She started as a cashier in 1996. Now, she looks back on the hectic workflow and remembers it wasn’t easy that first day – or that first week.
“I thought I was never going to get the hang of it,” she said. “I was sure I was either going to get fired or quit that first week.”
Like all newbies, Michelle eventually mastered the various duties of a cashier and got used to the fast-paced action of the 24th Street West store.
“I liked it because it was fun, and I liked the people I worked with,” she said.
Three years went by fast, and before she knew it, her manager took her aside and asked her what her plans were for her future. College? Career? Michelle was certainly ready for a new challenge, but she wasn’t ready to leave MasterLube.
“Why can’t I move up? Why can’t I do what the guys do?” she asked.
Before she knew it she was training as a tech, under the hood. The challenge was just what Michelle needed, and she loved learning the details on all the oils, fluids, and procedures. She did get some sideways glances from male customers who were surprised to see her working on their cars, but her team recognized her as a valued member regardless of her gender.
Michelle eventually became assistant manager, then manager of the Grand Avenue store. Her favorite part of the job was the camaraderie, and she enjoyed working with her diverse crew.
“I never looked at it like I was the boss,” she said. “I looked at it like, this is a team. I’m no better than you are, and I wasn’t shy about asking for help from my team.”
From there, she stepped into a role as inventory manager, coordinating supply orders and deliveries, as well as doing month-end inventory. Once again, Michelle enjoyed the teamwork, collaborating with store managers, vendors, and delivery people.
Nine years ago she moved to the office, where she’s still a part of the team. Even though she doesn’t get out to the stores as often as she’d like, Michelle’s favorite part of her job is being able to assist employees in almost every area of the business.
On that first day on the job 20 years ago, when she scrambled to keep up, a career at MasterLube was the last thing on her mind. Now, MasterLube has become her career, and it’s her first suggestion to anyone looking for work.
“MasterLube always provided me with growth opportunities,” she said. “And that’s what we’re all about. We’re there to help you to be what you want to be when you grow up.”