Woman Hasn’t Missed a Single Day of Work in 74 Years — People Found Her Story Very ’Sad’

7 months ago

Melba Mebane never thought she’d call it quits at the department store she loved — she stuck around for a whopping 74 years! Sure, money matters in choosing a job, but it’s not everything. Melba, who’s now 90, has a cool story to tell, but many people had something to say about her choice to keep the same job for so many years.

The same routine for 74 years

Melba Mebane, a dedicated employee of Dillard’s department store in Tyler, Texas, recently made the unexpected decision to retire, a choice influenced by the escalating challenges of her daily commute. Throughout her tenure, Mebane adhered steadfastly to a consistent pre-work routine. Rising at 6 a.m., she started her day with a cup of coffee and a brisk breakfast, typically consisting of sausage and biscuits. This morning ritual provided the fuel for the day ahead. Following breakfast, she efficiently ran errands before arriving at Dillard’s precisely at 9 a.m., a deliberate schedule designed to secure her favorite parking spot.

“I loved going to work every day,” she confessed. “If you’re happy with what you’re doing, why not keep doing it?”.

Her secret to enjoy a enjoying a long and fulfilling career

The 90-years-old prided herself on never missing a day unless truly unwell, reflects on her career with a simple yet profound perspective: her commitment to her job at Dillard’s in Tyler, Texas, was fueled by genuine joy and satisfaction in her work.

Offering valuable advice drawn from her own experiences, Mebane emphasizes the significance of passion and camaraderie in a career. She cautions against the sole pursuit of financial gain, asserting that “money can disappoint you.” Instead, she advocates for discovering something one is adept at and fostering connections with like-minded colleagues.

According to Mebane, the key to a long and fulfilling career lies in finding intrinsic satisfaction in one’s work and building meaningful relationships in the workplace. In her view, the synergy between personal fulfillment and positive working relationships surpasses the transient allure of a lucrative paycheck.

What mansions she had at the shop

Melba’s journey through the retail world began back in 1949 at Mayer & Schmidt, where she started as an elevator girl in Tyler, Texas. Fast forward to 1956, and Dillard’s swooped in, taking over the store. Melba stuck with them until her retirement in July 2023, an impressive run that spanned 74 years, concluding at the ripe age of 90.

Her stint at Dillard’s wasn’t just a job; it was a saga. Starting as an elevator girl, Melba eventually found her groove on the sales floor. The transition came after a stint in men’s clothing, where she put in six months before getting the nod for a promotion. But it was in cosmetics that Melba truly found her niche. A temporary gig covering for a sick colleague turned into a permanent position, and Melba never looked back.

Raising her son Terry as a single mom during her Dillard’s days, Melba juggled the demands of work and family with grace. According to Terry, his mom was a force in cosmetics. She wasn’t just pushing products; she was selling stories and experiences. When sales were in a slump, Melba stepped out from behind the counter and started mingling with customers. Before long, every last basket was gone.

Her prowess in sales didn’t go unnoticed. Manufacturers started sending her goodies like bottles of perfume to showcase their wares. Back home, Melba amassed a collection of luxury fragrances, including the likes of Chanel and Coco. But she wasn’t hoarding them for herself.

A big party to celebrate her work and commitment

The decision to retire came to the woman when she realized that, despite the shop being just a 15-minute drive from her home, the unpredictable traffic could significantly prolong the commute. At the age of 91, with a birthday in November, Mebane found herself lacking the patience for such delays, and decided it was time to call it quits after some health stuff kept her away from work for a bit.

In June, the mother-son pair marked a significant reunion during Melba’s retirement celebration, offering a moment to reflect on a lifetime spent amidst the lively aisles of Dillard’s.When Melba made the retirement call, the Dillard’s crew threw her a big retirement party. Friends, colleagues, managers — they all showed up and had some pretty sweet things to say about her. Drue Methany, the Vice President at Dillard’s, who’s known Melba for a whopping 65 years, couldn’t help but gush about her.

Online users also had something to say about this story

Melba’s story, shared online, sparked a wave of admiration, with users dubbing her an “inspiration” and a “role model” for the younger generation. Many lauded her dedication, many others found it “sad”. Some expressed sympathy, perceiving Melba’s lifelong work commitment as a somewhat melancholic tale. One user commented, “This is the saddest story I’ve heard in a while. She worked her entire life away, and now that she’s in her last few years, she retires. That’s tragic.”

In response to these perspectives, Melba, who dedicated over 70 years to her work, maintains a positive outlook. She holds no regrets about her career. Her enduring love for her work and unwavering commitment serve as a counterpoint to the complexities surrounding retirement, offering a perspective that goes beyond the conventional narrative.

Melba’s story is seriously inspiring, especially when talking about something as touchy as retirement. On the flip side, there are people doing retirement differently, going for a more unconventional vibe.

Preview photo credit KLTV 7 / Youtube


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