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When making suggestions to new employees on potential role models, Baker’s IGA owner Gary Baker holds up long-time employee Glenn Speer as the ultimate example. For evidence, Baker points to Speer’s 45-year career with IGA, and how he’s still going strong.
“Glenn’s the exception to the rule. We’ve had some people work for us for 20, 30 years, but Glenn has stayed longer than anyone. He takes his job very seriously.” Baker shared some additional insights into why he nominated Speer for IGA Employee of the Month.
I hired him myself in 1974, when he was 16. It was a part-time job and he bagged groceries and carried them out, stocked shelves. Back in those days we had to sort the empty pop bottles to send back (keep all the Coke, Pepsi, etc., together). It wasn’t anyone’s favorite job, but he did that, too. After high school, he kept working for us, and recently was recognized for 45 years of continuous service to Baker’s IGA. Now at the age of 61 he is first cutter in our meat department.
Glenn is known all over town as the go-to guy for any special cut of meat. He cuts all the meat for many clubs and organizations that purchase large orders for banquets, weddings, and other special events.
Recently our meat manager was hospitalized with a severe infection for several weeks and Glenn has stepped up to lead the department through this difficult time.
I can count out my hand the number of days he’s missed in 45 years. When he missed a day, he must have been really sick. Everyone in the community knows him. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Glenn. Friendly toward everyone, he never loses his temper or gets upset.
In order to work a job like this for as long as he has without getting bored, you have to love people. In any job, there’s always going to be someone who gets on your nerves. With Glenn, he loves being with and working with people. A job without a lot of human contact would not be a good fit for him.
If you look up loyalty and dependability in the dictionary, you’d see his photo. Any extra-curricular activity, like a float in the parade, whatever’s needed outside the normal four walls of the store, he’s the first to volunteer.
One memory that stands out is of a parade one year, where Glenn dressed up as [Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher] Cy Young, who is one of the most famous native sons from our little town.
There are so many other times he stepped up. I can’t even imagine all the things he’s done to assist the company over 45 years.