Marking a milestone: N.B. man to become hardware store’s longest-serving employee after nearly half a century on the job
FREDERICTON -- A man in Fredericton, N.B. is set to celebrate a big milestone as he marks 47 years working for the same company.
Gerald Gorman, 66, works at the Home Hardware store in Fredericton. On Friday, he will become the longest-serving employee at that location.
"I just came in looking for work one day and here I am, never went home," said Gorman.
Over the years, Gorman says he has grown a close bond with many who visit the store.
"This is all like a family. My customers come here and I've known them for years and years," Gorman explained. "Now I'm into second and third generation of my customers."
During a period of nearly five decades, the 66-year-old says he has learned almost every job there is to do at the hardware store.
"They don't work me very hard here," said Gorman. "It's busy, I keep steady on the desk, but I don't have to go out and load trucks anymore."
As much as Gorman says he enjoys his customers, frequent visitors to the store say they also look forward to seeing him. Some even visit almost seven days a week.
"I probably see Gerald almost every day. My wife gives me a hard time about that," said Brian Whitters, one of Gorman's frequent visitors. "I have to go see the boys at the hardware store, Gerald especially."
"He makes me cross the river, I live on the south side of Fredericton now, but I've always come to Wilkins (Home Hardware) because of Gerald and because of the family that's running it," explained Scott Carson, who shops at the hardware store. "It's worth coming to the place that people know your name."
Gorman’s coworkers say they can't imagine a day at work without his presence.
"He keeps you on your toes. He's very quick and you never know what he's going to say. He's very knowledgeable," said Kevin King, an employee at Home Hardware in Fredericton.
"He's a lot of fun and he won't retire because he will miss it," said Dave Withers, an employee at the hardware store.
Gorman says, as far as retirement, he's tried once before, but quickly returned after missing the atmosphere. He's not sure when he will try to take the leap again.