The distress call came just before 1600 hours.
An Annapolis Department of Transportation vehicle had broken down next to City Hall. An overheated radiator, the caller said over the radio. Come quick.
When city mechanic Charlie Myers arrived, there was no smoke coming from under the hood of the white GMC sport utility vehicle. Instead, Mayor Dean L. Johnson hopped out of the truck with a big smile and congratulated him on winning the Annapolis Employee of the Year award.
"You got me," said Myers, 46, looking stunned. "I was just doing my job."
"I love it," Johnson said before Myers pulled up. "It's a little bit of theatricality."
"It's a good way to catch him at what he does best: taking care of problems."
Myers has been with the department for a little more than a year. He caught the attention of his supervisors with his friendly, helpful demeanor and diligence in inspecting city buses at the end of the day and answering emergency repair calls, said Kimla T. Milburn, Annapolis personnel director.
She said Myers won the Employee of the Month award in October after rescuing a transit driver who went into insulin shock. On hearing the call on the radio, Myers rushed to the Safeway store on Forest Drive, from which the driver had called, ran through the store to find the driver in the bathroom and drove him to Anne Arundel Medical Center. Myers made sure the driver was all right before he left the hospital that night.
"The guy needed help," said Myers, an Annapolis native who lives on Kent Island.
"He said he had pains in his chest, and he was sweating real bad, and I could relate to that being something not right because I had a heart valve operation two years ago."
Myers said he took the job with the city, on the 2 p.m.-11 p.m. shift, because of that operation, in which an aortic valve was replaced. He had been a maintenance analyst at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for eight months before his heart problems began three years ago. He returned to Maryland to be close to his family.
His mother, Joyce Myers, said she wasn't surprised that he won the award over about 425 other city employees.
"Every place he's ever worked, people have always asked him to stay or come back," she said. "He's very reliable, and he's just one of these guys who does the job right. Even if it's not his responsibility, he won't say, 'It's not my job.' "
After Johnson presented Myers with a certificate honoring him for his " 'can-do' attitude and 'how-can-I-help' manner" and a $100 savings bond, Paul Foer, the Department of Transportation's marketing specialist who planned yesterday's event, began to wrap things up.
"You're on the clock now," he said. "Get back to work."
Not so fast, Myers said. "I'm basking in my glory here."
Pub Date: 2/03/99