MELROSE PARK, Ill. (WBBM) – This is the last week on the job for a Chicago man — a forklift operator who’s retiring after 60 years at Navistar.
WBBM Newsradio 780′s Steve Miller asked Albert Triplett, 78, if he could believe it has been 60 years since he started at Navistar.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Steve Miller reports
“Yes, I can believe it,” Triplett said. “You get tired and you get old. So you picked up those 60 years somewhere.”
In 60 years of work, he’s taken only five sick days, for something called “the Hong Kong flu,” he said.
When he first punched the clock in 1951 he made $1.25 an hour as a laborer. Back then, gas was 20 cents a gallon, Harry Truman was president and Nat King Cole was topping the music charts.
He’s been a janitor, machinist, painter, tractor driver, fork lift operator. Triplett figures he’s outlasted 50 supervisors, and 10 plant managers. Ron Poland is the current boss.
“He has a great attitude. He’s here every day. He’s a role model for anybody,” Poland told CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.
Triplett has been married 55 years, raised six children and has 30 grandchildren.
He has mixed emotions about leaving the job after so many years. But don’t feel too bad for him.
“I’m going to wake up every morning and whatever I feel like I want to do, this is what I’m going to try to do,” he said.
In contrast to Triplett, most people who land new jobs will probably only keep them for four years. That’s the average span of service, according to recent surveys.