Brian and Angela Anderson move forward after tragedy. Photos by Keith Borgmeyer As you turn down the long gravel path toward the Andersons’ home...
The average person living in Boone County might take for granted the ease of their morning commute. Sure, that guy who cut you off this morning was pretty annoying, and why is merging onto the highway so difficult for some people? It’s easy to forget how fortunate those driving experiences really are. Luckily, Boone County has Melanie Mayes watching its back. As the assistant supervisor of MoDOT Boone County, Melanie is dedicated to ensuring the safety of county citizens and the employees she oversees. She began working for MoDOT as a seasonal employee in May of 2006. A few months later, she began working full-time at the Williamsburg facility. It was in March of this year that she began her job as assistant supervisor in Boone County. This will be Melanie’s first winter here, and it is going to be an intense change from the rural roads she has worked on in the past. Her greatest concern is keeping her co-workers safe as they care for the dangerous, icy roads that can only come from a mid-Missouri winter. But this mother of five is up to the challenge. At home and at work, she thrives on her busy schedule. Whether she is responding to a problem at the construction site at Rangeline and I-70 or getting her daughter to volleyball practice, this is a woman who gets the job done.
4:30 a.m.: Melanie is awake. After all, she has a 40-mile commute into Columbia.
5:30 a.m.: On her way into work, she is catching up with her sisters on Voxer, an app that works like a walkie-talkie. Despite being spread out in different parts of the country – mid-Missouri, Arizona and even Southern California – the women manage to take this time out of their days to check on each other.
6:15 a.m.: Melanie arrives at the MoDOT facilities in Columbia. Today is going to be an in-office day. As assistant supervisor, she does not get to go out in the field as much as she’d like to, but she enjoys working so closely with her co-workers. Her responsibilities now include making sure her co-workers are safe and assigning them to any problems people might be encountering on Boone County roads.
7-8 a.m.: This time is often spent dealing with the business-side of things at MoDOT. Working with financial services and the logistics of their complex operations are just some of the responsibilities that accompany Melanie’s promotion to assistant supervisor.
8:30-10:30 a.m.: Always safety focused, Melanie is providing a first aid class to the facility’s construction office. This is part of an effort to increase awareness of MoDOT’s Statewide Safety Day, which occurred this year on October 8th. This class is a way for Melanie to remind all MoDOT employees of safety’s importance and to continue spreading the message of safety across the county.
11:30 a.m.: Lunch time. No matter where they are, at the office or responding to a call, MoDOT employees across the state are encouraged to take this time to relax after their long mornings.
12:30 p.m.: Now it’s time for Melanie to catch up on emails. Most of what she receives is customer service requests. She will quickly assign these to members of her team while making sure any emergencies are given top priority.
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.: As part of MoDOT’s preparations for winter, Melanie goes through the facility’s entire lot with one of their engineers. They are gathering a list of what they need, checking equipment and getting rid of anything that could be a safety hazard. All of this must to be done so that MoDOT employees are as safe as possible on the slick winter roads.
5 -6 p.m.: Melanie is on her way home. This is her time to unwind. Usually she is listening to the Foo Fighters and other alternative music, but as a guilty pleasure, she searches for some Pitbull for today’s drive.