Long-serving Sainsbury's Burnley employee retires with good wishes of shoppers and colleagues
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Mr Chris Wharton was one of the first people to be employed in Burnley by Sainsbury’s when it first opened in 1985.
Throughout those many years, Chris was the friendly face pushing shopping trolleys in the car park, and helping customers whenever he could.
Reflecting on retirement, Chris said: “I’m going to get a season ticket for Burnley now, because I know that I don’t have to work every other Saturday,” jokingly adding: “I ought to aply for a job on the Turf, I’d be great as a steward, I’ve had 38 years experience of standing out in all weathers helping people.”
Colleague Mark Whiteley paid tribute to Chris’ professionalism and dedication.
“Chris was one of the first people to be employed at the newly opened Sainsbury’s back in 1985 when we opened our doors for the first time.
“Since then he has become a friendly face for the people of Burnley, always happy to help and ready with a smile.
“Customers often shared their appreciation of him, one even bought him a box of chocolates to show her gratitude.
“In snow, rain and sometimes sun, he must have walked a marathon a week up and down the car park, getting through a good two pairs of boots a year. Indeed, he weathered some tough seasons, gathering trolleys in the depths of the winter.”
Mark added that Chris went the extra mile to assist vulnerable people with heavy bags, often braving challenging weather conditions shovelling snow to ensure customers left with a smile.
There were also humorous anecdotes including a time when it was pitch black in the car park and Chris was pushing a long line of trolleys. As he got to an intersection a taxi ran into his procession, scattering trollies all over the car park, wheels flying everywhere.
Mark said: “A faithful employee, his employment record was impeccable and the store certainly made sure that Chris knew how much he was appreciated on his final day. When he left, staff and customers treated him to a Burnley shirt, a bottle of whiskey and beers to enjoy.
Indeed, as he walked out of the shop for the last time, everyone stood and clapped him out.