Five Minute Interview

Dorothy Smith has been working at the O’Leary Farmers Co-op close to 40 years. She started at the store’s lunch counter then moved to the administration office and became assistant manager in 2010. Melissa Heald photo

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Dorothy Smith has been the assistant manager at the O’Leary Farmers Co-op since 2010. The O’Leary Co-op has over 3,500 members and has been serving the communities of West Prince for over 70 years.

How long have you been working at the O’Leary Farmers Co-op?

I started in September 1981.

So, you will be celebrating 40 years this September?

That’s correct.

What is your position at the the O’Leary Farmers Co-op?

I work in the administration office. My title is assistant manager and I also do payroll and human resources.

How did you get started at the O’Leary Farmers Co-op?

I actually got employed to work at our lunch counter that we used to have.

How did you get hired?

I applied and they asked me if I would like to have that job, so I started on the lunch counter.

How long were you at the lunch counter?

I was down on the floor for three years and then I was asked to move to the administration office.

Because you were doing such a good job?

I don’t know. I was just very lucky.

When you moved to the administrative side, did you have to get training?

Basically I worked with prior people and got developed under the people I was taking over from.

Did you like what you were doing?

Oh yeah. I actually love what I do.

What do you love about it?

I enjoy working with people. I really enjoy working with my co-workers. I like working with financial figures.

What has it been like working at the O’Leary Farmers Co-op close to 40 years?

There have been many challenges, because we’re in retail, but I’ve had good leadership and it has worked really well for me.

What have you enjoyed the most about working at the O’Leary Farmers Co-op?

I like the small community atmosphere and I’m proud to have been an employee of my local co-op.

Have you seen many changes over the 40 years with the O’Leary Farmers Co-op?

Oh yes, but the most important thing to us is to make sure our members are being provided the goods and services they should be receiving.

Any plans to retire?

It’s in the future, but right now, I just feel I will know when the time is right for me to retire.

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