Doug, 80, still keen on the job

By Matthew Martin

1 comment
ON THE JOB: Doug James turns 80 today and is still working as a flooring salesman, a job he is not at all ready to give up. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
ON THE JOB: Doug James turns 80 today and is still working as a flooring salesman, a job he is not at all ready to give up. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

Doug James loves his job and has no intention of retiring, even after celebrating his 80th birthday at home in Rotorua today.

His employer, Warehouse Carpets manager Duane Frost, said there was no substitute for experience and Mr James had plenty of that.

He works from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday, as well as covering for other staff when they wanted a day off.

"He's got a job here as long as he wants one, we are very lucky to have him here," Mr Frost said.

In more recent years Mr James has had a knee and hip replaced, but Mr Frost said he spent minimal time off and was back at work as soon as he could be.

"I've been working with Dougie since 2006.

"He brings a huge wealth of knowledge to the company, what he hasn't seen is not worth seeing."

For example, Mr Frost said Mr James could tell from a photo if an old product had asbestos in it.

"I've learned a lot from him. He's very good with our customers, some of them have known him from 30 years ago, or more," Mr Frost said.

ON THE JOB: Doug James turns 80 today and is still working as a flooring salesman, a job he is not at all ready to give up. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
ON THE JOB: Doug James turns 80 today and is still working as a flooring salesman, a job he is not at all ready to give up. PHOTO/BEN FRASER


"Basically, I've been in sales forever," Mr James told the Rotorua Daily Post.

"In my early days I started as an apprentice upholsterer and as part of that I did do some carpet laying. I started that in 1954, but started in sales in 1962 for Wholesale Floor Coverings.

"I'm feeling pretty good, I have no trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

"I could not imagine life without what I'm doing, retirement has never entered my head," Mr James said.

"I love the industry I've dedicated so much time and energy to over my life and I still enjoy what I do.

"It certainly keeps me out of trouble and I love the challenge of seeing a job through from go to whoa, and the people I work with, which is the most important thing for me."

Mr James said he would have to consider retirement at some stage "but not in the foreseeable future".

"In a nutshell, I thoroughly enjoy it".

Mr James said he had a sneaking feeling his family and friends were putting a party on for him today, due to the fact no-one had actually spoken to him about his birthday.

"It's all a bit suspicious," he said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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