the ever-sweet, caring, overworked, underpaid, and passionate manager
of the local dollar store
left this sign as he headed out
for one last time.
(below is what i wrote about him in a post a couple of years back)

when one local dollar tree store closed

my favorite enthusiastic manager

moved to the new location

and judging by my recent visit

he has not lost one bit

of his dollar store fervor and expertise.

this was a conversation between bob (the manager) and evelyn (my cashier) as i was checking out:

E: “bob, you’re really good at remembering all of the balloon numbers to ring up and knowing each one of them without looking.”

B: “well, i’ve been doing it a long time. once in a while a number will change or a new shape will come in, like a unicorn, but it’s part of my job to keep up with it.”

E: “when i worked at the grocery store, i knew all the prices for the cucumbers, the peppers and tomatoes. the easy ones”

B: “some are trickier, like avocados, and for some of those things you only see sometimes it’s harder to remember the all the plu’s.”

E: “it’s really a skill, bob. to be able to do that.”

customer john interrupts:

J: “hey bob – so this is where you’ve got up to – how are you liking the change?”

B: “hey, john. good to see you. it’s great. every day is great. i’m so lucky to be here.”

and how lucky is dollar tree to have bob as a manager?

a man who truly loves his job

takes pride in all of it

is always smiling and helpful

knows exactly where every item in the store is located

and who happily learns the number for the new unicorn balloon.

“so tired you want to quit, then you get more tired, and forget to quit.”
― charles bukowski,

79 responses »

  1. It is sadly all over. Fast food restaurants (some of the biggies) in my neighborhood are closing 6 to 7 hours early because of no staff. One store had a big piece of cardboard that changed daily with their “Hours of Operation” So many stores closing and so many people quitting. I love my job, but I am looking. The daily stress and burnout are a sad reality

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To repeat what has been written, this is very sad and a sign of the times we are living in. An acquaintance of mine wrote that he is currently trying to get fired. He put in thousands of hours in OT and covered for his coworkers. He got a mediocre review to justify a paltry raise. It isn’t about the raise. It’s about the thousands of unappreciated extra time he will never get back. He says if they fire him, the unemployment might help him recoup a little of what he lost. He says he will never quit.

    So sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately, caring about your employees fell by the wayside after the 80s. I was just talking with someone about remembering how paid health insurance was a benefit with almost every full-time job and how overtime was not chastised but merely meant the employee was dedicated to getting a job finished by giving up his/her own time to do so. From what you’ve shared about this manager, it seems obvious that he had reached the ceiling on how much neglect and overuse he was willing to take! I hope someone quickly latches onto the kind of worker he is!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The employment market is wide open nowadays. People with the devotion and passion of “Bob” will not be unemployed for long. In leadership positions, this is not how anyone wants to end their employment, but sometimes you must act in your own best interest, especially when your employer is not doing do.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sorry to see that the pandemic grind in the dollar store wore a great worker like Bob down so much he had to quit … and since he was the ONLY manager, the store had to close. Bad for him, bad for the customers, bad for the community, and a microcosm of what we’ve got to overcome in so many places, Beth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I sure hope things work out for Bob. Maybe this will be the best thing for him in the long run, and he lands back on his feet in a better situation. I love that he calls his customers by name.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel for him. I see the indifference in employers for employees all over the country and there is a shift happening to so many. We have forgotten to care for each other and offer dignity. I’m impressed with his ability to take his life back and start again. Lots needs to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How sad! What a beautiful tribute you wrote to him. His departure will impact so many. We just opened a new Dollar Tree. It’s about 3 miles from the Dollar Store on the “other” side of the tracks. I continue to shop on the “other” side due to the manager. It’s only cleaned and stocked when he’s there. He can’t retain workers and is exhausted. He’ll continue to get my business and I hope a handwritten sign doesn’t appear. But I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

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