EARLY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Big Country custodian was honored with the Early Employee of the Year Award for 2021. While it was her cleaning that won her the award, that is not what her co-workers are talking about.

A custodian’s job mostly goes unnoticed. Workers will leave for the night, come back to work the next morning and maybe find a few items shuffled around on their desk.

During the evening or early morning hours, custodians are deep cleaning facilities so that everyone can work in a safe, clean environment.

Imagine if you take a custodian out of the workplace. You could imagine trash cans piling up, dirty sinks and foul odors filling the air. It’s a job that goes unnoticed until it’s not done.

These days that is not an option, as we continue to battle the spread of Covid-19.

That is why Genoveva Martinez won the city of Early’s Employee of the Year Award.

“Oh yeah, I have it in my house in my room, so every time I get up I see it and say ‘oh, that’s mine’” Martinez said proudly.

Genoveva Martinez receiving Employee of the Year Award

While it was her cleaning that won her the award, it isn’t what her co-workers are speaking about.

“It’s always just ‘hi how are you doing everybody’ and greets everyone,” Early Police Chief David Mercer said. “It’s really pleasant to have her around and be as bright and cheerful as she is.” 

Her efforts during long, tiring hours didn’t go unnoticed to many of the city officials, who knew she worked two different cleaning jobs every day. Even when she was tired, she always came in with a smile and a positive attitude.

“It can be a bad day and she’s at the top of the hill, she’s just as sweet of a person as anyone could have around. You know, she works hard and she’s always doing something,” Chief Mercer said.

City Secretary Brenda Kilgo said anytime Genoveva would walk into their office, you wouldn’t have to see her to know her presence was there. She said that Martinez could light up any room, any day of the week.

“It’s very infectious, it’s one of those [smiles] that you can be off thinking about something else or other worries going on and she pops in and her smile translates to your smile.” Kilgo said.

Her work ethic, infectious and loving personality made her the perfect candidate for the job, and Martinez makes sure that her co-workers know they are loved and appreciated. She said all of her workers are like family to her.

“They cared about me; they know I did a good job…. I mean, I feel special,” Martinez said.

Even better news for the City of Early, Martinez said she has no plans to retire anytime soon. She even told her son that she would work until she was 90-years old.

“I want to keep working because I love my job and I love my workers,” Martinez reasoned. “I love everybody.”

Chief Mercer said what Martinez did during the Covid-19 pandemic, in keeping all 10 of her locations clean and safe, is more work than he could have imagined. He also said there wasn’t a better, more deserving candidate for the award.