. It’s really not a difficulty, it’s more of an awareness. In ways it seems like it’s really drawn us closer together because we’re more concerned of how everybody’s feeling.”
Carr said finishing each day’s run of papers always provides a certain satisfaction.
“It does give you a sense of accomplishment when you put that last paper out. You think, ‘We did this,'” she said with a smile.