Del Cardenas has lived in Del Rio, TX her whole life. A mother of six children and grandmother to more, Del says life hasn’t always been easy. That doesn’t keep her from a perfect attendance record as a San Antonio Shoemakers employee for over 30 years!

Del says she had to make her own clothes in the earlier days and even made clothes to sell for extra money. Things started looking up for Del after working a few years at SAS. She was able to buy a truck for her son when he left for college and care for all her other kids. Now Del says she’s able to buy nice clothes for herself and eat out at restaurants; things a hard working mother sacrifices.

Del has noticed she’s a rarity in the workplace. “They don’t stay in a job like I do. They change a lot. That’s how kids are.” Del says she doesn’t want kids like her granddaughter to suffer like she did. She passes on some wisdom. “Everywhere you go the work is hard.”

Still a hard worker at age 81, Del is often told to take it easy. “They tell me, ‘take your time.’ I cannot take my time,” Del explains, “I’m used to the work.” She says some have teased her in the past about retiring, but she’s going to do what she thinks is best, and right now that’s to keep working at the SAS factory in Del Rio. At least, that’s the plan for today, “I think maybe I should be sitting down at home. But I keep up. She (Del's supervisor) can tell you."

Del's hard work and perfect attendance record, along with other employees, will be recognized and celebrated at the Service Awards lunch in December.