MORE AND MORE, Randy hears the question, “When are you retiring?”
Not because people want him to retire. But because customers worry that he will retire before he completes work for them.
Today marks 35 years since my husband became the automotive machinist at Parts Department, Inc., Northfield, aka NAPA. He’s been in the profession even longer, beginning first as a parts man in Montana, Rochester and Faribault before shifting to automotive machining in Faribault, then Owatonna and for the long term in Northfield.
Thirty-five years. It’s a long time to work in one place turning brake rotors, resurfacing heads, grinding valves and flywheels, and doing a multitude of other automotive machining tasks I don’t understand. He’s a skilled tradesman, a pro whose work is in high demand. Few do what Randy does. Because of that and his exceptional skills, he’s in high demand. Locally, regionally and beyond.
I’m proud of Randy. He is smart, talented and driven to do the best he can for his customers. He works hard. He works long days—up until a few years ago six days a week. And up until last year, he had only 10 days of vacation annually. Now he gets twenty.
His farm upbringing instilled in him a strong work ethic. That and the cost of health insurance will keep him from retiring for a few years yet. Hopefully his back and his feet will hold out. I’ve seen the physical toll of a labor intensive, on-your-feet job.
For now Randy’s customers need not worry. He has no plans for immediate retirement. But good luck finding someone to do their machining work after he retires…hopefully in a few years.
PLEASE JOIN ME in congratulating Randy on 35 years as the automotive machinist at NAPA in Northfield.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling