The joy of working with mom (especially when there’s leftovers)

A mother-son duo describe their 11-year journey together at Denver Water.

May 11, 2019 | By: Missy Yoder

What’s it like for both mother and son to work for the same organization?

“It’s fun. And it’s kind of weird.”

That’s exactly what Alice Montez and Nick Montez, mother-son duo, each said separately when asked about working together at Denver Water.

Nick is a supervisor and has been at Denver Water for about 11 years.

His mom, Alice, has been at Denver Water for 21 years and is a senior recruiter who helps hire new employees at Denver Water. She originally started out in the Operations and Maintenance division, and eventually moved into an administration position within the Human Resources division.

Nick and Alice stand next to each other smiling wearing Denver Water shirts.
Nick and Alice Montez, mother-son duo who both work at Denver Water. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

“I kept taking on additional duties and eventually got my degree from Regis University in Human Resource Management,” Alice said.

The summer after Nick graduated from high school, Alice was helping to fill temporary summer positions.

“At that time, Denver Water had a summer program for high school students that was like an introductory apprenticeship,” Alice said. “We hired a lot of kids to come work just for the summer. I encouraged my son to apply, and he ended up working at Denver Water that summer, while my daughter did the summer program two years later.”

Nick then went on to college for a year before deciding to enlist in the Navy.

After serving for five years, including a tour on the USS Theodore Roosevelt as a hospital corpsman, he came back home to Colorado, and back to Denver Water as that summer internship sparked a lasting interest for him.

“I started working as a temporary worker, and then a new position opened up for building maintenance,” Nick said. “Then I moved to the mechanical shop.”

Now, Nick’s a supervisor of the metal and mechanical shop.

And, for Nick, what is it like to work at the same place as your mom?

“It can be a little weird, like when someone will say, ‘Oh, you’re Alice’s kid.’ That kind of makes me laugh,” Nick said.

But the two work in different buildings and really don’t see each other all that often.

While they said they’re not embarrassed to see each other at work, they also said they have a strict rule to leave work at work.

“That’s kind of a hard and fast rule for us,” Alice said. “We keep our work life separate from our family life.”

“When we’re at home, we don’t talk about work,” Nick said. “Not to mention, there’s so many other things to talk about than just work.”

Nick Martinez posing for a picture in pipe gallery.
Nick Montez, Denver Water’s supervisor of the metal and machanical shop. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

They go to Mass together as a family on the weekends, and Nick has an 8-year-old son who loves to visit Denver Water, because not only does he get to hang out with Grandma, he gets to visit Dad in his “cool shop.”

While it can be a little hard seeing your kid at work every day, Alice also said as a parent it’s really validating when you get to see, firsthand, your son succeed.

“I’m very proud of him and very proud to see him doing well in his work. It’s really nice when people come up to me and tell me how amazing Nick is, or when they tell me he’s a good guy,” Alice said. “I mean, I think he’s a good guy, but when I hear other people tell me that, I feel like saying, ‘Yeah, you’re right! He is a good guy!’ As a parent that makes me feel good.”

“Some days, my phone will ring and I’ll hear mom say, ‘What did you bring for lunch?’” Nick said with a smile. “She loves to cook and loves to share with me. When she makes extra and brings some in for me, those are the days it’s really nice to work in the same place with my mom, because her food is awesome!”

Giving Nick food is something Alice has loved to do for years, especially when he was in the Navy.

“When he was on the ship, I’d have to bake foods that would last for his care packages,” Alice said. “But when he was stateside, I could make a batch of my green chili, freeze it, and then overnight it to him on base. It was kind of like sending a little piece of home to him, wherever he was.”

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