Every working day for the past 13 years, Beatriz Mercado arose at 4 a.m.
in order to get to her job as a Food Service Worker by 5:30 a.m. She spent
four years in the cafeteria at Rideout Memorial Hospital, followed by
nine years in the cafeteria at Fremont Medical Center, working the breakfast and
That arduous, early-bird schedule recently changed, however, when she was
promoted to the position of Imaging Assistant in Imaging Services at Rideout
Memorial Hospital where she doesn't have to clock in until 1 p.m.
"Working the early shift in the cafeteria allowed me to be home with
my kids after school," Beatriz says. "Now that they are 24,
22 and 16, I can work later hours. My husband works the night shift at
a local elementary school, so he appreciates the fact that now we can
be together in the mornings."
In spite of the early hours, Beatriz thoroughly enjoyed working in Food
Service. "Over the years, I really got to know the people who came
to the cafeteria - patients and their families, as well as physicians
and staff," she explains. "I knew
pretty much what regular customers would be ordering, and I always tried
to give them great customer service."
Born in Mexico, Beatriz moved to Los Angeles in 1988 before coming to Yuba
City in 1991. "I really prefer the small-town atmosphere of Yuba
City," she notes. "There are too many people in L.A. "
In her spare time, Beatriz enjoys walking her dogs - a Chihuahua-terrier
mix and a Jack Russell terrier. As a "foodie," she also likes
to visit Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, where she indulges her
fondness for clam chowder and Ghirardelli chocolates.
At work these days, though, she is still tending to the needs of others.
"Fremont-Rideout is really good about helping employees advance in
their careers, and they provided excellent training for my new job,"
she says. "Now I register people for their X-rays and help make films
and CDs of the images for them. It's still customer service - it's
just not all about food."