POE inspector lands place on Parade magazine cover
Susan Meisner, a 44-year-old inspector at the Lewiston Port of Entry, earns about $30,000 a year.
While that’s not highly classified information, it generally isn’t commonly known throughout the country. At least it wasn’t, until this week.
Meisner, who commutes to one of two Port of Entry worksites near Lewiston from her home in Lenore, was among the 18 individuals pictured on the cover of Parade Magazine (see highlighted circle above) this week as part of its annual report, “What People Earn.”
The married mother of two was in some pretty fast company, sharing a spot on the front page with:
Jennifer Aniston, 40, actress, who earns $27 million annually
Brittney Spears, 27, actress, $2.25 million
Alex Rodriguez, 33, professional baseball player, $34 million
Michael Bloomberg, 67, the billionaire Mayor of New York, $1 annually
Rod Blagojevich, 52, ousted Illinois Governor, Chicago, $177,400, and
Barbie, 50, the shapely plastic doll from Malibu, Calif., $3.3 billion
Meisner’s was the lowest salary of the 18 individuals shown on the cover, except for library messenger Mark Chandler, 53, Evansville, Ind., ($19,700) and Bloomberg, who eschews an official salary for his position.
In addition to the individuals depicted on the magazine cover, 69 others were listed on inside pages where writer George Anders explores “How Our Salaries Are Changing.” The article reviews the effects of a troubled economy on salaries and family budgets.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” she explains. “It was just one of those spontaneous decisions.”
Meisner said her presence in the magazine, which is distributed nationwide in Sunday newspapers, was self-initiated. She saw a notice in the magazine last fall looking for people interested in being part of the jobs-related issue. Meisner responded by e-mail and then received a request by Parade editors to provide additional information, including a digital photograph.
She had her 16-year-old son take a photograph of her in an ITD Port of Entry uniform, and submitted it to the magazine. Editors notified her earlier this year that she had been selected for inclusion in the special issue that would be published in April.
“I was really surprised to see it on the front page. They said this was the first time they had anyone of this kind of position put in the magazine.”
Meisner works 10-hour shifts, rotating between the POE east of Lewiston on U.S. 95/U.S. 12 and the satellite facility at the top of the Lewiston Hill on U.S. 95. Duties include safety inspections of commercial vehicles, verifying that driver logbooks are current and correct, and that appropriate hazardous materials permits and over-legal permits have been secured.
She began working for ITD about three-and-a-half years ago.
Originally from Atlanta, Meisner moved to the Lewiston area in 19994. Until moving to a home on the Clearwater River near Lenore, the family lived in “no-man’s” land southeast of Lewiston. That home had a Culdesac address, a Lenore phone number and was within the Lapwai School District.
Meisner’s husband also commutes daily to Lewiston where he is an electrician at Clearwater Paper (formerly Potlatch).
How have colleagues reacted to her one-inch by 1.25-inch piece of fame?
“They all think it was pretty cool,” she said. “Everybody’s been pretty cool about it.” Truck drivers who regularly pass through the POE have mentioned seeing her photo, but have not chided her about being on the cover.
While her husband has taken some good-natured kidding, her 13- and 16-year-old sons seem to have escaped the notoriety. Apparently their friends don’t read Parade magazine, she concludes.