It’s hard to watch your former place of employment getting ready to close its doors for the final time, but all good things must come to an end.

I started working at Kmart in October of 2006 because my friend Alexis had recently got a job there. I didn’t know what I was walking into at the time, but that place changed my life.

I saw many people come and go while I was there, not too many people stayed as long as I did because they couldn’t take the heat. I was there for roughly seven years, and the relationships that I made with the coworkers that stuck it out are something that I still cherish. I always said that Kmart missed out on a reality show opportunity with our store because of the drama we had since we were all the same age, and there was a lot. We were a family and things happen, but you forgive and forget then get back to work.

From call-offs to no-shows we dealt with it all. We talked about each other, fought, had our share of eye-rolling moments and even covered each other’s breaks when need be (except no one ever wanted to cover breaks in electronics). From Black Friday to Christmas it seemed like we didn’t get to enjoy a holiday because of the crazy shifts we were forced to work, but in some ways it didn’t seem like the holidays if we weren’t spending it at the BIG K. We never left on time because it seemed like the store was never straight enough because of the way the items were manhandled by the customers during the holiday season, or we had to pack jewelry away, or wait for certain associates to grab things out of their locker so we could all leave together.

We never felt like we were paid enough, but we still stayed because we knew we wouldn’t find a better job than what we had. I believe we all enjoyed each other’s company for the most part (minus my stalker), which trickled into friendships outside of working hours and the exchanging of Christmas gifts in the parking lot. We spent so much time together and shared a bond that no one else understood because we worked at Kmart.

It’s honestly hard watching the place you grew up in and worked at for seven years getting ready to close its doors. This chapter of my life closed a while ago when I quit in 2013, but it really feels like it’s ending now. I will never drive by now and see cars in the parking lot or be able to stop by after my Thanksgiving meal. I hate seeing the empty shelves, aisles, racks, and lack of electronics department (where I was always scheduled) because at one time that store was so full of life, customers, Bluelight Specials, and layaways.

As much as we all complained about working at that place and getting yelled by customers because of returned layaways, items not ringing up right or just because they were stealing I will never regret staying there as long as I did. Now looking back, I realize how good we had it and how much fun we had because us kids knew enough to run that store.

That place will now be a building I will drive by and tell friends, family and maybe even my future children that I used to work there. Even though the end is near the values and hard work that Kmart and its management team instilled in me is something that will continue to live on despite that empty building.

I will leave you with a song that Alexis and I wrote on December 5, 2009 about our time at Kmart.

I hopped in my car arrived at Kmart with my smock and my name tag in hand

Welcome to the land of misery, whoa, is it ever gonna end?

Jumped in the cart here I am for the 5th time

Look to my right, and I see the blue light sign

Customers are all so crazy, and it really don’t faze me

My tummy’s turnin’ and I’m feeling kinda crazy

Too much pressure asking customers all these questions

That’s when Kathy turned on the Kmart radio

And the Winning song was on (I’m Winning)

And the Winning song was on (I’m Winning)

And the Winning song was on (I’m Winning)

So I put my hands up Kmart’s playing my song

I want the customers to go away

I’m shakin my head like “Yeah!”

Waven’ my hand like “Yeah!”

But I got my hands up their playin’ my Winning song

So I know I’m gonna be okay

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Get to looking at the clock

And it’s time for my 15 minute break, wow!

I decide to go to Walmart and everybody’s looking at me now

Like “who’s this chick that’s rockin’ this I ❤ K badge

she gotta work at Kmart somehow”

So hard without my Kmart crew not around me

It’s definitely not a Big K party

‘Cause the Winning song wasn’t on

I guess they never got the memo”

My tummy’s turnin’ I got 3 minutes left of break and I’m feelin’ kinda Kmart sick

Too much pressure and I gotta make it back to the break room quick

That’s when one of the managers turned on the tv

And people’s court was on

And people’s court was on

And people’s court was on

So I put my hands up Kmart’s playing my song

I want the customers to go away

I’m shakin my head like “Yeah!”

Waven’ my hand like “Yeah!”

But I got my hands up their playin’ my Winning song

So I know I’m gonna be okay

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Feel like walking’ out tonight, out tonight

Wondering which Kmart customer I’m gonna have to fight, gonna have to fight

My paycheck stops me every time, every time

Plus Kmart’s playing the Winning song and I feel alright

So I put my hands up Kmart’s playing my song

I want the customers to go away

I’m shakin my head like “Yeah!”

Waven’ my hand like “Yeah!”

But I got my hands up their playin’ my Winning song

So I know I’m gonna be okay

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

So I put my hands up Kmart’s playing my song

I want the customers to go away

I’m shakin my head like “Yeah!”

Waven’ my hand like “Yeah!”

But I got my hands up their playin’ my Winning song

So I know I’m gonna be okay

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Yeah! There’s a party in the Big K!

Buy my first paperback book on Amazon!

Thus_FAR

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One thought on “All good things come to an end: The Kmart #7532 Story

  1. Nice…it is hard to believe that the place is closing. I am one of the few still there that opened that store almost 33 years ago! We are family…as well as all the Pharmacy customers that we have cared for over the years and I know there are old faithfuls that still come in to visit…even if they don’t need to buy anything. WE WILL BE MISSED!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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