In Blog #53 I talked about about Life changing Hard decisions to make. In this blog I want to talk about the interview at Arden Fair.
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. After meeting him, I liked him immediately. “ So what makes you want to open up a store in Sacramento?” He asked. my immediate answer was starting a family Loved the company and wanted to get into management at some point. “ The atmosphere in Sacramento is more conducive to raise a family” I said. “That it is” he agreed. Let me introduce you to Rob our Merchandise Manager.
A few minutes go by 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 right away.
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. he was also easy to like. 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.
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.
The Counter offer
“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. 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.
Fast forward to 2020
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. After the initial how are you’s 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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