5 Best Co-Workers of 2009

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Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer

coworkersCo-workers are always a great topic of conversation. You never run out of things to say when it comes to talking about the different types of people you work with, what you love, what you hate and how you deal with it all.

We thought we'd do a little research into some of the best -- and worst -- co-workers out there. Not just the different personality types, but real people, who do real things -- good and bad.

What we found is that too many co-workers turn to violence when they're angry, and that perfume and high heels can be dangerous weapons. But, what we also found is that many workers out there are generous, kind people who put their colleagues' lives before their own without hesitation.

Here are 10 of the most heroic -- and rogue -- co-workers people encountered this year.


1. "Co-worker helps to save a fellow employee's life"

Claude Marlowe, a diabetic, went to work one morning like any other day. When he went to shake a colleague's hand, he had a heart attack and dropped dead -- literally. That's when Debi Coffman and another co-worker, Larry Garrett, realized that this wasn't a diabetic episode; Marlowe had no pulse. The two performed CPR and chest compressions and revived Marlowe three times before emergency crews arrived. He suffered five heart attacks and was brain dead for at least two hours. He would not be alive had his co-workers not known what to do. (Nascar.com)


2. "Chandler worker helps colleague get new artificial leg"

For 30 years, Gregory Lewis, a retail maintenance worker, walked with the same prosthetic device on his left leg. As the years wore on, so did his artificial leg. One day, he lifted his foot off the ground to get into his car, and the artificial leg fell off. Lewis had no health insurance and didn't have money for a new prosthesis, which cost more than $10,000. Daniel Anderson, a code enforcement officer who moonlights as a Dillard's security guard, knew about his co-worker's struggle, and was determined to help. Thanks to friends and family, Anderson raised $1,000 and earned the rest of the money with the help of Dillard's and a local prosthetic company to buy Lewis a new leg. (The Arizona Republic)


3. "Houston transit worker helps fallen woman on Metro tracks"

When Eliot Swainson, a Houston Transit Authority employee, was volunteering for the Metro in Washington, D.C., he didn't expect to come home a hero. But that's just what Swainson became when he directed a woman who had fallen on the tracks to safety. Swainson was giving directions to other passengers when Metro patrons began yelling that someone had fallen on the tracks. He and another person unsuccessfully tried to remove the woman from the tracks. Swainson was left with one option: direct the woman to safety while the train passed overhead. He told the woman to stay as close to the edge of the track as possible, under the overhang next to the tracks to avoid getting hit. After the train passed, they cut power to the tracks and got the woman to safety. (www.dcist.com)


4. "Local hair stylist helps co-worker in distress"

Carol Morgan, a 68-year-old hair stylist, helped resuscitate co-worker who suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Sue Flood, 64, had just finished eating lunch and was washing her dishes in the sink when she collapsed. As another colleague screamed for help, Morgan ran to Flood, who had no pulse. She immediately began chest compressions and CPR. When emergency crews arrived, Flood had just started to breathe and have some movement. Morgan says that she has known CPR for 15 to 20 years but never had to use it until that day. (Pryor Daily Times)


5. Hero died saving co-worker

Earl Ramersad was a supervisor at Delta Glass, a Canadian company, for more than 10 years. He died a hero when he pushed a co-worker out of harm's way by absorbing the full impact of glass panes that fell while workers were off-loading it from a container. Colleagues said Ramersad went to help his crew when the accident happened and ended up saving someone's life instead. (Trinidad & Tobago Express)


Next: 5 Worst Co-Workers of 2009 >>


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Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CBwriterRZ.
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