The Interview

Blog #48 – The Interview

In Blog #47 I talked about about being ranked to #1 and having to make a tough decision . In this blog I want to talk about the interview.

So I was supposed to meet with the Buyer whose name was Steve. He was the type of guy that you felt you knew already. Very warm and super friendly. I liked him already. “ So what makes you want to open up a store in Sacramento?” He asked. I told him I was starting a family, loved the company and wanted to get into management at some point. “ the atmosphere is more conducive to raise a family” I said. “That it is” he agreed. Let me introduce you to Rob our Merchandise Manager.

I wait a few minutes then this big guy comes up to me and gives me a big handshake, “ I’m Rob” he says. He starts talking about retail 101 and how important it is to be successful. The longer he talks the faster he talks. It was amazing, lol. I liked him immediately. Didn’t know what it was about this guy but I wanted to learn from him. We talked for awhile then they asked me if I wanted to meet the store Manager who was nearby. 

“Mike, this is Jim Nordstrom”. I thought I was hearing things, a Nordstrom was going to be the Store Manager. Wow! He was very soft spoken but also very confident in himself. I liked him immediately. “ I was hoping I wouldn’t like it for some reason” I told Diane, “Martha’s been so good to me”. The fact was I could probably buy a house here at some point but in the Bay Area it would be awhile, so I decided to do it. Plus it would be a neat to experience open a new store.

Arden Fair was scheduled to open in October and it was middle of August, so I had  to see how fast I could transfer over. It was going to be tough telling Martha and Michael what I wanted to do.

San Francisco

The next day,I got back to the store and asked Martha if I could talk to her. I could sense she knew what I was going to say because she was super intuitive. Especially when it came to her people. Thats what made her so good. “So how was Arden Fair?” she asked. I told her I liked the area and thought it would be a good opportunity for my family to eventually buy a home out there. She understood.

“You know, Michael and I would love for you to be an Asst. Here”. That was such a compliment coming from her.  I told her it was purely a move to improve our way of life. She understood. 

People like Martha come into your life for a reason. She made me realize the importance of being organized, thoughtful and having a great team. I have carried this with me my entire career. I think it’s important to let people like Martha know how much they mean to you as it’s the biggest compliment a mentor could get.

Recently, I had the good fortune to re-connect with her after 30 years. When she called me, I felt like a star struck fan meeting their idol for the first time. We had a great conversation and it was nice to catch up with her. I told her how much she meant to me and I could tell she appreciated it. She had kind words for me too, so it was something that really made my day.

Thank you Martha, I appreciate you…

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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