by Patty Rose
I am very happy to tell you about the job God has provided for me. Almost 13 years ago, my husband, Jim, told me that a job change was coming for him and in the case that the current job ended before he had another job lined up, he asked if I would consider finding a job to cover our insurance expenses. I said “yes”, as long as it wasn’t a sedentary job.
We looked together and Jim saw that Trader Joe’s was coming to town. I was excited about the possibility and decided to apply. It was the only job I had to apply for since Jim never needed the insurance coverage, and I never left my job.
I love this job mostly because of the daily interactions I have with people. When I applied they emphasized having compassion for people. This is truly an emphasis for them. We are strongly encouraged to engage with customers and be supportive of each other. We are a neighborhood grocery store. I have the opportunity to connect with the customers and other staff. As I talk with them, I listen to them talk about their lives. I’ve been able to hug customers who are grieving and celebrate with others who have good news. A store near Mayo sees many people who are going through stressful situations. Some are sent off with flowers. Sometimes the customers are old friends or acquaintances and I get a chance to connect with them when I wouldn’t usually be able to.
I really enjoy the diverse group of people I have the privilege to work with. There are all age groups from high schoolers through those of us of retirement age. They come from various family, cultural, economic, spiritual, etc. backgrounds. For some it is their only income, for others it is one of multiple jobs to make ends meet, and for others it is an opportunity to get out of the house, have some structure, and relate. The working environment is great for providing opportunities to relate, especially as we prepare the store in the morning or at night. There is a lot of camaraderie which leads to opportunities to relate outside of work whether through movie nights, girl’s dinner out, fantasy football league, or yearly TJ’s sponsored get togethers. I continue to pray that God would work in each one’s life, and that I would be His salt and light.
The days go quickly as we switch where we are working every hour. It is not often that I am on a register for more than an hour at a time. We work product, write orders, serve food at the little demo station, clean bathrooms, gather carts and have time at the check out. We listen for bells which call us to open another register, assist someone at a register, or call for a manager. I have no problem getting all my steps in while I work.
We are also encouraged to know the product which is why we have crew tastings. Most times we are served something at our crew meetings before the store opens or after it closes. I also appreciate being able to help customers in the many situations that may arise during the day because of training in all the areas of the store. Because of this training, we do not need to be micromanaged.
I also appreciate having something to do outside the home. It is good for me to get out and have a schedule. I would miss the daily activity and I would especially miss the people if I were to leave this special place. I hope you come visit us and let me know what you think of our neighborhood store.
Patty Rose is married to Jim, has four adult children, and 5 grandchildren with a 6th arriving shortly. Besides working at Trader Joe’s, she enjoys volunteering at the Compassion Counseling Center, being in a book club, and meeting with friends.