DETROIT – Eva Fullwood has plenty saved for retirement, but she keeps working because she enjoys the mental stimulation and companionship among her coworkers.
Miss Eva, as she’s affectionally known, starts as a clerk at Consumers Energy more than 50 years ago, back when it was called Consumers Power. She was then a meter reader out in the field and for the past 30 years, she’s been in dispatch.
“It’s a good feeling to know where I came from and where I am now,” Fullwood said.
Fullwood, 77, is the longest tenured woman working at Consumers Energy.
“People in the field, they respect me,” Fullwood said. “And when I ask for something to be done, they do it.”
The job itself -- as you can imagine -- has changed dramatically over the decades.
“We had paperwork stacked up to here, you had to go through it all,” Fullwood recalled. “There were no computers or any of that kind of stuff.”
When Debra Dodd started more than 30 years ago, she found a mentor and friend in Miss Eva.
“She’s kind of like that Matriarch of Dispatch,” Dodd said. “We’ve talked a lot after hours, when emergencies come up and she’s always calm. She always has it handled. I just really admire that.”
Fullwood has juggled many roles -- great grandmother, fashion designer, active church member and more -- all while working nights as a dispatcher.
“When you see Eva, she is always dressed. She’s always got her makeup on. She’s always got her coordinating jewelry,” Dodd said. “I admire that.”
Dodd is set to retire in early September, but for Miss Eva?
“I tell everyone, ‘Two years from now,’” Fullwood said. “I’ve been saying that for a long time.”
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