Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thing That Made ME Go WHOA!!!

I have a very important announcement to make: The U.S. Postal Service will be going out of business very soon.

This is my prediction based on a sad fact: Every single business I've worked for has gone out of business. I just realized this the other day as we were discussing the closing of Star Markets. It was an eerie realization as I mentally backtracked through my work resume. It somehow reminded me of "Back to the Future" where Michael J. Fox and his siblings start to fade out of the family photo. My work history is fading before my eyes and it's like I have no "proof" anymore of my past employment! Whoa!

The first job I had was at Davenroy Drycleaners in Kapahulu. They were well-known for their tuxedo rental shop. I worked as an invoice clerk at age 17 and when I expressed an interest in working at the tuxedo shop--thinking of all the cute guys I'd meet--my boss uncle gave me a flat "no", citing the uncomfortable fact that taking inseam measurements was, pardon the pun, unseemly for a young lady. Anyway, Davenroy went out of business around 1990...possibly because there were no girls working in their tuxedo shop.

My second and third jobs were at KeAno Fashions and Lola's of Hawai, respectively, both manufacturers of aloha attire. Aloha Oe to them both! I was a lowly designer's assistant, they never asked me for design ideas...small wonder they didn't survive!

Then there was McInerny's at Kahala Mall, where I sold shoes in the early 70's. That was only time I owned quality shoes. McInerny gradually closed their stores until they closed their last shop in 2003.

I worked at J.C. Penney Ala Moana part time in 1976 and technically they're still in business, but not in Hawaii. I also worked one day at Liberty House doing inventory and they're technically gone too, being bought out by Macy's. Tsk, tsk.

I never imagined the ubiquitous F.W. Woolworth stores going out of business, but they did, after over a hundred years. They gave me my first full-time job, first in Waikiki, then on Kauai, as an assistant manager. I'm sure millions of people have fond memories of going to their local Woolworth's store, especially as children. I never dreamt I'd work there, never aspiring to work at a "five and ten"...but I learned many life lessons working there, especially in the Waikiki store, the #1 profit earning branch in the entire U.S. It was like working in a three-ring circus.

After six years at F.W.W., I left to work at Star Market, taking another job I never imagined myself doing: cashiering. The attraction was that I'd be head cashier and would be training others, and that was something I enjoyed. Star Market Moiliili was the grocery store I grew up visiting weekly with my mom, so it was doubly sad to hear they'd been bought out by Times Market. Ironically, my mom has been shopping at Times more frequently for the past decade (since they opened a store closer to her).

So there you have it, EIGHT Hawaii businesses, both large and small, are now just a memory...and I just happened to work for all of them. Can you blame me for feeling confident that the U.S. Postal Service is now doomed? They were my NINTH and final employer. When this blog post hits the internet, they'll be shaking in their safety shoes!

Now I can't help but wonder: Was my presence at each company so invaluable that they each crumbled without me?!? *LOLM* I just made LOLM up just now. It stands for "Laughing Out Loud Maniacally"

Despite my laughter, I do feel sad that my past is being erased. On the other hand --always that silver lining--if I ever have to apply for a new job, I can write on my resume "Regional Manager of F.W.Woolworth's" or "Head designer, KeAno Fashions" and they'll just have to take my word for it!! *LOLM*

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