Imperial Printers employee keeps working, will relax on Labor Day

September 06, 2010|By DAVID STEFFEN | Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer
  • Charlene Caughey holds her dog, Jack-Jack (named by her grandson), as he spends another day at work with her Thursday at Imperial Printers in El Centro. Caughey has been with the company for 46 years and says she feels "privileged" to be the only worker to be able to bring her dog to work with her on a daily basis.

Charlene Caughey has been working for Imperial Printers for 46 years with no plans to stop, but she will take Labor Day off to relax with family.
“I like it. I’m not ever going to retire, unless they throw me out,” Caughey, 76, said with a laugh. “I don’t want to retire. I work to keep busy, at least until I get my car paid for.”
Caughey began working at Imperial Printers in 1963. While working as a den mother for Boy Scouts, a leader in the organization who worked at Imperial Printers suggested she join the team. She never left.
Caughey works as a bindery supervisor and can nimbly wrap note pads in plastic, collate carbon-copy documents and more. Her dog, Jack-Jack, accompanies her at work.
“I feel very lucky to be able to work at my age,” she said. “I love to work. I’m a workaholic.”
She described herself as a hands-on person and enjoys jewelry making and other projects. The ability to work with her hands at Imperial Printers is in line with her own hobbies, she said.
“I like arts and crafts and things like that,” she said.
“I’ve always loved to make things.”
Throughout the decades, various aspects of the job have changed, particularly technology in the workplace.
“Things are quite different now than when I started,” Caughey said. “Some things are the same. Of course, now we have computers. We didn’t have those when I started.”
Caughey has known Marvin Wieben Jr., now a partner at Imperial Printers, since he was a child. He said it’s been enjoyable having Caughey as a colleague over the years.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Wieben said. “She’s been a huge asset to Imperial Printers. She’s a pleasure to work with.”
Caughey said time flies and she is still amazed she’s working for Imperial Printers 46 years later.
“I can’t believe it,” she said. “I just can’t believe I’ve been here that long. It doesn’t seem like it.”
>> Staff Writer David Steffen can be reached at 760-337-3452 or

How Labor Day came about
Labor Day observance in the United States began 128 years ago in New York City to honor the American work force. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there is some uncertainty as to who founded Labor Day, but the Central Labor Union began the Labor Day tradition in 1882.
By 1894, several states adopted Labor Day, and in June of 1894, Congress passed an act recognizing Labor Day as the first Monday in September in Washington, D.C., and territories.
— Information courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor Web site

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles