I am grateful for the first and longest job I have ever had; working for Newsboy Books and Video, in the Inland Empire of southern California.
There is now only one store left in a chain of bookstores that once ruled the Inland Empire book trade (The family also had the distributorship as well), from 1957 (when the original, now sole, store opened in Ontario) to the 1990's, before Barnes & Noble, & Borders, came on the local scene.
(Series begins here = Daily Gratitude Writing Challenge Summer 2013 Preview)
(The photo above was done as a joke to show how hard I worked and the uncensored version hangs on my apartment wall. Our extensive selection of porno rags just never interested me. The boxes are full of book & magazines ready for return. )
had worked for the family owned chain from
1984 to 2001, the last 11 of those years as a store manager. Most of those years were at the Pomona Newsstand, then Claremont and finally Ontario. I even put in time at the Upland store if my memory is correct.
1. I am grateful for the opportunity given me by Shirley, store manager in 1984, who hired me, a customer of several years.
2. I am grateful for the customer service skills I learned on the job.
3. I am grateful for the cashiering skills I learned.
4. I am grateful for the trust in my knowledge and skills that the owners had in me that led them to make me manager of the Pomona store in 1990; just as my Mom passed away unexpectedly (I was later manager at Claremont and Ontario as the chain gradually downsized).
5. I am grateful for the organizational, employee management, ordering, returning, and distribution skills I developed on the job.
6. I am grateful for and proud of, all the team work and skill of the employees I hired to work under me and glad to reconnect with one employee, my friend Angela, on Facebook.
7. I am grateful for the knowledge gained and encouragement and friendship given by fellow managers including Barbara, who I have reconnected with on Facebook.
8. I am grateful for all the customers who passed through our doors, especially longtime loyalists.
9. I am grateful to the half dozen robbers who held me up at gun and knife point, at the Pomona store, for just taking the money and not killing me.
10. I am grateful to the owners, Jack and Roberta, for keeping me around for 17 years, and to Roberta for welcoming me back, when I made a surprise visit, after 11 years. When I walked in the door she was behind the counter, with her back to me, and when she turned her now graying red-headed noggin around, the look on her face showed that she was genuinely glad to see me.
When I chose to leave for a new job, things were dire and I was the last of the old store employees. My leaving was not an easy thing for the owners to deal with.
has spent the last 22 years struggling to survive, and find its proper
place, in a world of the internet, Amazon, huge chain stores, places
like Target, & Wal-Mart, and that it has done so, even if just 1
store, and not 6 as in the glory days, while the likes of Borders is no
more, says something...just what, I don't exactly know.
I met, and chatted with Pam, their loyal employee of the past decade, and was glad to hear that she knew who I was, and that the owners thought enough about my career with the company to share stories of me in those years.
It truly meant a lot.