Have you ever met someone who’s always smiling despite what the day may throw at them? Thanks to more than 20 team members at our South OKC office who helped nominate Linda Frazier for Employee of the Month, we got to sit down with her and learn more about how she stays upbeat every single day.
“It’s all about attitude in the workforce,” Linda said. “You can make the day better or worse by your attitude. And I say a prayer every day, not just for me, but for everybody.”
For Linda, faith and family are the two things she says matter most to her. Everything she’s ever done has been in pursuit of nurturing her faith and taking care of her family.
In fact, Linda has been working hard all her life to help take care of her family. She took on her first job when she was only 12, working at a local gas station in Lawton, Okla.
You see, Linda was born in Vietnam to a single mother towards the end of the Vietnam War. When Linda was just a toddler, her mom met a U.S. serviceman at the end of his tour who arranged to bring Linda, her sibling and their mother to the United States.
What could have been the start to the American dream quickly turned into something more like a nightmare for this family of immigrants. Her mother and stepfather married and had two more children, but they divorced soon after, leaving Linda and her family to adjust on their own in a place where they had no one and nothing.
“She was a hard worker to begin with,” Linda said about her mom. “And to watch my mother raise four kids on her own even though she couldn’t read or write… It made me want to be like my mom. She was a strong woman.”
“We all helped and contributed where we could,” Linda said of her time at the gas station, where she worked all through school to help her family make ends meet.
Things started looking up for Linda when she met her husband, Phil. The couple married only a few months after Linda graduated high school.
But within six months of getting married, the young couple had their faith tested in a way that would shape the rest of their lives.
Linda had never planned to go to college. Not until Phil was diagnosed with lupus, anyway. He had started a driving job for FedEx that had him commuting from Lawton to Wichita Falls, Texas daily, often at night. Inexplicable pain had worn him down and their future with his diagnosis was uncertain.
“He wanted me to go to school in case anything ever happened to him,” Linda said.
Linda chose to go to nursing school and soon after, however, they moved to Texas to be closer to Phil’s job. A friend knew the couple wanted to have kids and that nursing often required long hours, making it difficult to raise a family, so when Linda transferred to Midwestern State University in Texas, she suggested that Linda try the dental hygiene program instead.
After the move, their faith was rewarded. In a blessing, Phil had started feeling better and their doctor realized that Phil had been misdiagnosed.
Linda was already in school, however, and realized she was enjoying it. Dental hygiene appealed to her, both for the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives as well as the time she’d still be able to devote to her family. She graduated and went to work in private practice.
“I really liked the hours,” Linda said. “We only worked four days a week.”
Linda and Phil remained in Texas for almost 20 years as they raised their two children and it wasn’t until Phil retired from FedEx that the family decided to move back to Oklahoma.
Leaving behind her coworkers in Texas was one of the hardest things Linda said she’d ever had to do. But knowing she needed a job in Oklahoma, Linda found a part-time opening with Dental Depot and the rest is history.
“You know right off it’s a good fit or not,” Linda said. “I walked right in and I liked it. After working a few weekends, I found out they were hiring full-time. [They] didn’t think I was going to stay because I was driving back and forth to Lawton every day, but here I am!”
It’s been 5 ½ years since Linda started with Dental Depot, and she’s been at the South OKC office the entire time.
“I adore them, we’ve just got a really good crew,” Linda said, tearing up. “I thank God every day. I had such a good [work] family in Texas and all I knew was them. I never thought I could replace that. I had good memories with them in Texas, and then to come here and be blessed again…I feel that God has really blessed me with the people I’ve worked with.”
Linda loves her hygiene team and coworkers like family and even spends time with them outside of work.
“Even on my days off, I come here!” Linda laughed. “My friends are here. We work well together and we’ll go out to lunch or dinner, or even go bowling together.”
And after everything that’s happened in her life, Linda can come into work with a smile on her face every day because she knows there’s nothing that life can throw at her that she can’t overcome with her faith and family values.
“Faith and family. With those, everything falls into place whether you’re rich or poor. Everything works out.” Linda said.
Linda and Phil recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. When they’re not at work they like to take their dog, Dora, for walks at the park. They bowl and play shuffleboard and enjoy spending time with their adult children.
Their daughter is living at home while working as a nurse and Linda loves spending time with her, shopping and getting pedicures. Her son taught her how to play Settlers of Catan and she’s been winning ever since.
Linda was nominated for Employee of the Month by Mari Delgado, manager of Dental Depot’s South OKC office, as well as several of her coworkers:
“Without a shadow of a doubt, you know that when you walk up to Linda, she will be smiling. She has to be one of the happiest people you will ever encounter. Her professionalism, dedication and passion for her every day are what everyone should strive for. It is an honor to have her at South. We want everyone to follow in her footsteps and continue to have her brighten everyone’s day with her presence.” – Mari Delgado, office manager.
“Linda is an outstanding hygienist and co-worker! She is so friendly and caring with all co-workers. She goes above and beyond in all aspects of her career. She is an example of a perfect employee!” –Melissa Stevens, RDH.
“Linda has the most wonderful, eccentric positivity. During morning huddles her exuberant yet humorous attitude makes a start of the day so much more tolerable. You know she is a fabulous person when you have patients request for her services. Linda is a brilliant worker with good work ethic and has this everlasting energy to make anyone’s day so much better. We all see her in a positive light with a touch of humor. See it for yourself if you can.” –David Nguyen, RDH.
“Linda has the most infectious laugh! She is amazing and loves what she does! Her passion for dentistry pushes me to be better every day! She is a true inspiration to me and my co-workers.” – Kadie Elder, hygiene assistant.
Dental Depot is a locally owned and operated family company. As such, we believe that the incredible group of doctors, hygienists, assistants and staff that make up Dental Depot are more than their job titles; they’re members of our extended family. In our family, we like to recognize when someone goes above and beyond, living the Dental Depot values. This March, we are proud to shine a spotlight on Employee of the Month Linda Frazier.