Open Letter to Store 61.

It’s been a long while since I posted anything. This post is a very special one…and it’s taken me 4 days to write it.

Friday, February 14, was my last day at my first career location. Because I am no longer there, I can safely tell the world that I was an Executive Trainee for 9 months in the Best Store EVER: Asheboro, NC. Store 61. Since this was my last week in the building, a whole bunch of bittersweet goodbyes have taken place. I’m writing this in the order they happened…

To Pat: Pat, you’re just awesome. You have one of the biggest hearts and the loudest laughs I’ve ever encountered. You have so much love in your heart and you aren’t shy or stingy about sharing it. From the day we met, you adopted me as part of the Asheboro family and I love you for it. As I’m writing this, I’m looking at the peacock figurine you gave me. Thank you again. You’re so creative and your personality is so colorful, it’s so hard to not be in a good mood around you. We definitely must continue exchanging recipes and delicious culinary experiences. If ever I find myself an orphan for Thanksgiving…do I have a standing invitation for wherever you go?

To Ellen: “You’re a hoot.” I never really heard that phrase before moving to Asheboro, but now I know what it means and I think you’re a hoot! Even though you’re from (insert turned up nose) Southpark, you’re alright in my book. You have a song, tv/film reference, or dirty joke for just about everything. It’s hilarious! You have some of the quirkiest comments and nobody says “Modern.Southern.Style” quite like you. I’m not sure I’ll ever find a breakfast biscuit buddy in Wilson and …nobody can ever take your place.

To Lisa: *cue Fat Amy voice* “Umm…hmmm…uhhhh…” You’ve been one of my best friends in this store. We clicked almost immediately! Our inside jokes, movie references, random dances, and infamous fitness challenge…I’m going to miss you like crazy! I’ve added you to my list of big sisters. You’re so talented and I hope someday I’ll be able to merchandise as fabulously as you. I think my denim fold is almost there, but I’ll keep trying. I’ll make you proud in my new store. P.S. I don’t think they have a Chick-fil-a in the shopping center where I’m going. 😦

To Karen: I’m so happy I got my official members only ROCC sweatshirt. In the store, you work so hard without complaining. You run the best ROCC team in all of Belk. You have a way of setting your mind to do something, then just doing it. I only have that resolve about certain things. You’re so kind, you’ve become like another big sister. I’m thinking we should do another squat challenge since the first one was so much fun! I promise to try and keep up with Beauty and the Beast, but I might need some text reminders. I never got to skate with you and the kids, but maybe an outing in the future could happen! Oh, and I have to catch up with your weight loss! Lol…wishful thinking.

To Cindy: Cindy, you are, by far, the most sarcastic and witty person I’ve ever met! Sometimes I have no choice but to shake my head and laugh at the things you say. You’re so dedicated to your job, and I can honestly say that whenever I have a question about just about anything…”Ask Cindy” will be my first thought. You’ve taken me under your wing, adopted me as your surrogate niece, and given me plenty of advice about plenty of life topics. I doubt there will be a “Cindy” in my new store, but…I’ll strive to become that person. If ever I am lost on what things to do to impress someone of importance, I will always remember to Know My Numbers. Thank you Cindy for being the best coach/mentor an ET could ask for.

To Everyone: I honestly didn’t know what to think when I was assigned to little Asheboro. I thought I wouldn’t like the small town or small store, but I was definitely wrong. You guys have taught me so much about the quality of a person. The conversations we’ve had, the memories we’ve created, and the Day of Thanksgiving/Day After Thanksgiving we’ve experienced…I’m cherishing them all. Each and every person in the store has come to mean so much to me and leaving you all to go to another store is very difficult. You’re all so loving, caring, and all-around great people. When I first arrived in Asheboro, I was unsure of how I would be received or whether the people would like me. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and these 9 months have definitely been a blast. You don’t find a group of people as wonderful as the ones in store 61. I’ve realized that my assignment here was meant to be and I’ve gained a big family. Thank you for making this experience a rewarding and exciting one. God bless you all. I’ll miss you dearly.

-Tobi.

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