After I retired from Corporate America, I traveled the world to learn about people and culture — my favorite places is the Middle East — I find the people and culture beautiful and similar to my family values — they take care of their family like the way my father taught me as a child. I’m sadden of the suffering they are going through as a result of bad apples in the bucket; but, that’s another BLOG.
During my 11 years of retirement, I also worked on my tennis game — God blessed me with my everlasting youth (mentally, spiritually, and physically); hence, surprisingly, I’m a better tennis player at 53 years old than I was in my pre-teens, teens, and in early adulthood. I’m faster, stronger, and better.
In addition to my travels and tennis game, during my 11 years of retirement, I grew my money via real estate investments. Essentially, with my stock investments, retirement money and my real-estate investments, and the money from my parents, I have a golden parachute that keeps my feet touching the ground in this lifetime.
As you know, I continue to purse my life-long passion as a film actor and film producer; so, I acted and worked on film projects — I even invested in a horror film that is doing…eh…okay — hell, when I invest in films, my primary reason for the investment is for the creation of art or because I have a close attachment to the contents of the film or actors in the film — if it makes money, great!
Also, I raced around in my Ferraris; but, recently, because of my ties to law enforcement, I don’t do as much of it anymore…my interest in speeding has drastically decreased after going through the San Francisco Police Department’s CPA program and ALERT program. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my Ferraris; I just lost the interest to speed.
Also during my 11-year retirement I spent 18-months learning strategic and tactical combat in Virginia. I learned the ability of skills not common to civilians — skills restricted to secret service, SWAT, law enforcement, military, and others in the same realm. It was truly an amazing experience, and one that I don’t take lightly; because, of the power of knowledge and training I gained requires great responsibility of control and judicious application of those skills.
Most importantly, during my 11 years of retirement, I had time to establish a real relationship with the Trinity. I was raised a catholic, and during my 11 years of retirement, I dumped catholicism — too much hypocrisy; and, for those that know me well, ever since I was 8 years old, studying in a catholic school, I learned the meaning of hypocrisy, and I disdain it.
I learned to follow the Trinity, which is a lot tougher than being a catholic. To behave as the Trinity would in mind, body, and soul is quite a challenge — I’m better at it; but, realize I have so much to improve upon. I don’t know the way Christ handled all the public crap he handled — He has a lot of control and love for people.
I retired out of Corporate America when I was 42 years old; I was elated — it was a sunny, bright, and warm day in April 2004 — it was 1100 hours, and I walked out of the building, got into my Ferrari, and I went for a long drive down the coast to celebrate my freedom — I never looked back; and, to this day, I never had the interest of managing people, budgets, or generating revenue. I had over 30 years of that experience, and I am DONE!
So, why do I wanna get back into working when I don’t have to work?
I don’t know…other than, I want to and I can afford to do it, and I just felt moved into that direction.
As I mentioned, when I retired from Corporate America, I established a valuable real relationship and connection with the Trinity that I never had in my past; so, I listen, and I am open, and I move when compelled, as I believe this is the way the Trinity communicates with me.
One day, while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I observed the way the people worked; I was amazed that they always seem to be happy and really enjoy doing what they are doing while working hard at moving boxes, stocking shelves, and ringing customers up at the register. I never had that type of work environment and experience, and I wanted to try it out; so, I applied, and they, fortunately, hired me; and, it has been one of the most valuable, rewarding, and educational jobs I have ever had.
Sure I’m learning about all the technical and creative aspects of the job:
- I learned to bag groceries under pressure;
- I enjoy meeting and talking to customers just for the sake of talking to them and not being motivated by getting a business deal from them;
- I never operated a cash register, and now I can;
- I never knew what a pallet was; but, now, I can break one down;
- I never used a dolly, but now I use one;
- I never knew the strategy of stocking shelves of tuna, peanut butter and jam, but now I do, and I know the strategy of stocking products.
Those learnings are definitely fun and challenging.
If I had to narrow it down to one thing that I really love about my job at Trader Joe’s, I would have to say, “people.”
I am meeting people I have never ever met before — all kinds of people, and through those meetings, I am learning more about myself and the world I live in. To me, this is the value of my time at Trader Joe’s…learning about myself through the people with whom I work, and the customers I meet in the store…truly an amazing and new experience for me.
I don’t know my time at Trader Joe’s…when the Trinity tells me to move on, I will know to move on; but, for now, this is my calling.
I’m truly blessed to be part of the Trader Joe’s crew!
Next to my acting gigs, my job at Trader Joe’s in the next best thing.
The Trader Joe’s management team is the smartest and most effective people I’ve had the privilege of working under. The benefits are excellent; and, we all work as a team to get the job done.
If you’re in the area, drop by and say, “hi.”
/s/ Alfonso Faustino