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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

On call for the holidays

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

SIKESTON - While the rest of us will spend the day opening presents, eating entirely too much and relishing time at home with loved ones, some individuals aren't quite so lucky. But then again, it all depends on how you look at it.

"The employees who get paid an hourly wage will get time and a half for working tomorrow," noted Crystal Hammon, deli manager at Huck's. "Not me, I'm on salary."

Usually finding herself working on Christmas Day, she admits there are pros and cons.

"Peggy (the manager) splits it up into short shifts and asks us what works best for us so that's pretty nice," Hammon said. "I try to work our Christmas around my schedule. We're always real busy on Christmas Day, too. People going on trips are getting gas and they're buying beer, milk, bread, things they've forgotten."

The staff at the Sikeston Bootheel Humane Society really doesn't mind working on Christmas Day because the employees know lots of little lives are counting on them.

"The animals at the shelter can't wait a day to be fed and watered so not working on Christmas Day isn't even an option for us," explained Gabby Evans, executive director of the animal shelter.

"It's bad enough not to have a home for Christmas, much less having to wait to be fed while we spend Christmas in our nice, warm homes with the people we love. We wouldn't even think about not coming in."

Another group of individuals who have no choice but to work are members of law enforcement. Being a dispatcher and court clerk for the East Prairie Police Department, Darlene Cave will spend her Christmas at the office.

"If Christmas falls on my shift I have to work and yes, I do dread it," she admitted. "But someone has to be here. It's quiet though, not usually busy."

But there are ways to work around it, she's discovered through the years. She will exchange gifts and have Christmas dinner with her family tonight.