On the Job with Bryan May - Penn-Mar

On the Job with Bryan May

Posted on April 3, 2023

By Courtenay Dudek, Employment Coordinator, DSP III | Penn-Mar Human Services
Bryan May at work in the cafeteria.

Bryan May in the cafeteria at his job at AVI Food Systems, taken by Erin Brady.

McDaniel College is set on the hill overlooking the town of Westminster. Penn-Mar has taught Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) class there for many years, covering career exploration, informational interviews, and skills and attributes pertaining to work. 

Through a connection, we have also been able to support several people in securing employment at McDaniel’s cafeteria. Of those employees, Bryan May stands out thanks to his longevity and dedication to the job. Bryan knew that he wanted a job as a dishwasher in a kitchen. He also knew that he not only wanted earn more than he had at a previous retail job, but be respected as a fellow employee. AVI Food Systems has delivered on both accounts, and Bryan has been employed by them for over five-and-a-half years.

After securing his job at McDaniel, Bryan quickly got acclimated to the work: grabbing dishes from the window, putting them in the large dishwasher, pulling dishes, placing them in racks, and then taking the clean dishes out to the cafeteria. He works in hot steam everyday, which in the winter is not too bad, but once it gets warm outside, the dish room and kitchen are sweltering. Fortunately, Bryan doesn’t mind – he says he just likes to stay busy and focus on what needs to be done.

When the dishes ebb at the window, Bryan then puts the pots and pans away in the kitchen area, which can be maze-like. But thanks to his long tenure as an employee, Bryan’s not even remotely fazed and knows exactly where everything goes. 

Kristen Miller, Bryan’s kitchen manager, sings high praise for Bryan, “He works harder than many of the employees here. He is always on time to work and is ready to work. He is amazing.”

This “ready to work” attitude has established him as a great employee no matter who his boss is. Bryan’s had a few different managers over the years, and all of them have continually praised his hard work and willingness to stay busy and help wherever needed. Not to mention the fact that he’s always up for working over the summer at the college.

Bryan is well-respected by his coworkers and bosses. It looks like he can check that “respected as a fellow employee” box! He loves working at AVI and enjoys showing staff around the kitchen and talking about his day.

Bryan is not only a pro at navigating the hot and crowded kitchen, but he also coordinates his transportation to and from work each week, utilizing Carroll Transit to make sure he can get to all his shifts. 

When Bryan isn’t hard at work, he enjoys traveling and goes to Ocean City annually. He’s been to Mexico once and Jamaica twice, and would love to go to London in the near future. He also enjoys collecting records and any form of tangible music, and going to the antique store on his block. For a night out, he’s all about nightclubs and karaoke!

Beyond being a dedicated employee, a traveler, and a music lover, Bryan is also a passionate advocate. He was proud to tell me that during former Governor O’Malley’s administration, he participated in a protest against the Maryland Assembly’s plans to cut the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) funding.

We all hope for fulfillment in our careers, and Bryan is certainly proud of his career at McDaniel. AVI managers value him as a person and employee who goes above and beyond the general expectations of the job. Bryan enjoys his life of travel, music, community, activism, advocacy, and time with friends and associates. 

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