The Food and Environmental Division recently lost a dear friend and former colleague, Oralia Bueno. She retired in 2007 as office manager. She was with SAMHD for 35 years. Oralia was the person everyone sought for information on their leave totals and more. “She handled the payroll for our Division and had an unwritten rule – "don't call me on Wednesday or it better be important." Fiesta time was very hectic for all of us and Oralia took on extra duties and always did it well,” recalled Leonard Mechler, Senior Sanitarian, Food and Environmental Services. “She talked about her children and her husband Ernest often, and was very proud of all of them.
To always get her day started she would always ask for her favorite breakfast taco which was a chilaquiles. Her day would begin after that very well. And she made sure everyone knew when they needed to take leave, or they'd lose it by end of the year. "Oralia always had a way of making us feel more like friends than just co-workers," remembered Mechler.
The administrative group under her always felt like an extended member of her family. I speak for all of us that worked along with her when I say she will definitely be missed," said Ronnie Gomez, Administrative Assistant II. Lori Calzoncit, Senior Sanitarian said that Oralia was her office's mom and kept everyone in line, and she treated them all like family.
"These are the most valuable lessons I learned from Oralia: You are never too old to dress up for Halloween or sit on Santa's lap; banana split cake must be good for you – it’s full of bananas, cherries and pineapple; there are three seasons that you must decorate the office - Christmas, Fiesta and the Spurs playoffs; put a warm tortilla on a baby's tummy to cure cholic (I tried it in desperation at 3 a.m. and it worked, I swear!); and life is too short - enjoy every minute of it!"