Today, we’re going to kick today’s feature off with a cliché writing tactic, starting a narrative out by sharing a statistic! Did you know, according to an economic news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years that wage and salary workers have worked for their current employer is currently 4.6 year; the median tenure for workers age 25 to 34 is 3.2 years. This means, just about every time the USA is looking for a new president, its citizens are looking for a new occupation! Is this true for you or most people you know? What would inspire you to stay at one job for more than three or four years, money, location, hours, co-workers? Whatever types of thoughts this information spurs up in you, know, when it comes to time spent on the clock with one company, our guest today blows these numbers out of the water!
This week, we’re joined by Richard Bochman. Many of you Elko natives may know/know of Richard; he is the husband of Cammie Bochman, a twenty-four-year employee of Taco Time and the person whose own AAT feature currently has been read more than any other feature in the history of this website Cammie Bochman: Taco Time. Moreover, this year, on the 3rd of October, Richard will have been with our local Walmart for twenty-one years! That’s quite an accomplishment! Although diagnosed with a learning disability at an early age, nothing stops Richard from one of the most dependable/compassionate men in our town! Richard, for those who may not know you too well, can you tell us a little about yourself? “I’m actually from Colorado; I came up to Nevada because my dad was in the mining from Hawthorne to Battle Mountain. I graduated from Battle Mountain (high school). I came out to Elko on my own when I got married to Cammie at twenty-three. I worked for a thrift store in town for a while before getting my job at Walmart in 1997. Right now, I work as a cart pusher/outdoors leader, but I’ve done everything, whatever the managers need. It’s like the postmen say, rain, sleet or snow, I’m out there!”
Many of us are glad you’re out there almost every day, Richard! Gosh, twenty-one years, that’s a very long time to be in one location, especially according to the norms of today. What’s your motivation for showing up to work time and time again? What does the future hold for you as an employee at the superstore? “Just being blessed by loving what I do. Sometimes, God gives you the ability to live with and work with others. I love dealing with a lot of people of a lot of different backgrounds; it doesn’t matter what their culture is, Israelian, Iraqi, Hawaiian, New Yorkers. I just love helping out; the Bible says your actions can speak louder than your words, so if someone comes up and looks like they’re having a bad day, encourage them. The future is… you never know, but as long as I can walk and do the job, then I’ll do it.”
So, as a Walmart veteran, what kind of wisdom would you pass on to someone coming in to apply at your store, seeking a job? “People will come in and blame managers or the “big company” of Walmart when things don’t work out for them there, but the reality is, you have to look at yourself. When you want to work, you’re going to have to work. When people come in to apply at Walmart, I try to tell them that it’s not going to be as easy as you think it is; it’s hard sometimes.”
Those are well-said words, Richard! Now, there are over five thousand Walmart stores and clubs nationwide; you have been dedicated to the one in Elko, Nevada for two decades. How do you feel about our town? “I love the town. People may say stuff about the town because there’s not much for kids to do or complain about the drinking and gambling, but the reality is…Elko’s not that bad! It’s small but still unique. The people are very down to Earth. There are different types of people here, some people who are nice and people who are rude, but you should still have the same respect for them as you would want them to have for you.”
Thank you for your compassionate heart, Richard. To conclude our time together, could you maybe share with us two things? One, what’s one of your favorite moments from working at your store after all these years? Two, what would you say is the key to long-time work success? “I was outside pushing carts, and I ran into a veteran. We got to talking. I thanked him for his service and asked if I could help him in any way. That was great to help someone out who has paid for our freedom. The greatest gift is life; I may have a disability, and I may not have all the answers or understand you, but I’ll always be there to help you, pray for you, and encourage you. My mom always told me growing up, it doesn’t matter who they are or what they look like; have respect. I guess that’s the best thing I could say about me is that’s not even about me! Twenty-one years is wonderful, but it’s really all about going out and helping others. That’s basically the key.”
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See you around, Elko!