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Vivian Phillips

Server Garden Court Restaurant Town Centre Hotel

Constable Kerri Chard

Number of Christmases worked: 12. What I like about working Christmas: I love it. I love the people who come in on Christmas Day. Ninety per cent of them are people I serve all year round so it’s like one big party because they all know each other.

Powell River RCMP

Number of Christmases worked: I have been a police officer for over 19 years now. I have three children at home so other than during one year of maternity leave, I can't remember not putting my uniform on during the holidays. What I like about working Christmas Day: It’s the only day of the year where almost everything is closed, so it seems really quiet. While working during the holidays, my co-workers are in the same situation. We work as a team, through the good and the bad. In Powell River, I am fortunate enough to be able to go home for a quick meal break if time allows. What I don’t like about working Christmas Day: We have to bring our own Thermos - there’s no drive through open! Unfortunately, people who are calling the police for assistance on Christmas Day are usually having a really bad day. My job is to help try to make it a little better by helping families resolve conflict during traumatic, emotional times.

What I don’t like about working Christmas: I don’t really think there is anything I don’t like about working Christmas Day. It’s fun. If I’m not scheduled to work Christmas (if it falls on my day off) I always ask if I can work on Christmas Day.

Personally, it makes Christmas with the family difficult because my husband is a firefighter and sometimes we’re both working different times on Christmas. For a long time, the kids couldn’t read the calendar, so we just made Christmas a different day.

Nicest or strangest thing to happen while working Christmas: One year a gentleman came in for Christmas Dinner. He’d been coming for many years with his wife but she’d just passed away so this year he came in all by himself. Another family, who didn’t know him, asked me if I knew him. I said yes, why? They wanted to know why he looked so sad. I told them he’d just lost his wife. The next thing I knew they asked him to join them!

Nicest thing or strangest thing to happen while working Christmas Day: We’ve had random families we don’t know invite us for Christmas dinner.

Best story: We have one family I’ve served for 12 years that always comes in on Christmas Day. All 12 of them, including the grandmother. They all sing Christmas carols and hang spoons off their noses. They have a grand old time and they get the whole restaurant going.

What’s your best story about working over Christmas? I will have to give credit to some of my fellow officers who donated their own personal time and money to help a family in need during the holidays, providing them with gifts and food.

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POWELL RIVER LIVING • december 2016 •

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Powell River Living December 2016  

Meet some of the Powell River folks who aren't home with their families over Christmas because they're working. How might Donald Trump's pre...

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