Rani started working in FairPrice in 1989. Nearly 31 years later, she’s still going strong. What kept her going is the family vibe at FairPrice.
In the early days when there was no childcare available, juggling both parenthood and career was a tough choice. Rani’s manager allowed her to bring her son to the store, who would sit by her side behind the counter of the electronics department for a couple of hours until her husband came to fetch him. Small gestures of kindness like this gave Rani a sense of belonging at FairPrice.
“To me, family comes first,” she said. It’s not just her son and daughter she’s looking after; Rani was also supporting her mother. It has never been easy for her to give her best to both work and family. Over the last three decades at FairPrice, even though she started as a full-timer, she eventually took a break after her marriage and later returned to serve as a part-timer.
As a hard worker, her manager recognised her efforts and contributions thus urged her to stay on and offer flexibility in time management as a part-timer.
Being treated as part of a big family at FairPrice was not the only reason that made her continue serving at FairPrice.
“You have to be thick-skinned,” she quipped.
Recalling her years of serving customers primarily in the east of Singapore, from Marine Parade to Bedok, Rani’s observation is that customers’ demands have increased significantly. She’s relating this to a plethora of products consumers are now exposed to and as a retail assistant, she must keep herself abreast with new product knowledge.
In contrast to the expansive product variations for today’s consumers, the old days were more about smart handy work as she reminisced her time at the electronics department. Working there would mean she had to learn how to manually convert two-pin plugs to three-pin for various appliances such as the blender.
“It wasn’t called FairPrice Xtra in the past but you know, it’s like a bazaar! We had everything from clothing to film development, I remember Kodak! We also knew the cost price and had to document pricing manually with paper and pen, these days we don’t need to know the cost price anymore.” she recalled.
When not at work, Rani enjoys spending time with her colleagues, who are more like friends to her. Whenever they take breaks, they would gather at East Coast Park to enjoy the breeze.
Reading books and enjoying palm painting with her daughter are also some of her favourite past times.
Rani has declined the opportunity to be promoted to become a team leader. She confessed: “I like to be stress-free, and if I’m stressed I told my manager he’ll always see a long face. But I did ask for a transfer so that I can go to another format (Finest) and learn new things and I’m glad they gave me the opportunity.”
When asked if being stress-free was the secret to her youthful skin, she candidly shared: “just smile more and don’t think too much!”