Everyone who works at Alameda Health System’s Fairmont Rehabilitation and Wellness campus has had a run-in with them – the flocks of wild turkeys who roam the campus grounds. Some people love our quirky turkeys, others loath them. In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a round-up of employee stories detailing mostly benign, often cute, occasionally terrifying encounters with Fairmont’s favorite fowl.

“These are the chillest turkeys I’ve ever met. It’s pretty cool to see them just sort of exist with us. It’s good for people to know that turkeys aren’t all evil.”

– Jackson Pierce, Peer Support Specialist at Jay Mahler Recovery Center

“I’ve had one almost attack me on the walkway from C Building to E Building. I may have spooked the turkey and the turkey didn’t realize I was coming. I don’t know what a turkey’s hearing is like. It was kind of a standoff. It flapped its wings and tried to come at me. I was like, ‘I’ll bite you. You bite me, I’ll bite you back.’ Ever since then if I see them, I slow down my walk and let them go first. Or I go the opposite direction.”

– LeShawn Gray, Transportation Coordinator, Outpatient Psychiatric Services

“I think they’re kind of cute. I’m from the country in Louisiana, so any time you see any kind of animal in the city is great. I think they actually are a plus for the children who visit.”

– Connie Pierre-Auguste, Nurse, John George Psychiatric Hospital

“There is a turkey, we call him Pablo. He comes to visit Cherry Hill Detox Center daily. We always look forward to Pablo coming. He peeks in the window, he’s always waiting for us to come out.” 

– Anonymous

“Sometimes you see the turkeys fighting their reflections in the black cars. People who start working for us and start out with a new black car will trade it in for another color.”

– Anonymous

“I work in the medical records department and I have to pick up charts from John George Psychiatric Hospital. One day around 8:15 a.m., I grabbed the keys and started driving over. They were right in front of me, like a whole group of them, not moving. I was like, what am I going to do? I was honking but it wasn’t working. Thank God one of the engineers came by. He was on his golf cart. He shooed them away.”

– Maribeth Mendoza, HIM Tech II

“They are here all the time. I just stay out of their way. We work hand in hand with the turkeys pretty good.”

– Harold Quinones, Gardener

Have a quirky turkey story to share? Email nperez@alamedahealthsystem.org to be included in next year’s roundup.