Charles Carter, Assistant Cook

Charles Carter Meat Cutter

Charles Carter is an assistant Cook in the Johns Hopkins Hospital kitchen, which is located underneath the Orleans Street parking garage.











My name is Charles Carter. I’m classified as an assistant cook, but I just say “meat cutter” because I don’t do too much cooking. I slice the meat.

Like today, I’ll process these 20 turkeys—these weigh about 18 pounds each—so 300-some pounds of turkey. On an average day, I process anywhere from 800 to 1,000 pounds of meat. You have cheeses cut first: cheddar, Swiss. The machine is cleaned, and then I did turkey, smoked turkey. Cleaned it, and did corned beef, cleaned it, then roast beef.

Most people don’t understand the health nature with hospital food. Some people have to learn to eat again, so they puree. If a person can’t have salt in his diet and gets something that’s salty, he’ll be sick. You don’t want to come to the hospital and get sick. That’s why we spend so much time on safety cleaning.

Early on, a lot of the people I met taught me how to work and stay employed because I had never had a job more than a year. I was working with Ryan Homes before I came to Hopkins... I started here, I was 33. Twenty-seven years ago… I started out working in the store room. Then for unseen reasons, I started slicing meat.

It’s physically demanding because you’ve got to stand, and you’re in cold conditions. The process of cleaning machines… carrying boxes, cases of meat, load’em up, bring’em back, it’s a lot of work. One reason I took the job is because it offered all holidays and weekends off. That was really inviting.

The beauty of it is I’ve been doing this for 20-some years and only cut myself once. That was by accident, stupidity.

My father used to say whatever you can be, be the best at it. That’s what I try to do. You can tell by way I talk, I enjoy it. It’s a good job, you get the bills paid. I don’t go hungry. Plus, you eat pretty good when you’re working here. I met a lot of good people and good friends coming here.

One thing about Johns Hopkins is overall, it’s prestigious. So you put that on your application, it means a lot. That’s why when people ask about certain things, I say: Johns Hopkins doesn’t owe me anything. They really don’t, because I came here not knowing anything, and look what I gained. I got a trade I can take anywhere in the world.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

Charles Carter, Assistant Cook, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }


Jonathan July 11, 2017 at 8:25 am

Thank you!


Jackie July 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

Thank you Mr. Carter Hopkins does owe you more than you think.
Because of the positive example you have been for over 20 years to other employees.
That have learned from you. May God Bless you to keep doing what you doing!
Many Thanks to your team for the services all of you provide each day without complaints.


Judy June 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

That was beautiful. I, too, have been here at Hopkins for 33 years, in the same department. I agree with everything you just said Mr. Carter. Keep up the excellent work.


Opal June 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

I agree with some of the enclosed comments. It is great to hear stories from employees that thrive and grow here. In particular, stories from the support staff. This organization employees so many great people that are working hard to reach their goals. It is encouraging to reflect on their testimonies.


Katie May 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Thanks for your hard work and great attitude! It is employees like you that make Hopkins great! Thank you for taking pride in cleaning off your machine. I have two children with Celiac Disease and it's so nice to read about someone in the food industry who understands the importance of cleaning.


Bertha May 7, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Job well done Mr. Carter. There is the saying, "do what you love and love what you do" and you have displayed that. Thank you for putting the patients first which is the way to go. I salute you!


F.A. Phillips May 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Hats off to you Mr. Carter! Behind the scenes and getting done. You are an inspiration to me and I'm sure to others who call Hopkins our work place. Thanks for all you do.


Myrtle May 6, 2017 at 7:09 pm

It is so nice to read about the unsung heroes of the hospital. Charles is inspiring and Hopkins can use more people like him, no matter the job they are hired to do.


Vanessa May 5, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Good job. Good story.


S. Bailey May 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Great job! I look forward to hearing more stories in the future. One day I'll stop by to get a turkey sandwich!


diane May 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

To the editors of this publication - please do more stories like this. It was a very heart warning story.
Thank you for what you do every day. I found your story very enlightening and enjoyable to read. However, I do disagree with you a bit. Hopkins does owe you a safe place to work and much gratitude for your continued employment. Thank you


Cynthia May 5, 2017 at 10:37 am

Thank you, Charles, for all that you do for the patients and staff at Johns Hopkins. I appreciate and thank you for the pride you display in your job. You're an inspiration.


Rhea Dubs May 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

Thank you for your years of dedication in a demanding job. You can tell you take Pride in what you do!


Theresa Barnes May 5, 2017 at 9:34 am

Thank you Charles for all your hard work.....


Mary May 5, 2017 at 7:54 am

I hear a lot of pride in this piece, which is nice to hear. I have only been with Johns Hopkins for a couple of years, but you are right - it is prestigious, and something I enjoy telling people - "I work at Johns Hopkins". And thank you for being so considerate to prioritize the patients health and safety.


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