If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a worker at a Speedway in the United States or you’re considering applying there. No, I don’t work for or have connections to Speedway, but as the name would suggest, I do love fast cars – with a special passion for NASCAR. And as much as I’d like to sit here and brag about how much money I’ve made working for one of the most iconic race venues in the world, I can’t. That’s because I don’t work there anymore. But before I tell you why, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.
The Early Years
When I started working at Speedway in 2007, the first thing that would greet you as you walked down the halls were the smell of grease and oil. This was because back then, cars were still being driven on the property. In fact, one of the first employees I met when I started there was a gentleman named Floyd who would later become my boss. He was in his 80s at the time and had been working for the company since it opened in 1955. Before that, he’d worked for Morris Motors and J.I. Case, a company that manufactured pianos. When my boss Floyd was promoted to department manager, he asked me if I’d be interested in becoming a lead stock person. Of course, I said yes. And although I didn’t know what that entailed at the time, I soon found out. Lead stock people get the juicy assignments – like counting the cash that comes in at the end of the night, running errands for the managers, and driving a different car than everyone else (which is usually a Mustang or an Eagle – our other cars were considered “service vehicles”). So, yes, I was in high school when I started working there but it wasn’t exactly what you’d call a cushy job. When I brought my little brother Danny, who was also in school at the time, he got a job there as a bus boy and worked his way up to general manager. He retired about two years ago and now works for the Community of Christ, a church group that owns a lot of land in the state of Indiana and runs a retirement home there.
The 80s And 90s
When I came back from college in 1989, I was eager to jump into the workforce and save up some money. I applied for a job at a K-Mart in the automotive section and was hired on the spot. I spent the next 12 years working my way up from stock person to manager and purchasing stock at the same time. During that time, I noticed a trend on our breaks: some guys would play a board game –usually Monopoly– while the rest of us just stared at our phones. It didn’t seem to matter what generation we were in, the phones were always out. Then, in 2001, K-Mart decided to cut back on their operations in Indiana and laid off many of its employees. As part of the settlement, they offered me either re-employment or a severance package. I chose the latter and decided to look for a job closer to home. One of my friends at work, Mike, worked at a Sheetz gas station just outside of Indianapolis and told me they were looking for someone with my experience. So, I applied and got the job. A few weeks later, a guy by the name of Dale, who was the general manager at that time, called me into his office and offered me the job as a stock person. I accepted and started working night shifts, which was okay by me. I wasn’t too keen on working night shifts because I didn’t want to ruin my chances of getting a good night’s sleep, but I needed the money. Within a few months, the economy tanked and gas stations were closed due to the lack of customers. That’s when I decided to look for another job. This time, I needed a day shift and decided to apply at a McDonald’s. I got the job and started working there two days a week but found myself wanting more. So, after about a year, I decided to speak to a recruiter from McDonald’s who called me a month later and asked me if I was still interested in working there. I told him I was and he set up an interview for me. A few days later, I got a call from someone at McDonald’s who said I’d been selected to interview at a local Speedway. He told me to get my stuff together because I was heading there for the interview. We chatted for a while and he told me to bring my resume with me. When I got there, I was interviewed by a woman named Tanya who asked me standard questions about my previous jobs and told me a little about the company. Since I didn’t have a lot of experience, she said she’d take her time with me and see how I performed during the interview process. Afterward, she told me to return the following week for a job fair where I’d get to meet some of the other employees. When the day of the job fair arrived, I got up early and went to my car to get ready. I was feeling nervous because this was my first job interview after leaving McDonald’s and didn’t know what to expect. As I was getting dressed, I noticed a car coming down the road and thinking it was either the recruiter or another employee coming to pick me up, I ran out to greet them. But when I realized it was a cop coming to arrest me, I broke into a run. Unfortunately, because I was wearing the skirt that day, it became a little bit embarrassing as I ran for my life. The cop gave me a funny look and eventually let me go with a warning. The moral of the story is: always wear pants when you’re dancing or going for a walk. And never wear a skirt with pizza in the oven. 😅