When we invited our community to send in photos of essential workers on the job, we expected we'd hear from folks in health care and public transit, financial services providers and grocery stores, even zoos and veterinary offices.
We did not, however, anticipate a T-Rex mopping the lobby of a hotel.
Jerry Bettis, director of sales at the SpringHill Suites Downtown Cameron Harbor, has a range of costumes he wears to get smiles from colleagues and guests, and he figured everyone could use a grin these days.
"I originally wore it that day to try to improve morale with the team and my boss with everything that's happening," says Bettis, who has been with 3H Hotels for two years and at the SpringHill Suites since February. "The guests seemed to really enjoy it, too."
Back in the days when he made regular sales calls, he dressed up to break the ice and make an impression, Bettis says. Cupid around Valentine's Day, the Grinch close to Christmas, that sort of thing.
"I've found that whenever you're visiting people making sales-related visits, they don't typically want to talk to you, and the costumes help break the barrier," says Bettis, who will be decked out in American flag pants, suspenders, and sunglasses on the Fourth of July.
Business at the hotel has been slow during the pandemic, as it has across the industry, but there are some glimmers of hope, Bettis says.
"It's actually picking up a little bit," he says. "We're muddling through, and as summer goes on, we hope we'll see things pick up more."
Thanks to our friends, neighbors and colleagues for all you're doing to get to the other side of this challenging time. And thanks to Jerry Bettis for definitive proof that a T-Rex can mop a floor, even with those tiny arms.
Visit here to see how essential workers from across the region make sure the work gets done during the pandemic.