Supermarkets oldest worker says everyday is different – even after 92 years
This great grandad is a supermarket’s oldest worker but insists ‘every day is different’ – even after 92 years.
Nonagenarian Tom Brogan has been a porter at Asda‘s superstore in Wigan, Greater Manchester, for three decades and has no plans to retire as he loves meeting new people and helping customers.
Tom, who has two children Elaine, 68, and Stuart, 62, seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren, does not let his age get in the way and can often be spotted loading shopping into the cars of customers in their 40s and 50s.
The grandad is such a hit with customers that many of them plan their shopping around his shifts so they can pop by and have a chat.
While working into their 90s might not be everyone’s cup of tea, Tom believes his job keeps him active and healthy and says he doesn’t feel his age at all.
Tom said: “If I didn’t come to work here I would really miss everything about everyday working life. I would miss the chat with customers and catching up with them.
“I meet some very nice people. Every day is different – you meet different people all with different stories.
“Sometimes they’re having a good time, sometimes middle and sometimes bad, but it’s just nice to talk to them.
“They come for a shop of course but they come for a chat too – this store is at the centre of the community here.
“I have a wonderful life. I live on my own but I’ve got a really good family round me – I’m always surrounded by grandkids.
“I’m healthy and active – I don’t feel 92. I’ve just got myself a smartphone and I’m on Facebook too – although I haven’t used it much yet.”
The ‘lovely chap’ is so well-liked amongst colleagues that they threw a surprised part for Tom for his 92nd birthday yesterday (TUES).
When Tom arrived at work today colleagues had decorated a trolley and put up banners and balloons.
Tom said: “It was such a nice surprise to see what they’d done here for my birthday. I was chuffed to hear I am Asda‘s oldest colleague.”
Tom ran a shop and post office in Flint in Wales with his late wife Joan before moving back to his home town of Wigan in 1988.
He joined Asda as a porter and retired in 1996 but continued to shop at the store.
But just before Christmas 1997 colleagues asked Tom if he was interested in returning on a three-month temporary contract – and he has stayed ever since, working three mornings a week.
People trading manager Mark Bell said: “A lot of our regular customers know when Tom’s in so they’ll come in on those days just to see him.
“He’s amazing – you’ll see him loading groceries into the cars of customers half his age. He’s a pleasure to work with and an inspirational character to have in the business.”
And Tracey Magee, who’s worked at the store for 16 years, added: “Tom is a really lovely chap – he’s bubbly and always smiling.
“He doesn’t look his age. As well as helping customers with their shopping, he’s helped change their tyres when they got a flat too! We’re so lucky and happy to have him here.”
Margaret Barker, 66, who had a stroke last year and needs a mobility scooter to get out now, said Tom really stood out for how helpful he has been with her shopping, describing him as ‘unbelievable’.
Margaret said: “When I came back after my stroke everyone was really helpful but Tom stuck out.
“He always has a smile on his face and will do anything to help you – he’s such a nice gentleman. For 92 he’s unbelievable really.”