Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Retirement comes at the right time for KCKCC's Vickie Haynes


For Vickie Haynes, this is the right time for her to end a 22-year career at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

For starters, she’s going to be able to spend more time with a one-year-old grandson and an 11-month-old son of a niece.

An administrative assistant in Information Systems, her early retirement on Nov. 9 will also open lots of avenues for Haynes to enjoy two of her lifetime favorites – Christmas and cooking

“It’s a tradition that my mother and father started around the holidays, things I remember growing up. I want the kids to have the same memories,” says Haynes. “My mother would bake for a month before Christmas. We’d have a huge meal on Christmas and there would be so much food that everyone would come back the next day for an extended Christmas dinner of leftovers.”

At the top of her retirement list will be making candy for Christmas. Last year, she made several kinds of candy, cookies and cake and for Christmas day, “Mother and I cook three-fourths of the Christmas meal for 30-35 people,” says Haynes, who has two sons, four younger brothers, nieces and nephews and most recently, grandchildren.

When her mother, Pearl Cavender, turned 80 this past summer, Haynes planned a surprise birthday party for her.

“We had nearly 50 people and had a ball,” says Haynes. “We had so much fun that I’m already making plans for a family picnic next summer.

“I enjoy cooking and baking,” she readily admits. ”I use to decorate cakes but when you work, there’s not enough time. So now I have a stack of new recipes to try.”

Haynes works with her oldest son, Chad, who is an Information Systems professional at the College’s Leavenworth Center, and his wife, Rachel, who is Academic Support coordinator, and it is their son, one-year-old Logan, who has become the apple of her eye along with Landon, an 11-month-old son of her niece, Ashley Boyd. Haynes’ youngest son, David, lives in Independence, Mo.., and is employed at Vira-form.

Haynes lives with her mother in Shawnee after her mother’s home was set on fire about five years ago.

“We may do a little bit of traveling,” she says. “My mother wants to go back to Hawaii and I have a nephew there.”

She’s also an avid book reader of books and has three dogs (and her mother one).

“I’m not going to sit still, that’s for sure,” vows Haynes. “I may try to find a part-time job. I’ve always thought I’d like to volunteer working at a hospital. I don’t have the knowledge of a nurse but I sure have the compassion. I helped take care of my grandmother, my aunt and my dad when they were all gravely ill. And as a grandmother, I wouldn’t mind working in a nursery.”

Which would come as no surprise to her long-time co-workers.

“When my sister was out of town, she took me for an outpatient doctor’s appointment and stayed the whole time and when I came out of the anesthesia, she told me how worried she was,” says IS Network Administrator Robin Johnson. “I think of her as a sister. She’s very loyal and caring and will drop anything to help you out. I know I would want her in my corner.”

Web Designer Cindy Lahmann concurs.

“Vickie is the kind of person who is compassionate of other’s needs, has a great sense of humor, honest and would be there in a minute if you needed her,” says Lahmann. “Jobs come and go but true friends are rare and I’ll always cherish the years Vickie has been and will be in my life.”

“We always knew that our users were in good hands when they were with Vickie because of her patience and sensitivity to their needs,” says Dr. Baz Abouelenein, Dean of Information Services. “Personally, I have appreciated that professional quality and her willingness to accept assignments that were often time-consuming and laborious. We are going to miss her commitment to excellence – and her baked goodies.”

Growing up in KCK since third grade, Haynes graduated from Washington High School in 1967. “I was very shy in high school. Boy, did that change,” she says.

Her first job was with H.D. Lee, the manufacturer of Lee Jeans, where she worked for nearly six years in billing on an IBM key punch machine.

“I also worked two years for the IRS during tax time and got a lot of appreciation for a lot of hard-working people trying to assure all the forms were correct so that taxpayers could get quick refunds.”

Her second job is one she’ll never forget.

“I worked for TWA in data processing inputting tickets for cargo shipments overseas,” she says. “That really opened my eyes to the real world. We were on production and they could tell how many key strokes you made a minute, an hour, a day. It was unbelievable, very stressful. You’d get all keyed up just driving to work. It made other jobs seem like a piece of cake.”

She survived for nearly six years before marriage and the birth of son Chad in 1976 got her temporarily out of the workforce. But when money got tight, she took a job as a contract employee in a division field office of the U.S. Postal Service for nearly four years until second son, David, came along and she got involved in school – homeroom mother, Boy Scouts and such.

“When Chad was in high school at Washington and David in middle school, Chad started talking about college so I went back to work,” says Haynes . “I tried several times to get a job with USD 500. When I couldn’t get one, someone suggested the college and this is where I landed in October of 1990.”

Starting as a secretary in Continuing Education, she’s been through a gamut of jobs including GED testing, secretary in BITEC and to the Dean of Continuing Education and finally computer services (now Information Systems) where she handles all the orders and purchase requests for supplies in regards to printers and other assorted responsibilities.

“It’s ironic, several of the teachers I had in school were at the college,” she says. “Jo Hodge was my elementary music teacher; Tom Beatty taught a class while I was in high school.

“Working at the college has given me the chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and a lot of wonderful students, many of whom I will not lose track.”  


PHOTO: Spending more time with her son, Chad Haynes; his wife, Rachel, and their one-year-old son, Logan, is one of many reasons KCKCC administrative assistant Vickie Haynes-is looking forward to retirement. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins).