How one dying company changed a life.

From the beginning of her life she was always destined to find this one true love.

Kmart bag

It began when she was 16.

“I got in a fight with my mom because she told me to get a job and I said ‘fine mom, I will.’ and out of anger I applied at Kmart. The next day I got a call and within 3 days I had the job.”

It didn’t start out as anything special; actually, quite the opposite

“The first day I hated it. I went home and cried and cried. I continued to cry after work the next few days.”

It wasn’t long until things began to change significantly.

“Eventually I learned the trick of the trade. I could fix any machine in that place and throughout the years I gained confidence and I found some of my closest friends. I also learned that I can be in a leadership position.”

Kmart became more than just a job to Courtney.

“I began to love the history of Kmart too.”

I asked Courtney if she could share some Kmart history with me.

“S.S. Kresge is the founder of Kmart and it was actually originally a dime store. While learning the history, I actually found out that the specific history of our Kmart and how it was in the building that used to be the old buckle warehouse and now I continue the history by collecting memorabilia from Kmart throughout the decades.”

Courtney even added to the history a little in her own unique way.

“We would go ghost hunting in Kmart and I started a rumor that it was haunted by two twin boys and one of the managers believed it and was actually scared.”

Kmart brought a lot of different characters into Courtney’s life that she won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

“A lot of interesting characters worked there. The impulsive liars who always had stories of working for the CIA, being friends with Dolly Parton, and working as Miley Cyrus’s body guard. The guy who forced me to watch his videos of him playing dance dance revolution. The guy who left to become a pro-wrestler (it didn’t pan out).”

“Working at Kmart was like a real life episode of the office”

Courtney began to share some of the shenanigans that her and her coworkers got into at Kmart on a daily basis.

“We had pizza parties all the time. We did a lot of photo shoots and we would change the walkie talkie stations so we could talk shit on the managers. Over the intercom we’d play a compilation Tim Allen’s grunts and suck helium before doing the closing calls. We would take defective sleds and sled over the piles of snow from the snow plows. We had a funeral for a mouse there. We even built a gingerbread replica of our store.”

kmart ginger.jpg

Eventually the reminiscing about her love got to her.

“Now I’m getting sad…” 

However, she still continued to share her happy memories.

“I started the club KFL Kmart for Life which I forced people to join and I would go to Kmart on my days off and hangout there for hours.”

“… But then everything changed when new management took over; still, the love never died.”

“September 17th, 2016 was the day that my life was forever changed.”

Courtney found out that Kmart was closing on that day and then she spent all of her time there until the moment when they had to leave for good. Now she visits every Kmart that she can when she travels.

While Courtney has found happiness at her current job, she still finds some comfort visiting the old Kmart parking lot for a good cry.

RIP Kmart 3814








3 thoughts on “How one dying company changed a life.

Add yours

  1. This was awesome. I never thought about how closing the Kmart would effect the employees besides them having to get new jobs. I find it funny that it used to be the old Buckle warehouse…because I’m working at the newer Buckle warehouse right now. I love how everything in the Midwest has a history like that and you always wind up working with the strangest people. It was a great story, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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