Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You make me feel, what's the phrase, like a fool, kind of sick, special needs, anyway.*

Let's talk about Ukrop's. Many of you who know me, know that much of my youth was spent there. I started working for Ukrop's in April 1999, thought I broke free for a while, went back near the end of college (for holidays and summers) and then right after graduation I was working there again. In the summer of '06 I began my transition into their human resources department as a trainer. In January '07 I was promoted to a full time trainer and received my very own store(s). I trained for seven locations and I really did like the work (mostly I liked my work with Ben, former love of my life who didn't know it, but let's not dwell here).

I left the company in October '07 to come and work where I presently am. By Christmas I was working Saturdays back at my old help them out for the holidays, which turned into a year and I finally stopped working there January '09. Just a few months shy of a decade (just in time too, when I was younger I said, "kill me if I hit 10 years" phew).

I tell you this mostly for those of you who didn't know. Now, for more news that you only know if you live in Virginia, Ukrop's has sold. So those of you who know me and my history with them have probably been wondering my thoughts on this. To be honest I didn't really know until today when one of my coworkers was asking me about it. You see, I am the Ukrop's expert (she says with bitter sarcasm). People just assume I will know all the answers to their Ukrop's-related questions. So today, my coworker asked me if I knew when the transition for Ukrop's to whatever store they sold out to, would be. I couldn't say. I think until that moment I was in denial. Ukrops would never sell, and if they did, I wouldn't care anymore.

But I do care, and I knew more then I thought I did. It was because I recently sent Ben a message on Facebook. I like to reminisce from time to time and happened to do it the other day, in a non "hey I heard Ukrop's is selling" kind of way. Something happened that reminded me of him so I sent him a message. He told me about what was going on, because he is still there in the corporate office. So suddenly I had plenty of information for my coworker and for the first time I got this funny feeling in my stomach. It's akin to anxiety...something I'm used to, I feel certain I suffer from some anxiety disorder or another. I think it has finally hit that Ukrops will be gone. When I'm fifty and driving my kids around town I won't be able to point and say, "That's where I had my first job." rather I'll have to say, "Before that store was this name, it used to be Ukrop's and that's where I had my first job." I imagine my sister, Kathryn, went through something similar when her first job was torn down and turned into a Kroger.

What I fear most is that they really might not keep the cake. Silly, I know, but there are a lot of things this company could come in and change and the cake is one of them. That cake is really good. Something I have learned from people coming in to companies is that they think what they know is best. That includes cakes, catering, pizza, etc....all things that Ukrop's does well. Then of course there is that whole aniexty tied with the fact that a large part of my adolesence is being pulled into some black hole in the universe that is my life. First the ward (church) I grew up in dissolves, now my first place of employment is disappearing. It's bad enough I can barely remember my high school friends, before you know it I'll drive by the old high school and mother nature will have swallowed it up in a sink hole.

Okay...okay, not panicking. Natural order of things. I'm okay.


Mark said...

your comment on my blog cracked me up by the way

Ed Donbrosky said...

I hear you...I've already had to tell my children that we're shopping where a movie theater once stood, that the new movie theater and associated monster mall was nothing but woods when I left Virginia, and my first Elementary School underwent a name change from "Bethlehem Elementary" to "Charles M. Johnson Elementary." And I can't even find where my old job with James River Grounds Maintenance was located on Route 1. That place is insane!!


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