Capilano Mall in east Edmonton has seen a lot of changes over the last half century, but one of the reasons for coming in has remained constant: retail worker Donna Batiuk.
Batiuk started at the Woolco location there, before it became a Walmart in the 90s. She still remembers her first day.
“Sept. 21, 1971,” she said proudly. “They haven’t changed me. I have not changed.”
At first she took the job because she needed one, but eventually grew to love retail.
“You’re always doing something different, like every season is different and you’re changing all the time,” she explained.
So Batiuk never left. She still works the cash register, helps customers find things, whatever they need her to do.
Donna Batiuk points herself out in a staff photo from the 1990s.
“She’s become someone that the customers and associates relate Capilano Walmart to,” said store manager Bart Caputo.
“She has all of this experience behind her, she has all these people that come through the doors that absolutely adore her and have for the last 50 years,” said department manager Cheyanne Nichols.
In September, the store had a celebration where Batiuk was given a 50 year service badge. She wears it proudly next to her name tag.
“I look at it and I think I’ve accomplished something over the years,” she said.
Her advice to younger employees that come and go: embrace change, and appreciate every day.
“And I hope that I can pass that on to every associate that comes in here. Enjoy what you’re doing today, okay? And enjoy today.”
Batiuk still has no plans to retire. She hopes to help keep Capilano Walmart running for at least five more years.
“Somebodys got something they’ve gotta get done? Well, they ask Donna. And Donna does it,” she said.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jessica Robb
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