Earl McRae's column in the Sun today
seems to answer a long-standing curiosity I had when looking for a job last summer: Why does Island Park Esso alone, of any employer in the city, seem to be perpetually advertising for any and all positions in the want ads?
I pull into the full-service station with the request on my tongue: $1 worth of gas. [...]
The station I pick is Island Park Esso Service at Island Park Dr. and Wellington St., long owned by John Newcombe. A colleague told me it's the best full-service station in the city -- the kind of throwback friendly, courteous, speedy service that hardly exists anymore in society. [...]
Welcome to Team Newcombe. Jordan Foley, 22, Justin Collins, 20, Stephane Blais, 19, all university students, all highly motivated, all clean-cut, all fit-looking, all mannerly, all with personality, all with a strong work ethic, and John Newcombe won't have it any other way.
It's why his station doesn't experience "full-service" reluctance. His huge clientele at the pumps include the elderly and handicapped, but also the young and healthy.
"When he hires you," says Justin Collins, "the interview can take an hour. He asks everything about you. He knows who he wants. You won't see anybody here with long hair or piercings, or with an attitude problem.
"My first day, my socks were below my ankle. He said they had to be above the ankle. He emphasizes speed and politeness. He told us we have no more than 10 seconds to be at a car, anything higher is unacceptable. And we have to run. We have it down to three seconds, tops. Mr. Newcombe did dry runs with us on our speed and courteousness. He said, 'Pretend I'm a customer' and he pulled up to a pump and tested us." Collins smiles. "It doesn't matter if someone asks for $1 of gas or 10c, he gets the same friendly full service. I love working here."
Huzzah for enforcing a high-quality work ethic, certainly - and especially compared to McRae's other experience in the column - but that the owner is a boss that demanding would tend to explain the rate of churn.