November, 1952: Gloria could hear her parents talking in low, anxious tones from the room she shared with her sisters. Her father had worked only two days that week. The cupboard was bare. She could hear her mother soothing her father. He wasn’t feeling well, so the two agreed he would stay home from work.
Gloria stormed around the bedroom in a quiet rage. “We have no food!” she hissed at her sisters. If he didn’t work, there would be no dinner until Monday, and even that wasn’t a certainty.
At that moment, Gloria recalls now, seven decades later, she decided her life would be different. When she grew up, she would always work. And so she has. Only now, nearing 81, has she grudgingly agreed – with a nudge from her children – to retire.
FCG will miss her. Since she started with the company in 2005, she has been a rock of stability in the accounting office: wise, confident, and utterly reliable.
Her early years were challenging. She spent several evenings a week going to school while raising her children as a single mother. She even completed the rigorous management program at Macy’s. Nothing could slow her, not the everyday challenges of raising children nor the devastating loss of a daughter who died at age four from cancer.
Work was a sanctuary while her heart was given to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and, of course, all of us at FCG. She’s been a role model for our younger workers on maintaining a dedicated work ethic while living a good life.
She’s moving south at the end of the month and although she’s officially retired, I’m quite sure she’ll be in the office on Saturday, tidying a few things up. “I’m going to leave you in good shape,” she promised me.
Gloria’s departure marks the end of an era at FCG. We did it her way. She ruled the roost in the accounting department, making sure we met her extraordinarily high standards.
Now, her new agenda will be sticking her toes in the sand, enjoying happy hour and socializing with new friends. When the moving van arrives at her house, though, I think they’ll have to stop by our offices after packing up her belongings and coax her away from her desk.