The Janitor

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Frank Sanoica, Jun 13, 2019 at 5:44 PM.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    While building our red brick house in Laveen, AZ, money was tight, wife worked, I toiled. Sears Roebuck ran a help-wanted ad for "Maintenance Engineer" at their Phoenix, Metrocenter store, part-time. My interviewer, Maintenance Manager Dan Carlisle, remarked I was way over-qualified, with an Engineering Degree, their concept of "Engineer" was mostly routine facilities work. I explained I was building a house single-handedly, could use the income. He hired me. March, 1986. By 1991, we were living in the house 3 years, still working at Metrocenter, and announcement was made by Chicago Corporate Office the maintenance function was being removed from the stores, to be replaced with teams of roving Technicians, full-time work, good pay scale. I interviewed with our District 251 Maintenance Manager, Fred DiNapoli, who chased me down in the store the next day, to tell me the job was mine! He was panting & puffing, and I suggested he might have just called. His true colors showed immediately: a hire was to be done only face-to-face. He knew not of my abilities (except whatever Dan might have told him), and I knew not what working stores in Arizona, New Mexico, S. W. Texas, and occasionally Southern California and Las Vegas was going to be like.

    Over the years, it turned out that I performed work formerly hired out only to contractors, heavy mechanical replacement of A/C blower bearings, and the like. Fred estimated I saved Sears several hundred thousand dollars a year, and he was not reluctant to share that with his own boss, Tim Stuart, in Chicago, whose position was Facilities Manager over 400+ stores!

    On my IRS returns, I listed my occupation as "Janitor"...........

    Frank
     
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  2. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Very Well-Known Member
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    If my memory doesn't play me false, you still get a pension from Sears for that? Is that true? Seems to me you mentioned that somewhere in one of your earlier posts but I'm not sure.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Thomas Stearn
    True. For ten+ years service vested pension rights have faithfully doled out the hugely-helpful, princely sum of $97.49 per month. What more could a janitor expect? Bitter? Nah. Just forever mindful of the indiscretions heaped upon those working, the promise of thankful compensation for valuable services rendered......Bitter? Maybe just a little bit. Frank
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I thought the idea of running Sears into bankruptcy was to get free of the pension obligations for all those old employees.
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Don Alaska
    In addition to my pension from Sears, I also receive a check monthly from Dana Corporation, for whom I worked 10+ years, last in the late '70s. The last 3 years there, my salary was the highest I had ever received up to then. For those efforts, I receive $60 per month. However, Dana filed for bankruptcy in the mid 2000s, and the checks have continued unabated. Ditto now for Sears. Why?

    Moral requirement? Governmental? Court mandate? I dunno.

    Each month I jokingly toss the two checks, totaling $158.07, on the bank teller's window opening, requesting that my "welfare checks" be cashed!
    Frank
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I don't think it would be a government requirement because the retirement checks and medical benefits for retirees of Great Northern Paper Company stopped coming when the company filed for bankruptcy.
     
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  7. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Very Well-Known Member
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    Moral requirement? Governmental? Court mandate? I dunno. @Frank Sanoica

    Perhaps insurance.
    Oh, you sound bitter. I didn't know it was so low nor do I know anything about how the US pension system is organised. As for company pensions over here, if a company goes bust, pensions are paid by a Pensions Guarantee Fund that most companies make contributions to.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 2:37 AM
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  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Thomas Stearn
    I guess I am bitter, to a degree, which I mollify by rationale that it's better than nothing, which many retirees are indeed faced with. I suspect the "payback" is graduated in such a way, rather exponentially, such that 30 or 40 years company service produces a substantially higher pension benefit.

    We can, after all, go out to eat a number of times a month, if it's done judiciously, using my pension benefit happily.
    Frank
     
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