Best wishes to Southern Region Secretary Cheryl Wall, who retired this week after 44 years of service to the UBC! Cheryl worked for 8 different ESTs throughout her illustrious career and will be sorely missed. Members, Council staff, and well-wishers came from far and wide to Springfield, IL to pay their respects to Cheryl and thank her for all the good work she’s done. We interviewed Cheryl to ask her about how she got her start with the Union and what her future plans are. Enjoy your retirement Cheryl!
What year did you start working for the carpenters Union?
I started working for the East Central Illinois Council in March of 1978.
What drew you to the job?
I had recently lost my job and a union organizer at the time was talking with mother and told her they were looking for a secretary. I went in and interviewed and got the job.
You had professional administrative training. What types of things did you learn in school?
Mostly shorthand writing and general accounting. I attended Patricia Stevens Career College in St. Louis for secretarial training. Basically, I learned the same type of subjects that I learned in high school. It just enhanced what she already knew to further my knowledge.
How did data entry work when you first started? Did you have to do things by hand?
When I first started everything was by hand. In high school I learned learned how to type on a manual typewriter. College was the first time I used an electric typewriter. When I started working for the union, we did have an electric typewriter, but accounting was done by hand. Everything was done manually until computers. It was probably close to 10 years before computers came around. They made things much simpler, but it was a learning experience. Computers today are much easier to use and better. I didn’t mind accounting work, but it wasn’t really my strong suite. Luckily, we had a full-time financial secretary.
How many different leaders did you work for along the way? What did you learn from them?
EST Gary Perinar is the 7th EST I’ve worked for. I learned from every one of them in one way or another. I developed a strong work ethic and as time went on each one allowed me to learn a little more about how to do the job and do things I hadn’t done before. I learned a lot from every single one of them.
What will you miss most about the job?
The people. The camaraderie. Everyone has been very nice. No one has been not helpful. Everyone has been very kind to me and accommodating.
What are your plans for retirement?
Nothing big or immediate. Maybe some projects around the house. I’m looking forward to spending more time with friends and family. Just enjoying more free time.