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22 years of work remembered

22 years ago, Barbara Miles began working at Winn-Dixie and never looked back.

Last Saturday was Miles’ last day at Piggly Wiggly and she said it was a career to be remembered.

“I was a stay at home mom to begin with,” Miles said. “But then my two boys started school and I went to work at Winn Dixie part-time. It was just something to do. After about seven months, I went full-time and I have been here ever since.”

Miles and her aunt, Labonia Fuqua, are the only two deli/bakery managers that Winn Dixie and Piggly Wiggly has ever seen in Andalusia.

“I stayed because I just love the work,” Miles said. “I have worked with some great people over the years. Just a lot of good people.”

Miles said helping customers is the best part of her job.

“Usually I don’t try and get on the floor to work because I don’t get too much done because I am talking to customers,” Miles said. “I have seen many people go from a young age to having children of their own. I always care about my customers.”

The thing she will miss the most about the job, Miles said will be the people she works with.

“Just the people that I see every day on the job,” Miles said. “I really enjoy interacting with them and the customers.”

For the person taking over Miles’s position, she said don’t sweat the small stuff.

“There are not too many things that you can’t fix,” Miles said. “Somebody in the store can help you fix it. So, don’t sweat the small things.”

In her retirement, Miles plans on spending time with family.

“I have a special needs son that is 29, so I will get to spend some time with him,” Miles said. “I also have a 13-year-old grandson. Now that I will have free time on the weekends there will be some things that I will get to do with him. I’ll also be keeping my 14-month-old granddaughter and she will definitely keep me busy. Other than that, I will probably just do projects around the house that I have never got around to doing.”

Piggly Wiggly manager Chantz Robertson said Miles was a very valuable person throughout his time at Winn Dixie and Piggly Wiggly.

“If there is one thing that I have always been able to do, its count on her,” Robertson said. “She has always exceeded and excelled in everything she did. She has won several awards. The thing I’m probably most proud of is that she has spearheaded that entire department and put it together to be successful. We have argued and cried together and we know everything about each other.”