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After Big B

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

After Big B

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“I’m not retiring, I’m refocusing on other things.”
That cheery outlook is held by Golda King who is retiring from Super Centre Big B, where she is a manager, after 40 years. But rest assured, she doesn’t plan to go quietly into that good night of retirement. For her, this new phase of her life is just a lifestyle shift, and one that she’s eager to embrace.
While her work experience has been as varied as her life’s journey with stints at Cave Shepherd, the Cotton Factory, and the Bridgetown Port, it was at Big B where Golda made her mark on the store and also with many of the staffers.
“I have been with Big B since its inception when it was M. A. Bourne back in 1973,” she said. “The supermarket in Worthing offered me a job in Roebuck Street, which I did there for six months.”
After coming up to the Worthing facility, Golda never left . . . that is until now . . . .
For Golda her job as manager has truly been a labour of love with her being hands on and accessible to the staff as well as customers.
Sometimes you would find her packing groceries, collecting carts, helping customers find products or solutions, and doing everything that was within her job description and more. Perhaps that’s why she is so loved and respected by the staff at Big B, who are sad to see her leave.”
“I guess this is really what I should have been doing,” Golda said. “I love the customers to really have an enjoyable experience when they come to Big B and by extension Super Centre.”
While she will be the first to tell you that she’s spent many long hours at work, she has always found ways to juggle her family life as well. Golda, who has been married for 42 years and is a mother of three, faced the challenges that every working mother has faced. No matter how rewarding the job, there are tradeoffs that women generally have to make.
“Being in this job taught me so much about life, and having to deal with my own personal challenges,” she said.
“I learned how to throw meals together quickly. I had to miss a lot of occasions and functions in my children’s lives that I wish I would have been able to attend. But I talked to them (my children) and built that sort of relationship. 
“Young as they were, they understood it was necessary for mummy to do this. Then when they interacted with their other friends, they realized mummy can’t do this but there is something more coming. Her love is always there.”
After several decades at Big B, Golda has seen her share of changes within the country and within the business.
“What I found with the change going from the Bourne family business and the transition into Super Centre, what stood out for me is how smooth it was and it showed true Barbadian spirit,” Golda said.
“We went right into Super Centre, but the resistance has never been there, people just moved right into it and accepted it. The love for this place . . . that is what has kept the staff going. The staff that is still here from before, the enthusiasm and love they have for that name Big B makes me feel so proud to have been part of Big B.
“One of the things that Super Centre has always stressed is good customer service and we try. We hope that young people would emulate and give good customer service.”
As the end of her tenure approaches, Golda, is eagerly looking forward to the next phase of her life.
“Actually, I look forward to it. Not having had that flexibility early in life to play house with my husband who is already retired, I am looking forward to being at home. We can sit and have breakfast together,” she said.
“Besides my three children, I have five grandchildren and they’re all girls so I always say the Lord always gives me challenges, but He doesn’t leave me alone with them.”
Golda plans to be very active in the lives of her grandchildren.
“I don’t see this as retirement. I see this as refocusing on other things. Besides, I feel better now at 64 than I did at 40.”