A woman who never missed a day of work in seven decades has finally retired.
Melba Mebane, 90, worked at Dillard’s department store in Tyler, Texas, USA for 74 years after joining the retailer in 1949 at the age of just 17 as an elevator operator, KLTV reported.
She then climbed the career ladder and was later moved to the cosmetics department, where she excelled in sales.
He said: ‘She’s a grinder. The store would open at 10am and she wanted her parking spot, so she got there between 9am and 9.15am.
Speaking to Fox News, Store manager James Saenz said:
‘Melba sets the tone for everything, every expectation, every customer service quality that we look for in a luxury experience.
‘She provides all of it to the team. Can you imagine how many people she coached and taught and trained to aspire to be more?’
James said she always turned up with a smile on her face and would provide customers with life advice.
Her son, Terry Mebane, said he ‘grew up in Dillard’s’ and would often visit his mum while she worked.
‘She was the first person in the door and had her counter ready. She did the prep work. She only took 30 minutes for lunch.
‘She brought her lunch, went upstairs to eat lunch in 25 minutes, and then she was back on the floor because she knew that people often took off [during] their lunch hour to come to the mall to buy what they were going to buy, and she didn’t want to miss her opportunity.’
Melba was still working a 40-hour week even into her seventies and eighties, but after a few recent health issues decided it was the right time to retire.
She advised others to ‘come to work’ and ‘never see it as a ‘pay check’.
‘I loved everybody there, and I loved to go to work every day,’ she added.
The store hosted a retirement party for her and gave her a special ‘beyond excellence’ award for her service, where a plaque featuring her photo hangs on the wall at the store.
Manager James added: ‘It will remain here for as long as Dillard’s is around. Beyond excellence is for her decades of service beyond expectations.
‘Even [with] the changing times, from where she started to where we are now in the modern world, her values and everything still stand.’