Employee Feature Photo - Marla WelkerDon’t put me on an assembly line.  I’ll go crazy.  Working with the public is where I need to be.  My nick name “Mouth of the South” should explain it all pretty clearly.  It was chosen by pretty much everyone who knows me.

Hi!  I’m Marla Welker.  I work at the South Kingshighway Rhodes in Cape Girardeau.  I joined Rhodes in October 1998 when I realized how much I hated my factory job.  I’m proud to say that I’ve been here long enough to watch customers’ kids grow up and start their own families.  I love it when those “new grownups” visit my store and still remember me.  It makes what I do very worthwhile.

I’ve gotten to know lots of customers in my nearly 18 years here, but there’s one that really stands out in my mind.  She visits every morning for her tea with lemon and sweetener.  Without really knowing her, I always thought she was a really sweet person.  Then, I found out she founded SADI (SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence) an organization in Cape Girardeau committed to providing services to persons with disabilities to enable them to remain in their own home and community as opposed to an institution.  It all made sense to me that someone as nice as her founded such a fantastic organization.

I too take every chance I get to help people in addition to meeting new people, learning from them and appreciating them through my job at Rhodes.  I’d like to help people financially, so I’d pay off some bills and give some to charity if I ever won $100,000.  If I had more time, I’d spend it with my family.  I learned that from my life’s role models, my parents.  They were always there for my sisters and me.  If I were to be sent to a deserted island and could take only two people, I’d take my very best friends, my husband and my dog.  And, I would love to throw my customers a party right in the middle of our store to show how much I appreciate them!

Now, here’s a few funny things about me that many of my coworkers and customers probably won’t let me live down once they hear.  Playing dress up was one of my favorite things to do as a child.  “The Wizard of Oz” is the best movie to describe my life.  And here’s the big kicker, I have a unique talent of riding a broom.  So, just imagine me all dressed up and riding a broom kind of like the witch in “The Wizard of Oz.”  Yep, I probably won’t live this confession down!

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to meet me on Facebook today.  To my customers, thank you for coming to visit me.  Considering my nickname, it’s pretty obvious that I enjoy seeing anyone at work that wants to talk awhile.  I hope you all have a great weekend!