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Discover the Secret Behind 40 Years of Perfect Attendance

July 24, 2017

More than 14,500 days have passed since Ken Peddicord began working at FedEx in 1977. During that time, he witnessed major company milestones, including the introduction of the Overnight Letter in 1981, the ability to track a package online in 1994 and the rebranding of the parent company from Federal Express to FedEx Corporation in 2000.

Peddicord, a ramp agent based outside of Cincinnati, recently reached a milestone of his own: 40 years of perfect attendance.

Find out the secret behind Peddicord’s streak and how a sixth grade sickness started it all.

Ken Peddicord Then and Now

FedEx: First of all, congrats on your streak! How does it feel to have never missed a day of work in 40 years?

Ken: Right now I’m a little bit sick. Kidding! It feels good. I’ve been blessed to have had many years of good health. Timing is everything. Everyone has their bad days. For me they just happened to fall on a weekend or at the end of my shift. I was able to get through it.

FedEx: What’s the secret?

Ken: My mom set the bar high. She used to work in an elementary school cafeteria for about 30 years. She never missed a day. I think it’s a mindset. If you’re not feeling well in the morning, you believe you’ll feel better the next hour and then the next. I remember waking up [on a weekend] and telling my wife that if today were a work day, there was no way I would have made it. I just got lucky.

FedEx: Was perfect attendance a point of emphasis from the very beginning or did the streak just start to build without any intention behind it?

Ken: I didn’t have a goal to achieve perfect attendance. Back when I was in elementary school, we had teacher in-service days once a year on a Thursday and Friday. I remember my last class before in-service days in sixth grade. I told my teacher I wasn’t feeling well. She took me to another room and gave me a Coke to settle my stomach. I felt guilty [for missing out on class]. I went home that night and got really sick. The next day my mom took me to the doctor, and I had my appendix removed. I haven’t missed a day of anything since then.

FedEx: As the streak grew longer, did you ever start thinking about it? Did that motivate you to keep going?

Ken: FedEx gives awards every year, and there is one for perfect attendance. I have a stack of these awards now. Along the way, people would come up to me and ask if I still had the perfect attendance streak going. That made me aware of it every year. Once I got into the 20-25 year range, I started setting a goal to make it one more year. It was kind of like a one year contract.

FedEx: Do you remember a day or time when you thought you’d have to break the streak?

Ken: I had some sort of bronchial thing one time over the weekend. Every time I would cough, I had pain shooting up my back. I thought I wouldn’t be able to go in if it continued beyond the weekend. I work Tuesday through Saturday. By the time Tuesday rolled around, I felt better. That was the closest call I can remember.

FedEx: For those who don’t know what a ramp agent does, tell us what a typical shift is like. Is it a physical job?

Ken: I’ve been a ramp agent since 1993. I come in around 2:30 a.m. and start setting up. My coworkers and I rotate jobs. Someone is in the building to handle the freight that comes off the aircraft to make sure it gets sorted and sent to the right station on a truck. Someone else is working the flight line and making sure everything out by the aircraft is going well. We do this so that when someone is on vacation, we are all familiar with each other’s jobs. You are pushing cans and containers on scales, weighing them and pushing them on and off dollies. Every once in a while when we sort the freight, you might have to jump in there and handle boxes.

FedEx: Do you think the physical nature of the job has kept you in shape and helped your immune system?

Ken: I’m sure it has. Before I was a ramp agent, I dispatched for 13 years. That was a desk job and involved a lot of sitting. I always said if a ramp agent job opened, I would try and get into that area of work. Fortunately I did. I sit at a desk sometimes, but there is at least a 50/50 split between sitting and moving around.

FedEx: How has FedEx changed since you started in 1977?

Ken: It’s changed so much. In the beginning, I was just looking for a part-time job at the airport while I was going to school. I was hoping to get on with one of the bigger airlines, most of which aren’t even around any longer. It didn’t take long for me to see that FedEx, or Federal Express as it was called back in those days, was an up and coming company. We were growing by leaps and bounds. In Cincinnati we only had one station back then. Our goal was 300 packages a day. We were breaking those records every week and every day and kept expanding. When I first started, we were getting small prop planes and Beechcraft and DC-3s. The Falcons, of course, were the mainstay until Boeing came on. Once that happened, the company took off.

FedEx: Do you have a favorite memory working at FedEx?

Ken: My favorite memory happened back in the 80s when [FedEx founder, Chairman and CEO] Fred Smith came up with the idea for Zapmail. I was able to go around and train people how to use it, how to send a document and everything that went with it. There were four people chosen to go to the Memphis Hub to train people who would serve as support for those in the field. I spent three months in Memphis and sat in on meetings with Fred Smith and many of the VPs. I was just a little guy from Cincinnati and had the chance to see how big the corporation was. It was very impressive. I met Mr. Smith several times, and it was a treat.

FedEx: Any final thoughts for our readers?

Ken: We have a couple [ramp transport] drivers here in Cincinnati whom I’d like to mention. Jim Koester is coming up on 40 years of accident-free driving. Randy Jones is coming up on 35 years of the same. I wanted to give those guys a shout out. I just have to show up to work, but they have to go out there and manage on the road and drive safely. Salute to those guys.

My life has evolved around FedEx. I met my wife at FedEx. We’ve been married for 37 years. I have a daughter, Adrienne (29) and son, Evan (27). It’s been great for my family. Being at FedEx that long, you also get an extended family. You develop special bonds with those people. At [the AGFS ramp outside of Cincinnati], we have a great management team. We all get along and our goal is to deliver the Purple Promise to our customers.


Comments

    Rob Wibright says:

    Great job Ken! You are an inspiration to us all and a great example of what delivering the Purple Promise means. BZ on a job well done!

    Kraig L Robertson says:

    Awesome accomplishment Ken!!!

    Sherri Stephens says:

    What an accomplishment!!! you should teach “how to become a perfect employee attendance class” I admire you.. Bravo TO YOU… Sherri Stephens

    Arturo Perez says:

    What a legend! It’s great that FedEx takes the time to recognise this gentleman.

    Tracy Purifoy says:

    How we present ourselves comes from our parents. This is an awesome achievement.

    Flor Lases says:

    Congratulations Ken
    A real example of congruency and can do attitude ¡¡

    teresa s engle says:

    BRAVO ZULU TO YOU! WHAT A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT DID ENJOY READING ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AT FEDERAL EXPRESS, NOW FEDEX. CONGRATULATIONS! I DO REMEMBER ZAP MAIL. I HAVE NINE MORE YEARS TO CATCH UP TO YOU…FROM EL PASO, TX

    Rosa Jimenez says:

    Way to Go Ken!! #goals

    Dawn Weaver says:

    What a great story and an amazing accomplishment! Definitely a great example of ‘Quality Involving Teamwork’. Thank you for sharing this with us. Congratulations.

    Tobias Noorlander says:

    Impressive streak! Stay healthy!!

    Craig Ford says:

    Congratulations Ken! That is an incredible streak. Do they call you “Iron Man” at CVG?

    Robert Broderick says:

    Ken, what a streak! Thank you for all that you do and have done over these 40 years to make FedEx a great company! BZ!!

    Pankaj Anthony says:

    Greeeeat.. Truly Inspirational….

    Kelly Mentillo says:

    What an awesome accomplishment which is very very rare as well.

    Kevin Platt says:

    Congratulations Ken!!…well deserved recognition for a well-deserving guy!

    Betty says:

    congratulations. 40 years of commitment. Blessings to you and your family.

    Gene Fitin says:

    It all starts with good ethics, and Ken illustrates this in an inspiring way. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

    Alfred Green says:

    Great Job Brother ken ,,,,,,,,May God kept on blessing yon…well done.

    Sam Disharoon says:

    Dear Ken, I am inspired by your loyalty to Federal Express {FedEx} for 40 some years with perfect attendance! In 1984 I began my career at Federal Express as a Zapmail Courier in Atlanta. I remember the challenges, awards and innovation that Mr. Smith invested in this endeavor. We too are a FedEx family. I have a son that is an Ops Manager in Dallas and we have weekly discussions on business matters and the corporate structure moving forward for investors. Keep healthy and BZ to you my Friend!

    Jamie Curtis says:

    I admire your attitude and love for this company! Congrats to you!

    JOAN BENTLEY says:

    CONGRATS KEN!! THAT IS AWESOME! VERY FEW WILL ACCOMPLISH THAT AND TO BE BLESSED WITH GOOD HEALTH! MAY YOU CONTINUE YOUR STREAK EVEN AFTER YOU RETIRE! FEDEX PROUD!!

    Kunal Mehta says:

    Such am impressive feat Ken ! Hats off to your commitment and doing it over and over again.. Wish you a very healthy life ahead as well.

    Donna Medford says:

    An awesome autobiography of your work, lifestyle, and experience at Express. May you continue to have good health.

    Jessica Andrade says:

    Amazing accomplishment!

    nancy clark says:

    A really exceptional milestone Congrats !

    Jeff Smith says:

    BZ!

    Prasad Adusumilli says:

    Amazing Ken! Congratulations

    Kimberly Hyrne says:

    Wow! 40 years, and super humble, even taking an opportunity to give other’s “shout outs” . Class act. Thank you for your example.

    Scott Harkins says:

    BZ! What a great story.

    Carly Evans says:

    The character of Ken is classically shown by the fact that in his moment of shine, he gives congratulations to his coworkers on their milestones. Just an all around great person! Congrats Ken, we’re proud of you! 🙂

    Renee says:

    What a story! Not only of your work, but sharing of your FedEx and personal family. Even though the story was of you and what an accomplishment, you also took the time to do a shout out to those around you. Stories and people like you make me proud glad to be part of the FedEx family.

    Allen Winfree says:

    Congratulations Ken!! You are absolutely one of the few. Rest assured, and I think I can speak for your “extended family”, is very proud to have you among us all. I loved your unselfish comments at the end about your co-workers accomplishments. Very noble Ken!

    Jan Hunink says:

    Outstanding! Thank you for you contribution. 40 years of perfect attendance and a positive attitude. You are an inspiration!

    Carol Rhodes says:

    Awesome! Congratulations, Ken!

    rodney a williams says:

    what a great person employee and team member
    he is mr.fedex

    Mike Barnes says:

    Congrats Ken … I have been with FedEx for almost 32 years with no sick days also.

    Victor Alejandro Aguilar Orozco says:

    More people are needed with that attitude many good wishes and congratulations to Fedex for having and recognizing this effort

    Sandy Jacobs says:

    I would love to say I had that record! Congratulations

    T. Fils-Aime says:

    Congrats, Ken! That’s an amazing achievement, 40 Years of perfect attendance. It’s very aspiring. Also, kudos to Jim and Randy for 35+ years of accident-free driving.

    chuck siegfried says:

    congratulations #6968 from #6966. Awesome stuff and to think you did it all while working in op’s. That is impressive.

    Bev Bauer says:

    I remember first talking to Ken when I became an ops administrator for Central Region in 1994. Ken always sent out great recaps for CVGR & was always helpful if I had any questions. Always had a can-do attitude and it does not surprise me that he has 40 years of perfect attendance!! FedEx could not ask for a better team member! Congrats to you, Ken, and thank you!!

    Ellen Vannucci says:

    Congrats, Ken! FedEx is fortunate to have you!

    Derek Peyton says:

    BZ Ken! Amazing accomplishment and achievement.

    Melanie Crouch says:

    Amazing achievement Ken! FedEx is lucky to have you!!

    Robin Rice says:

    Great job KP!!

    GOUTAM GUHA ROY says:

    Amazing Ken! Wishing you always a healthy life. God bless!

    Monte Henderson says:

    OUTSTANDING!!

    Donna Kautz says:

    You are a fine man Kenny with character and integrity. Love you!

    Janice Glenn says:

    What a great story Ken. Most children watch their parents’ work ethics as they are growing up and you definitely have your mother’s work ethics. I am sure the weather in Cincinnati during the winter months are horrible, but you managed to make it to work anyway. I encourage all managers to have their employees read your story!

    ashok kumar says:

    Congratulations ken 40 years prefect attendance .

    Felix A. Vargas, Jr. says:

    The reward of a thing well done is having done it. You have done that. BZ to you Ken.

    OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

    Wanda Granville says:

    Absolutely remarkable and demonstrates commit at its finest. Great job and thank you for being a trend setter!

    Wanda Granville says:

    Commitment

    Troy Swope says:

    Congrats! What a milestone and a great story! Gave me goosebumps! Thanks for sharing.

    Go FedEx!!

    Cindy Polson says:

    Bravo Zulu! What an amazing accomplishment! I’m in Sales in Tulsa and my operations partners are always an inspiration to me and Ken is an inspiration to us all!!!

    Patricia Dover says:

    There is also a 32 year perfect attentance employee, in Memphis, TN Domestic Trace Department. Nancy Craft GREAT JOB TO THE BOTH of them.

    Pam Goldsmith says:

    Awesome achievement and glad to hear someone has been around to remember Zapmail!!!

    Phyllis Lamb says:

    Congrats!! What an amazing accomplishment. Great Job!!

    Carmelita Meafua says:

    Great Job Ken…..You have 10 years on me….I am reaching 30 years of perfect attendance. I am now at the SCKA Stockton, Ca station. I know of one other former co worked at SQLA, South San Francisco, Ca that has perfect attendance I would guess 35 years now ! I accept the challenge and will continue to keep up with you…lol

    Mark Luttmann says:

    Legendary! Congratulations on your accomplishment, Ken 🙂

    Mary Jane Wiethe says:

    Hi Ken,
    I loved reading your story!! 40 years of PERFECT attendance!!! Wow! A truly astonishing accomplishment! Congratulations! Additional props for recognizing co-workers who have amazing safety records.

    Susan Carr says:

    This is quite an accomplishment!

    Tina Jones says:

    Congratulations Ken, what a milestone to achieve! Your humble spirit in recognizing colleagues is also worthy of praise.

    Bob Billings says:

    Awesome Ken! You should be very proud of this accomplishment. You clearly have tremendous integrity. wishing you continued good health…

    Mike List says:

    Ken (KP)is a great role model for all of us. I’m grateful to have know Ken for many years! Great job!

    Cindy Slavinsky says:

    WOW! WOW! WOW! — wishes for 40 more years of continued health.

    Sean Breed says:

    Congratulations Ken on an awesome accomplishment! You have an extrordianry work ethic!

    Karen Bunning says:

    Ken is the eptimome of what built FedEx into what it is today. His attitude and dedication has always been inspirational for those of us that had the privilege of working with him. Congrats Ken,you are awesome.

    Susana Rodriguez says:

    Congrats! 40 years on perfect attendance is amazing!! You deserve to be recognized. Here’s to 40 more years.

    Beth Moore says:

    Congratulations, KP, you are an inspiration to us all and nothing less than a LEGEND !!!….God bless you for another 40!

    Leigh McKinsey says:

    We need to figure out how to bottle your attitude and add it to the drinking water. What a great work ethic; your mom and mine must be related!! Congratulations.

    Mark DeCordova says:

    Kool…..congrats, great attitude

    Jene Rice says:

    Nothing short of inspirational your work ethics has been. Nothing short of motivational your demeanor at work has been. Nothing short of professional you have been..Thanks for all you do and being a mentor to us all!!

    Gloria Jones says:

    Congratulations Ken! You are an amazing person to have 40 years of perfect attendance. You are truly an inspiration.

    Chris Novak says:

    Ken…congratulations! Truly amazing and you are a great representative of FedEx. It’s been an honor and privilege to know you and work with you in training all these years!

    Matt Stultz says:

    WOW! Congratulations Ken,such an unheard of accomplishment these days. You are a great guy and miss working with you. Take care!

    Amit Sangani says:

    Hello Ken, Well Done and Congrats on 40 Years of Perfect Attendance !! Great Milestone and inspiration for many Team Members across the various FedEx Operating Companies.

    Very cool about spending time with Mr. Smith and working in Memphis. Wishing you perfect attendance for many more years to come.

    Regards,

    Amit Sangani
    Network Operations
    FedEx Office

    Maureen Portella says:

    Ken what a great story. Congratulations! Purple ♥ all over.

    David Farrill says:

    Great accomplishment!!!!!

    VIJAY SHARMA says:

    Great Job ! You are truly an inspiration and an Asset for the Company.

    Jackie Oppelt says:

    Way to go KP, Happy Thanksgiving !

    Monica Rahe says:

    Congrats Ken!! Knowing all the care you gave to your mom and your family along the way makes your perfect attendance even more amazing.

    Lloyd Cate says:

    Congrats! Its a special thing and good to see FedEx recognize it.

    STANLEY E PINKNEY SR says:

    CONGRATS KEN!!KEEP UP THE WITH YOUR PERFECT ATTENDENCE.CODOS TO YOU.

    Carol Morin says:

    WTG Ken…. what a great accomplishment… and by your responses you are a team player…. Kudos to you for giving props to others during your time of recognition. The Purple is in you!

    Jennifer May says:

    I’m inspired. I like the part about feeling better later – yes. That’s awesome. God bless you,

    Rhonda Sanders says:

    Wow what dedication! And wonderful that you have been recognized. Congrats!

    Renee Clark says:

    That is an inspiring story. Thank you for your dedication and work ethic. I appreciated your shout out to others; they deserve it too!

    Fred Klein says:

    What a great accomplishment!! Congratulations to a stand up individual..

    Kevin Switzer says:

    Congrats on all your hard work and achievements glad to have you as a brother-in-law good going Kenny P

    RAVI KIRAN says:

    Its an great job to do the jod for 40years continuously.

    Tyrone S. says:

    Simply WOW!!!

    Peggi LaGreca says:

    CONGRATS KEN!!!!! WOW 40 Years!!! Great accomplishment!! You are such pleasure to work with. Here’s to many more years of great health AFTER you retire!!!

    Katie Downen says:

    Wow, amazing! Congrats!

    Susan Shettles says:

    Bravo Zulu, Ken! Congratulations!

    Carolyn Toms says:

    CONGRATULATIONS KP!!!!! It was a great pleasure working with you over the years!!! Take Care!!

    susan w hopkins says:

    Like Cal Ripken, you are the Iron Man of FedEx. Congrats!

    Sherry A Devlin says:

    WOW!!!! Just……..WOW!!!

    Amy Schmidt says:

    What a great accomplishment, Ken! Congrats on 40 years!

    Kevin Clark says:

    First off, just being 40 years at any job is simply incredible, but then to find out you’ve never missed a day of work? I thought I misread it, but nope, it’s true. Never missed a day in 40 years! That’s an unbelievable accomplishment that may never be matched again anywhere. Congratulations on legendary achievement.

    Don Bradfield says:

    Congratulation Ken, You have been truly Blessed. That is a major accomplishment, and I am sure that you have it in you to finish your career with FedEx in that same fashion. May God bless you and your family, and I am glad to call you a friend and co-worker.

    Felicia Tagivakatini says:

    You are a inspiration to all. CONGRATS!!! Thank you for all your hard work and being a great example to all of the younger employees.

    Michelle Mederos says:

    Truly Impressive!
    I pride myself when a year passes by without calling in sick. Can’t even imagine 40yrs!

    Michelle
    Ramp Agent
    PDXR

    Pragati Sethia says:

    Wow Ken ! Congratulations on achieving such a great feat ! Almost unheard of ..
    Best wishes to you for your continued good health 🙂

    Roxi D says:

    Congrats Ken for your 40 years…awesome accomplishment :-)23 more years for mine 🙂

    Linda Eckel says:

    Ken, congratulations on such an incredible accomplishment! To many years of continued good health.

    Trinka McCabe says:

    Congrats! Amazing to have 40 years of perfect attendance. Best of Luck as you venture forward. BZ!

    Tara Graham says:

    Very impressive, congratulations. I love the mindset of setting another goal with each milestone. Cheers!

    Carley Anderson says:

    Ken, you are Awesome!!!

    Leesa Cary says:

    That’s pretty darn amazing! Congratulations Ken.

    Jayraj Thakkar says:

    Amazing will power! Congrats Ken! 40 down; 20 more to go 🙂

    Dave Lynn says:

    Outstanding accomplishment Ken. Thanks for all the help you have given me and my crews over the past 12 years.

    Kim Patik says:

    Congratulations Ken. I know how hard it is sometimes but we are probably old school. We got people depending on us. I have 31 years not calling in sick, that’s small potatoes compared to you. I have something to strive for. Stay healthy. Kim Patik

    Kesha Bennett says:

    Congratulations Ken! I only have about 10 years of perfect attendance & I understand 1st hand how sometimes it’s just timing that keeps me going. I admire your accomplishment & your humility to recognize your great team members also.

    Margaret Ricketts says:

    Congratulations Ken, I admire your accomplishment of perfect attendances. You don’t know me but I had to congratulate you..

    Ibelise Moreno says:

    Impresses me Ken , congratulations . I only have 20 years ….

    Kelly Tunstall says:

    Kudos Ken! What an awesome accomplishment!

    sherry sarkine says:

    WHAT A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

    Linda Siggers says:

    EXCELLENT!!!! Achievement throughout your work history. You have been truly blessed with EXCELLENT health. You have achieved a world record for perfect attendances. GREAT JOB on your success :)….

    Tricia Wolford says:

    Congratulations Ken! Thank you for all that you do. Amazing!

    Gary Jefferson says:

    Great Article ! BZ to Ken Peddicord ! Outstanding Attitude and Such a Class Act….

    yasir jamal says:

    Great Story!

    Brian Ellis says:

    BZ to you Ken!!! This is a huge accomplishment and I believe I speak for all of AGFS when I say we’re proud to have you on our team!!! Great job and keep up the good work!!!

    Joe Sheffield says:

    BZ to you Ken! You and what spirit you have keeps FedEx above others!
    Joe

    Sharoela Wright says:

    Way to GO PK… Great story!

    Aryak Chatterjee says:

    GREAT GREAT Dedication

    Damian Andwan says:

    Ken, Congrats on your streak of attendance. Best Wishes..

    Christy Taylor says:

    Congrats Ken! You encouraged me to push through on bad days and believe the next hour or the day will get better. Thank you!

    Karol Kodman Long says:

    Congrats Ken! A terrific accomplishment!! I remember when you came to CLE to train us for Zapmail!! I’m retired now after 31 years. Best of luck in the future!

    Toni Jones says:

    Congratulations Ken, worked with you couple of times from DAYR, You were always positive and helpful. What an accomplishment.

    Sharon McNeal says:

    Congratulations Ken. Please pass a shout out to your mom. Great parenting (and U R a great student of what’s necessary for successful life-not just successful job). I used to inform new hires that being to work on time, every scheduled shift is 90 % toward success at Federal Express.

    JoiAnderson says:

    Thank you sir for sharing such an amazing story. Be blessed with many more days of healthy living.

    Karen Fredericks says:

    Ken, congratulations! What an accomplishment that not many people can claim!!! BZ to you!!!

    Apple Banaag says:

    Wow, totally amazing! I’m so inspired!!!!! Stay healthy Ken! Salute!

    Chita-Mulianing Tyas says:

    Truly inspiring, Ken! Congratulations!

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