County employee recognized for honesty
March 1, 2018 Times and Democrat article (reprinted with permission)
Article by DIONNE GLEATON T&D Staff Writer
"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."
That quote from Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and one of America's Founding Fathers, is the foundation upon which one Orangeburg County employee has built her reputation.
Sandra Griffith says she believes in the Golden Rule of treating others the way in which she would like be treated. The soft-spoken 65-year-old conducts herself with truthfulness and straightforwardness as a GIS Tech III in the Orangeburg County Geographical Information Services Department.
Whether it is helping customers navigate through property issues, or - as she has done in the past - returning funds to someone who was overcharged, Griffith has coupled her pleasing friendliness with fairness and integrity during a more than 20-year career with the county.
It is her penchant for being honorable in her principles and actions that has earned her designation as the exemplification of honesty for the second time as part of the Orangeburg County Community of Character initiative.
While she was surprised by the honor, Griffith says she is not a bit amazed at how God helps her to do what is right.
"Every bit of that is the Lord. I tell you, if you don't have him, you don't have anything. Every day you ask him to show you a miracle. And guess what? All you gotta do is look and you will see one, two or three during the day," she said.
What does honesty mean to her?
"To me, honesty is when somebody comes in here or calls, and I listen first and then help them accomplish whatever it is that they need done. I do it in a professional and godly way. God has given me a gift to help a lot of people," Griffith said.
She has worked as a GIS Tech III since 2011 and was an intermediate technician with the county Emergency Medical Services Department for 16 years before that.
"I continue to help people," Griffith said, noting that she has tried to make good character a part of everything she has done in life.
"It's not rocket science, and if everybody would just stop for a minute and think, sometimes just a smile will make a person turn around when they're angry. They usually leave out of here smiling," Griffith said.
"All you gotta do is say a couple of kind words and smart smiling, and usually they fall right in place with you."
She has not strayed away from her parents' teaching and how they instilled in her to be honest and help others. She said those are the same values and principles she has tried to instill in her two children, Christopher and Heather, and her three grandchildren.
The Neeses resident is married to Joel Griffith and attends Neeses Baptist Church.
She said she has also displayed honesty in caring for her disabled husband, "and my children are right there with me."
Griffith said she attributes her honesty to her parents, to mentors and to several others in her life.
"I've had a lot of good people around me - my church, Bible study group, family, friends, co-workers, but mostly God," she said.
She applauds the Orangeburg County Community of Character for its efforts to promote good character within the community.
"I think the more you tell somebody about it, tell them why it helps and they see it helps, they will spread it, too," Griffith said. "All it takes is talking to or helping one person and asking the Lord to help you along the way. Be the light for him."