King City cashier has a second career at 30 years and running
At about the time most people are thinking seriously about retirement — and some actually do it — Dolly Bailey began a second career at the Rite Aid pharmacy and store serving King City.
That was 30 years ago.
"This is a good company to work for," said Bailey, who lives in King City, near the store where she works.
Bailey recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with the store at a surprise celebration in the guise of welcoming back a former store manager. She also recently celebrated her 92nd birthday, which was on Sept. 15.
"Dolly is a part of King City," said Kelly McCartney, Bailey's supervisor and store manager. "Everybody knows who she is."
Bailey is so well-known that some people who encounter her in other area stores think she also works there.
Even though she's in her early 90s, Bailey is not planning to retire again — having done so already back in 1989, after an 18-year career working at J.C. Penney. But that same year, she started working at Rite Aid.
"I had lost my husband, and I needed to be with people," Bailey explained, in between helping customers. "So I decided to come here to work — I thought part-time. But I never worked part-time. It's been full-time since day one."
She hasn't regretted it.
"I work with good people," Bailey said. "And as I said, I felt I needed to be with people again. I enjoy it. I tell them I enjoy all of the things they let me do — and some of the things they do not let me do."
She works at the Rite Aid at 16200 S.W. Pacific Highway in Tigard Towne Square. Although her primary job is as a cashier, "we do a little bit of everything," Bailey said — including tending to store displays and guiding customers to find what they need.
Some customers even choose to wait when there are multiple cashiers so that Bailey can serve them.
McCartney has known Bailey for about 17 years.
"She shows up in the morning, and she has her day planned out, tomorrow planned out — and she reminds you of the things you forgot to do yesterday that she told you to do," he said.
Bailey chuckled, "He likes it when I'm not here, because I'm not on his case."
"You can't get anything by Dolly," McCartney said.
Some store customers may get ornery at times, but Bailey said she takes it in stride.
"You just say 'thank you and come back again,'" she said. "Then you can form your own opinion after they go through the door."
Bailey does treat the store employees to homemade baked goods on "freight day," usually Tuesdays, when a truck brings store supplies.
"They have to have energy to get their jobs done," she reasoned.
She also makes employees' favorite dishes on their birthdays. But McCartney is still awaiting his very favorite meal.
"I have known Dolly for about 17 years, and I have wanted biscuits and gravy," he said. "She's yet to bring that in."
Bailey knows it.
"One of these days, I am going to surprise him," she said mischievously.
Bailey credits her longevity to several factors, including a diet with rice and nine gin-soaked raisins for breakfast.
"I do it for the gin, not the raisins," she said with a laugh.
Other factors she credits are associating with people, walking and doing a daily crossword puzzle.
"You have to have your legs going, and also your brain," she said. A crossword puzzle "warms your brain up," she explained.
"I don't want an easy one," Bailey added.
Bailey does not have a specific birthday wish. But at her age and seniority, she has lots of time off, which she will use in the near future to visit Hawaii and Alaska on separate trips. She's been to Alaska seven times.
"After 92 years, there's not much left to hope for," she said. "But I always say, my bucket list is getting longer, and my life is getting shorter."
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