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Days of the alarm clock are over

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By Carolyn Risner

For the first time in more than three decades, Sandra Allen won't have to rise to the shrill of an alarm clock this week.

On Dec. 20, Allen, a Chiefland native, put in her last full day of work at Green South and is ready to step into another adventure.

For more than a year the effervescent Allen knew she was going to retire and has anticipated the day she could forget about payroll, taxes and ledgers.

But that's not to say that she hasn't loved–and still loves–the contribution she has made to the area's John Deere dealership.

"I've loved it all," she said, adding there has never been a time in the last 38 years that she was not happy on the job.

So why now?

"I've worked for 40 years," she said. "I know there is someone out there who needs a job, just like I once did.

"There comes a time when you need to step down and let someone else step in."

Allen got her start Nov. 21, 1969 when Thomas Brookins hired her to work in his tractor business.

In the beginning she primarily dealt with sales and payroll, but as time went on, the business grew, expanded and took on more stores and more employees. Soon she was doing a little bit of everything.

When Brookins hired her, part of her on-the-job education was working with his accountant two days a week to learn more aspects of bookkeeping. And soon she wa doing it all.

By the latter half of the last century, there were 12 stores in the fold and Allen had more than enough work to keep her busy. Along the way she stresses that the customer is always right and those in business need to listen, and help when they can.

She says she is going to miss her work family, but hastens she's just a phone call away if they need her.

In the interim, she plans to fill her days visiting shut-ins, working more with her church, Hardeetown Baptist, and puttering in her flowers.

First up, she said is giving her house a thorough cleaning.

Sandwiched in between the new busyness of her schedule will also be time for reading, baking desserts and spending time with her husband, Raymond and her grown daughter.