American Idol contestant Candice Glover gets a boost from her father's company

loberle@islandpacket.comApril 12, 2013 

Waste Management employees pose with their custom-made shirts supporting Candice Glover.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Candice Glover is a topic of discussion during the Wednesday morning safety meetings at Waste Management in Ridgeland.

She inevitably comes up again during briefings, especially in the mornings after her "American Idol" performances. After all, company emails remind employees to vote for her Wednesday nights. They talk about what song she sang, how well she did and how they think she is going to become the next "Idol."

They are excited to be supporting one of their own.

John Glover, father of St. Helena Island native and "Idol" finalist Candice Glover, has been a driver for Waste Management in Ridgeland for 15 years, and the company has rallied to support its co-worker.

"It's the constant conversation that's going on," said Dwayne Lee, Glover's supervisor.

These days, the drivers in Beaufort County are even wearing a special message on the back of their safety shirts: "Go Candice."

Once Candice advanced to Top 10 on the show, the Waste Management corporate office mobilized even more support, sending out fliers with pictures of Candice on them and encouraging employees across the country to vote for her.

Drivers from across the country have taken pictures holding up those fliers to show their support for Candice.

The company's Facebook page has an album titled "Waste Management Supports Candice Glover!" with pictures of employees holding the same fliers -- from Santa Clarita, Calif., to Loveland Colo., to Cicero, Ill., to New Castle, Del.

"It's really driven by the drivers," Waste Management spokesman Russ Highland said. "A lot of those guys have daughters just like Candice, and they want to see them be just as successful. They're all very encouraged by a small town girl making it to Hollywood."

District manager Howard Fister shakes his head in disbelief when he recalls that John, who is known to friends and family as Ricky, was worried about being able to get time off work to travel to Hollywood to see his daughter perform on the show.

Of course, he could get time off, was Fister's reaction. So far, John has traveled to Hollywood twice and has been in the crowd for three of his daughter's "Idol" performances.

"We all have to put ourselves in Ricky's shoes and ask how we'd feel if it was us," Fister said. "And I think that's what everyone at Waste Management has done."

Out-of-town drivers are brought in during busy seasons. A driver from Bristol, Tenn., is currently working out of the Ridgeland plant, and his boss told Fister they could keep him as long they wanted -- in part to cover for Glover -- on one condition: He wants Candice's autograph.

"He's a big fan," Fister said. "My supervisor is now an 'Idol' fan. There's so much excitement that this is happening to someone in the Waste Management family."

Behind Lee's desk hangs a flier with Candice's picture on it and "Vote 4 Candice" written across the top.

He has never voted for a contestant on "Idol" before this season, but now he votes for Candice every week.

Lee is a father, as well, and as he supports the Glovers, he knows his co-worker of 15 years wouldn't hesitate to do the same for him.

"I don't think there's anything you could ask him that he wouldn't try to do for you," Lee said. "I wish I knew more people like him."

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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