Sunday, April 6, 2014

Step two. Social Security, Done

My crazy work schedule will be coming to a close this week but they can't resist in giving me one more kick in the head by giving a night till 8p.m. and a 6a.m. start the following day. Then sending me to another store for my last two full time days. That will end the following week. I was told by the store manager... did I say store manager? I meant STORE DIRECTOR. Sounds much more important. Any way she said, "When you're full time I own you. When you're part time you own me." That means as a full timer you could be scheduled at any time of the day or night, anywhere in the area. I've worked all the shifts. From 6 in the morning till 2:30 in the afternoon to midnight to 8:30 in the morning. As a part timer I tell them when I'm available. I own them. Of course I took a substantial cut in pay but I'll be fine. The last 6 weeks have been awful and though I am working in a top shelf location it doesn't change the fact that I have to drive 60 miles a day and have to work with a particularly lunatic assistant department manager. My department manager is a good friend. I've worked with him 20 out of the last 30 years. He's, as far as I'm concerned, the best manager they have and he has his hands full. That's why he's in this store. I told him that if this store was closer to home and I didn't have to work with the loony when he's not there I would have hung on longer. He understood and said he wished he could retire but he's only 50.

Here are a couple of picture that I took on Saturday as I was leaving. They're not particularly great and I took them in a hurry because I'm always anxious to get out of there.
 This is part of my department.

This is another part of the deli. The gourmet cheese case. This section alone grosses $22,000 a week.
 The display in the middle is made of cans of imported tomatoes from Italy with a large piece of imported provolone in the center. Both front and back are identical. Surrounding the provolone are small pieces of imported parmesian cheese. Price $19.99 lb. On sale for $9.99 lb. It is flying out of the store. 
     Part of the produce department.
Now depending on the time of day my drive to work or home can take 35 minutes or an hour and a half. The best part of the drive is when I hit a bend in the highway and part of the Boston skyline becomes visible. Then I'm only about a mile and a half from home.

  As it appears now I will be working in Cambridge which is only 4 or 5 miles from home and depending on the time I can be at work, on a part time basis, in 15 or twenty minutes. I get to say when I am available to work. This store is my favorite store. I worked there most recently from 2000 until 2011 but I have worked there in every decade since the 70's. This used to be the top store in the chain. As the present store I am in now it was the showpiece of the company and the corporation that owned my company. It declined in the early 2000's and is out of the million dollar a week catagory but it is a very nice store with a wonderful liquor department that rivals any liquor store that I have been in. I don't say this because I am a lush but I would be lying if I said I don't enjoy a cold Sam Adams after work. I will buy an occasional bottle of wine which I enjoy with Arlene. The store was remodled in 2007 and once again this passed year.

After years, 15, of killing the brand name "Star Market" some genius at coporate suddenly realized that the name had a history around here since 1918 and all the stores that had their name changed are now being changed back to Star. I only hope it's not to late. Here's a paragraph from

The Star Markets are credited with some innovative firsts in the supermarket industry, such as wrapping meats in cellophane to make them more appealing to their clients. They were also the first to implement the conveyor belt that moved the groceries to a central loading point near the parking lot. Star recognized that their patrons wanted self service, and a whole lot more. They wanted to be able to help themselves, without waiting for store personnel, but also have someone available to help if they needed it. The Star Market chain recognized this requirement among their patrons, and found a way to accommodate them. For this reason, people came from long distances to find what they needed at the Star Markets.

What this article didn't mention was they were the first in New England with air conditioning. The first with unit pricing shelf tags. The first with 401k's for their employees and profit sharing. They were even the first to petition for air rights because they built a store over the Massachusetts Turnpike. The sign says Shaw's but it will be turned back to Star Market soon. This was the second store in the chain.
File:Shaw's over the Massachusetts Turnpike, Newtonville MA.jpg
You can tell that I was proud to work for them. We were the highest paid around here and had more benefits than any of our competitors. I hope this all works out and they can retore the value in the name.
He's the store I'll be working in part time. It's an old building dating back to the 1880's or so. Trollys would come down the street from Boston go into the building and be turned around so they could head back into town. Another interesting fact is that there was a tunnel from the building under the street in case they were transporting a body to the cemetery across the street. You can see where the tunnel was in the basement of the building.

  Well I have gone on long enough. This morning is the first free time I have had in a long time but I do have things to do today and tonight. And though I am off again tomorrow I have a full agenda as well, begining with taking my car in for service, getting a rental, picking up my computer after getting it repaired, laundry and lots more that I know I won't do. I hope to get some time to visit around as I know I have been absent for a few days. Time to get moving.

I'm outta here.                             


  1. Good for you Paul!! You will have fun being semi-retired and you will keep building up your social security while working part time. The pictures are all great. There are some star markets in Illinois I think. No more long commute, what a relief! Take care!

  2. What a history of the market. We never heard of it in this area, but at least you have made your living by being a faithful employee for all the goneby years. I bet you are feeling a bit better, now, eh?

  3. What price agony... Paul. To think your will be that close to home and not be driving 60 miles to and from work...that alone is wonderful. I have great understanding of the long drive to work....even longer it seems, when the roads are bad. On a good day, the traffic would make me crazy.:):) I can't even imagine 22, 000 dollars of cheesy things sold. I think from what I have read of your blog, that you are smart enough to make your part time and retirement be a good living for you. I am wishing you a wonderful retirement. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  4. Good interesting post Paul good to know all about Star . bet you .feel better now I like that you own them ha.
    I couldn't endure all that traffic phew!
    Best WISHES