Cheryl Pennant loves the cold weather – at least in New York City.
That’s a good thing, since she’s a security officer whose post is the loading dock of a Durst commercial building in Midtown East. She works in the semi-outdoors, where she oversees contractors and traders, deliveries, packages and things coming in and things going out of the massive 45-story office building.
Pennant arrived in the U.S. 30 years ago, seeking better opportunities. Asked how old she is now, she says, “Close your eyes and pick any age.” But she does say she married 15 years ago, and for many years has worked clerical positions and also as a supervisor at a maintenance company where she managed 120 men. Four years ago, she made a career change, and became a security officer, another male-dominated environment.
She’s comfortable with that environment, and attributes that to her ability to communicate efficiently, get jobs done correctly, and at the same time “be kind.”
She also gives credit to a supportive property manager, the engineers, porters and head porters.
“We all work together as a team,” she says.
“Every day I try to be the best I can be, try to help as much as I can. I try to make things as easy as possible, cut out the anger period if that comes up.”
Her predilection for the cold weather, she says, comes from hating the way that hot weather plays out in the Big Apple. Even though she’s originally from Guyana, South America, a tropical country. The weather there, she says, was an easier combination to handle, a mix of rain and sun.
“As it’s below sea level, we always have that sea breeze coming off the ocean,” she says.
That’s not true in hot weather in the Big Apple. So during New York winters, “I’ll find any excuse to go out into the snow or cold,” she says.
During her time off, she’s always travelling, she says. She recently did some island-hopping to Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Haiti. And every now and then she also visits Jamaica. So Pennant saves her hot-weather moments for the tropical islands.