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On the Job: Yvonne Langley

From her booth in the Caroline Garage, Yvonne Langley waves to 2,000 people daily.
For employees who park in the Caroline Street Garage, a friendly wave from that smiling lady in the parking attendant’s booth is as warm and welcoming as a cup of coffee. For patients, the small gesture is a beacon of comfort—just the thing to diffuse the uncertainty of a hospital experience.

Now, meet the person behind the wave, parking cashier Yvonne Langley. With her infectious laugh and quick wit, Langley is a natural with people. And there’s proof: With less than five years at Hopkins, she’s managed to rack up three Shining Stars, numerous JHMI Parking Services Employee of the Month awards, the 2003 Employee of the Year award, and the Director’s Award of Service Excellence two years in a row. This year, Langley added a prestigious Baker-King Award to the pile.

The mother of five, grandmother of 17 and great-grandmother of 18 figures she waves to about 2,000 people each day, including some 1,200 permit holders and 800 patients and visitors. Her motto? Be polite and nice to everybody. “When I see someone in a bad mood, I smile right at them,” she says. “When they smile back, I say, ‘I got you!’”

Langley loves cracking jokes—accusing those who lost their tickets of eating them, answering those who want to know the quickest way from here to there with: “There’s a helicopter on the roof.” But her lighthearted approach belies how seriously Langley takes her job, says her supervisor, Assistant Director of Parking Services LuAnn Lopez. Langley, 64, studied at night to get her G.E.D. in 2002 and continues her education with computer courses and classes in medical terminology and sign language. “If I had one of Yvonne in every garage,” says Lopez, “I wouldn’t have to come to work.”

Faced with such a compliment, Langley brushes it off with a playful wave of the hand.

—Lindsay Roylance



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