An Open Letter to a Mentor

It started as a job. That’s it. I interviewed, and you offered me the job on the spot. Later on, you told me that I wasn’t a good interview, but I was a looker, and that’s what you needed to fill the job.

Little did you know how much you changed me, made me the person who I am today, and showed me how sure I really am about my career path. I’m sure that I am not the only one who feels this way, but I’m here to tell you thank you. Thank you for letting me put all my emotions on the table, thank you for letting me be your friend…while you became my first mentor in my career. A career that I didn’t even know was worth pursuing, until you opened the door, and walked me down the first part of the path.

You showed me that retail is not just a job, but rather a career for the wise, witty, and creative. You taught me how to sell…sell ice to an Eskimo, and make them believe that they really needed it. You did all of that, while showing me that a mentor, and a manager could be a respected friend and confidant. Countless memories go through my head, while I reminisce about how different I was, and still am, to you. Yet, you still cared, and you still let me be me…while shaping and molding me to make smart decisions in my personal and career life. You did all that, in two short years.

I was going through issues; there was no doubt about that. You let me air it out, on the clock, while still teaching me and using my useless Excel and Power point knowledge to your advantage. You encouraged me to finish school, while reaching inside my heart to let me see my full potential. I came as a broken mess, and you helped me pick up the pieces and move upwards from the lowest position in the store to a respected position that utilized my talents and smarts.

My days and moods varied on what kind of customers that I would encounter that day. “Did I want this to be forever? Is this the company to stay with?” All the while, you were there with the answers. The truth is, you saw that I was good…nay, great at what I was doing, and you tapped into that. I was never meant to be a social worker, sociologist, or (for a brief month) a terrorist interviewer. I was meant to make people happy, and although retail seems to be more on the materialistic aspect of careers…you showed me that there is a way to make it into a happy and fulfilling life.

You saw it inside me, and you grabbed it. Not for your own benefit, but rather because you saw the pain behind my eyes while I tried to figure out what I was going to be for the rest of my life. Maybe, you saw you inside of me, or maybe you still don’t realize how much you actually meant to me, but for everything that you did, and for all of the doors you opened for me, all while being a friend…thank you.








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