Labor Day Salute to Workers

Labor Day Salute to Workers

Feliciano Blanco-Calderin
Pantry Worker, Rusty Anchor

Feliciano’s been making the pantry at this Stock Island eatery sparkling for the past decade. He spent years working at NASKW until Ramone Rodriguez snatched him up for his abilities. A native of Havana, Cuba, Calderin is a Spanish speaking member of the Key West workforce, and proud to represent his home. Calderin logs 35 hours a week making sure the premises stay fresh for the freshest seafood!

Bob Chinnis
Owner/Operator, Robert Chinnis Construction

“If I had work this Labor Day, I’d work. But work is slow and coming. It’s been sporadic.”

Bob Chinnis has been in the Keys for nearly 20 years plying his skills in residential and commercial remodeling and roofing. He feels disheartened seeing someone let their home go because they don’t have enough money to tend to repairs. 

“I hate to see a house damaged and have to get in and fix it six years after. You have mold, bugs and everything else; rotted wood… just neglect. All things a little maintenance would maintain.”

When Chinnis isn’t working flexing his contracting skills, he’s busy maintaining that six-pack of abs.

“I just started something new! Kiteboarding! I found I do have abdominal muscles once again! That and I dive and am part of Noon Rotary. We have been doing a tremendous amount of volunteer work at Sigsbee School.”

You can usually find Chinnis unwinding at the Square Grouper with his friends and a glass of wine.

Juan Lovi
Pilot, United Express

“My office is 37,000 feet above ground.”

  A native of Pariloche, Argentina, Lovi has been flyin’ the friendly skies for 14 years. Commercial airline pilots are only allowed to work 30 hours a week. A typical week for Lovi is four days in the air, three days on the ground. When he’s at his home in Daytona Beach, he takes to the water surfing.

“I also like to fly smaller airplanes for fun!”

Lovi said he lives out of a suitcase; this Labor Day, he will be working.

“You have to take flights out Christmas, New Year’s, and Labor Day. I will be flying. It’s the best job in the worst industry. Sometimes if we delay a flight its for travelers safety. We don’t want everyone to be late!”

Lovi’s advice to passengers: “Don’t speak to flight attendants rudely. They’re not your mother!”

Wanda Cohen
Flight Attendant, United Express

During delays, the cape comes on…

“I feel like I’m superwoman! The passengers are looking at you and they expect something. I just keep them informed as to what’s going on. That makes a difference. They are the customers!”

Talk about following the wings of love! Wanda Cohen, a 20-year flight attendant (sometimes you’ll see her when you’re flying out of MIA), had a beau who lived on the west coast. She wanted to be with him, and decided to fly.

“That was the cheapest way to get to him, and I always wondered where the airplanes were going.”

Cohen recalls a bomb threat pre 9/11 while taxiing down the runway in New Orleans. None of the passengers was told what was going on. Today, with her motto, ‘a smile goes a long way,’ Cohen stresses her mission is to sincerely make passengers happy.

“When I give out a good service and they’re smiling, that makes me happy. Just trying to make everyone have a good day. I get a lot of compliment cards!”

The worse part about her position is when passengers are hungry. One of the most notable changes in the industry, no doubt, is the fact they’ve stopped serving food. Fuel up before you board, and remember the “fasten your seatbelt,” light is on for your safety!

When on the ground in her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina she’s watching movies with her boyfriend, and no! He’s not the same one she was dating when she took to the air.

“We watch movies and we just hang out. He’s a great cook. We love to eat and exercise.”

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