By the time most of us reach retirement age we can look back upon a long and tiring career, and look forward to years of well-earned rest. Yet surely very few individuals are as deserved of a break as Melba Mebane, a 90-year-old from Texas who recently called time on her retail job at the department store where she’d worked for… wait for it… 74 years!
According to reports, Melba began her career at Dillard’s department store in Tyler, Texas, all the way back in 1949. She was just 17 at the time, and landed a job as an elevator girl. Melba was eventually promoted to the cosmetics department, thereafter remaining committed to her place of work for more than seven decades. Upon Melba eventually deciding to retire from her position, store manager James Saenz had nothing but praise, telling Fox News:
“Even [with] the changing times, from where she started to where we are now in the modern world, her values and everything still stand.”As per reports, Melba was ever a positive figure in the workplace, showing up every day with a smile on her face and a keen worth ethic. And perhaps the most incredible thing about this whole story? Melba said that over the course of her 74-year working career, she never once called in sick or missed a shift.
“Melba sets the tone for everything, every expectation, every customer service quality that we look for in a luxury experience,” store manager Saenz added. Melba’s son, Terry Mebane, meanwhile, said: “She’s a grinder. The store would open at 10 and she wanted her parking spot, so she got there between 9 o’clock and 9:15.”
What’s more, Melba made a habit of taking shorter lunch breaks. Terry claimed this was “because she knew that people often took off [during] their lunch hour to come to the mall to buy what they were going buy, and she didn’t want to miss her opportunity.” The New York Post say that Melba worked 40 hours a week into her 70s and 80s. “I loved everybody there, and I loved to go to work,” Melba told KLTV7.
Unfortunately, Melba’s faced some health issues of late, forcing her to accept what some people would likely term an overdue retirement. Dillar’s hosted a retirement party for the nonagenarian, where Melba was awarded a “Beyond Excellence” award in the form of a plaque that will remain in the store.