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S.S.Pierce Co.Boston,Ma.

Replies: 29

Re: S.S.Pierce Co.Boston,Ma.

Posted: 1229431341000
Classification: Query
Hi Courtney

I left the UK in October 1964 (green card). I had served an apprenticeship as a grocer and attended college to gain expertise in my trade. In a nut shell I was a bit of an expert. I was persuaded to come to the USA by my parents and George Seybolt. I arrived in October and stayed in Dedham Mass., in George's house.He had two daughters and two sons all at various stages in their education. Once I was settled George organised an interview for me with the head of personnel at SS Pierce. I was a bit green, only 20 yrs old, and didn't know much about the USA. I was offered "a start" at the Chestnuthill store but was told not to say anything to the manager about my connection to Seybolt and how I got the job as I would be suspected of being a "plant". The manager, Howard Shaw, spoke to me for five minutes, didn't understand a word I said about my qualifications, my accent probably made it really hard for him, he handed me a brush and said keep sweeping the floor. I was taken aback but since George got me the job and it was paying three times my UK salary I decided to give it a go- after all land of opportunity etc. I lasted three days, got bored, walked up to the large bank of cold counters , which were a mess and re-merchandised them. The assistant manager came up asked me why I was not sweeping, looked at the cold counters and before I could answer shot off to the other end of the store, dragged Howard Shaw back who asked me where I had learned to do that...had to be my accent..I just shook my head, he thought I was quiting so he offered me a dollar an hour more and put me in charge of the dairy counters- I had only just begun!! I ended up manageing all perishable goods in the store. I coudn't progress further without a college degree so sadly I left but on good terms. I made a lot of good friends and think of them often. Sadly too SS Pierce never really used more than 40% of what I was able to do as a grocer- I could have solved a number of the problems they had in distribution across the ten stores as well as the lack of training their managers had which ended up costing the business.I learned a lot too but one thing stuck. I used to talk to a guy "eddie".He stacked shelves but I found out he had a degree from Boston College. I made up my mind then that I would never do this type of work again, I would get that degree and move on to better things and returned to the UK in 1970. I learned a lot from the USA,for all its faults it had much to offer and still does-

SS Pierce stood for quality, right down to the very best canned products under the "epicure" label- where else could you get pineapple spears- no not Dole but the best in the world from South Africa- with the right soil conditions to produce fruit, properly packed in the right weight of syrup , when served just melted in your mouth! Dole was always too acidic due to the volcanic soil it grows in.

I have never shared this wee tale before so please forgive the ramble.

Kind Regards
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
brianmatheson... 1229374634000 
courtneyp78 1229376234000 
brianmatheson... 1229431341000 
courtneyp78 1229529028000 
brianmatheson... 1229618958000 
Carolyn Stets... 1433788485000 
CoSullivan24 1343835959000 
bernicewalsh 1350262875000 
3putter 1233844844000 
anartistindc 1292140198000 
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